Home Mental Health & Well-Being Responding to ‘Are You OK?’ and Checking In with Ourselves and Others

Responding to ‘Are You OK?’ and Checking In with Ourselves and Others

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Responding to the question “Are you OK?” can be challenging for many of us, regardless of whether we are facing physical or mental health challenges or feeling overwhelmed by life. It is essential to check in with ourselves regularly and honestly about how we are doing, as making the necessary changes to improve our health and well-being becomes challenging if we are not truthful with ourselves. 

Ways to respond to the question ‘Are you OK?’

Here are a few ways you can respond when someone asks if you’re OK:

  • “I’m OK, thank you for asking.” This sentence means “I’m OK” to someone. You can use it to respond to someone who has asked you how you are doing.
  • “I’m not okay, but I appreciate your concern.” Sometimes when people are feeling down, they might not feel like talking to anyone. But they might still want to tell Someone they’re not doing well. So they can type a message into their computer or phone and send it to the person they want to know. And even though the person sending the message might not be okay, it can still mean a lot for someone to know that.
  • “I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed but doing my best.” The concept might be difficult to understand if it is your first time experiencing overwhelmed. Feeling overwhelmed means you feel like too much is happening and it’s hard to manage. You are doing your best, though, which means you are trying your best despite feeling overwhelmed.
  • “Thank you for asking. I’m just taking things one day at a time.” Thank the person for caring and letting them know you appreciate their concern. Reassure them that you’re doing well. “Hi! I’m doing well, thanks for asking”.

The importance of checking in with ourselves

It can be tricky to answer when someone asks if you’re OK. On the one hand, you don’t want to lie and say you’re fine when you’re not. But on the other hand, you might not feel comfortable opening up about what’s going on. Having a go-to response when someone asks if you’re okay can be helpful. 

The importance of asking others if they are OK

Asking someone if they are OK can be a simple and effective way to show that you care about their health and well-being. It can open up a conversation about what might be happening in their life and let them know you are there for them if they need to talk. If you are worried about someone, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask if they are OK.

Seeking help is a sign of strength

It’s important to remember that it’s OK to not be OK and that seeking help or support is a sign of strength, not weakness. If you’re struggling with physical or mental health issues or feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to reach out for help. This might mean speaking to a trusted friend or family member, seeking professional help from a healthcare provider or therapist, or accessing support services in your community.

Taking care of your physical and mental health

Taking care of your physical and mental health is essential for your overall well-being. This might involve practising self-care activities like getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and practising mindfulness or meditation. It’s also important to prioritise your mental health by managing stress, setting boundaries, and seeking help when you need it.

Remember, you are not alone

Remember, you are not alone, and there are people and resources available to help you through difficult times. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for support when you need it.

Max E. Guttman, LCSW  is a psychotherapist and owner of Recovery Now, a mental health private practice in New York City.


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