RUOk day, every day?

ruokay day
Yesterday was RUOK? Day, and, like it says on the tin, the day encourages everyone to ask a friend, family member, colleague or even that person you buy your coffee from – ‘hey, are you okay?’ in a meaningful way. It’s a fantastic way of spotlighting the importance of mental and emotional wellbeing and gently reminding us that hey, sometimes, our friends, our family and others around us may be having a less than okay day, week, month, or even year. And sometimes, we’re all less than okay – and that’s okay (okay) too. Looking out for each other in a simple way like having a chat about things can be the best form of therapy.

happy gnome

Image from Pinterest

Three years ago, I was in a place where I thought I was unhelpable (this is not a word, but there’s no better word). I was not OK. I’d felt like I’d been hit by the Anxiety Bus, along with several other vehicles with names associated with feeling generally pretty terrible (it was a four-car pile up). I’d sporadically tried to boost my mood with lifestyle changes, alcohol, back to back episodes of The Only Way is Essex (classic television) and buying half-price garden gnomes (see example left).

I’d even tried merging all of these things and once night found myself doing tree pose, whilst balancing a glass of wine on my nose, watching The Only Way is Essex with one of my garden gnomes standing next to me on the floor holding a sign that said ‘GO AWAY’. In the end, all attempts at cracking the grey ceiling of seriousness and dismality (again, not a word) failed. I was unhelpable and I had failed at life.

Looking back from a much happier place, what have I learned from that time?

You are not, today or ever, unhelpable. Even if you feel it for a long, long, long time.

It might take a few more RUOK’s, a few gentle nudges, a few days, week, or, yes, even a few years. One of my favourite scenes in one of my favourite films, Bridesmaids, is between Annie and her mum before Annie attends Lillian’s engagement party. She’s feeling a little low about life in general. Her mum offers her some wonderful words of wisdom.

“I’m telling you, hitting bottom is a good thing, because… because there’s nowhere to go but up. Positive message.”

Bridesmaids Quotes

Image and full text via

To find our more about the RUOK initiative, visit They also have a great list of resources if you think you or someone you know may need a little more support too.