It is ok to ask if you need a bit of help

It is ok to ask if you need a bit of help

Reflection piece

Hi All. I hope that you have all had a good week. How did you find my blog post from last week? Did you take on board any of the advice about adapting to the unexpected? Let me know as it would be good to know. Plus if you want any more advice around that area please let me know.

For those of you who are following my weekly blogs, you will know that I gather my writing from lived experience and or reading around literature that is aligned to my personal interests toward helping me achieve my personal fitness and wellness goals, and in the same time sharing the information with you, the reader, to help you along your personal fitness and wellness journey as well.

For those of you who have also been following my weekly blog, you will know that I quite recently sustained a kitchen related injury, which has resulted in me scaling back what I am able to do and adapting to cooking and cleaning etc with one hand. I have been very lucky to have the physical and emotional support of Lana and my family, and through them I have been helped to do things that I would normally find quite easy to do, given being able to use two hands. I have also received emotional support off friends, which I am thankful for.

I am normally someone who is quite self-sufficient and self-reliant, so asking for help doesn’t come easy to me. And I think maybe I am not alone here? But being given help and support, and given time to reflect, has made me see that as strong as we may be, it is ok to ask for help.

Why do so many of us have a hard time asking for help? Whether it’s a difficult work project or the stress of parenting, everyone gets overwhelmed at times, yet we still are often resistant to reaching out to others in the hopes that they’ll help lighten our load. And so often it happens that we’d rather give help than receive it.

Part of being a human being is having limitations. No one can do it all. No one. We all need someone.

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We shouldn’t be afraid to reach out for help because complete independence is impossible. Culturally, we seem to tout independence as this great thing to aspire to, but it’s not realistic or even desirable to try to achieve. As human beings, we are wired to connect with other people. The goal is healthy interdependence. There’s a negotiation of give and take in our relationships. We can’t be taking all the time, but trying to only give throws us off balance as well.

Asking for help demonstrates trust and helps build bonds of intimacy in friendships. Exposing your human limitations to someone shows that you’re willing to be vulnerable to them.

When we don’t ask for help and instead just attempt to do things on our own, we’re missing out on an opportunity to build connections with another person. And it can actually be quite a compliment to ask someone else for his or her help. Think about when you’ve given help before and someone graciously received it. We all want to feel validated in making a difference in someone else’s life, and it’s a gift to feel like we are needed. Why not share that gift sometimes and ask for a close friend’s help?

There is nothing wrong in asking for help, and great strength can be gained from personal growth by being supported and by being able to support.

Asking for help is also about being kind to yourself. We are often very self-critical and think that we can do it alone. As mentioned above, it is ok to ask and there are many benefits to asking for help. What is also important is being kind to yourself.

In my blog ‘Fitness and illness: when to rest‘ (https://wordpress.com/post/fitfornearly40.wordpress.com/69) I look at meditation and about finding time to focus and calm the mind.

If you find a few minutes a day to practice some meditation to help you calm your mind and help you manage your stress more productively and healthily, you may find that your health and well-being also improves in the process.

Being kind to your mind is just as important as being kind to your body. And in being kind to the mind, you are more kind to yourself. Remember, you are not your negative thoughts. Be kind to yourself. Asking for help is ok. Be kind to your body and be kind to your mind. 

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There is also a little podcast which I listen to which you may like. It is called ‘The Science of Happiness’. I listen to it on Spotify but I’m sure you can also find it on iTunes and other audio streaming services.

In summary, it is ok to ask for help at times. It is not a sign of weakness. It is a part of being human. We are all in this journey together, so let’s help one another as best as we can. And also, remember to be kind to yourself. Be kind to your body and be kind to your mind. 

I hope you have found the blog of some help. Remember: it’s a journey. It will take time. Have patience in the process. You will get there. Until then, stay happy, stay healthy, and have a lovely weekend wherever you are on the planet.

A bit about the author:I am a guy who is (nearly) 40, who is sharing a journey of weight management and wellbeing.I am also a mental health professional with a wealth of years of experience in supporting individuals who have challenging mental illnesses and personality disorders. Prior to my current professional role, I spent several years supporting members of the community as a fitness professional, assisting individuals with weight loss and health improvement programmes.I completed a PGDip in Mental Health Nursing in 2013, and an MSc in Advanced Practice in 2016 in which I looked at improving nurses’ level of engagement with patients with challenging personality disorders. In 2018 I successfully undertook a Clinical reasoning in Physical Assessments course with the view to start studying toward becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in late 2019.In 2015 I also undertook a Mentorship for practice (BSc Hons) course and have been supporting future nurses with their training and development. I have also recently supported a Healthcare Assistant Staff toward training in and successfully passing and achieving a Foundation Degree in Mental Health Nursing.In my current role I am a person looking to support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the individual. As part of my role within the health services in supporting individuals with mental health care needs, I am also currently looking to develop myself as a Wellness Coach, to support the individual with weekly wellness blogs, with the view to support individuals on a 1:1 basis as well as holding motivational lectures and seminars. 

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