R U OK?Day is a national day of action which aims to reduce suicide by encouraging people to connect with each other & ask: "R U OK?".  Since 2009 the second Thursday in September has been dedicated to asking people this simple question - but more importantly getting people to stop to hear the answer - getting people to take some time to really connect with one another.

I love it - so much so I have created a whole job for myself helping people rebuild or strengthen the connection with the people in their lives that are important to them.  So often it is the person you sleep in the same bed with that you feel the least connected to, or you just can't speak your kids language anymore.  What then?

Connection to others is good for our health and well being.  Open and honest communication - having someone there that you can truly show your most vulnerable self to and knowing you will be accepted just for being you provides an amazing sense of well being and feeling that we really do belong to one another.

Some simple steps you can take right now to build better connection with someone important to you:

  1. Listen to their story without butting in, taking it personally or offering your advice.  Sometimes showing you are able to just sit there with them is all that is required;
  2. Validate what they are saying - whether you agree with it or not doesn't matter  - let them know that their story makes sense;
  3. And then take that next step and really empathise with them - if you were in their shoes imagine how it would feel and share that with them - again without telling them what to do.
  4. Give them a hug (another favourite day National Hug Day - the health benefits of touch are enormous!!)

Taking these 4 steps will build the connection between you. Do this each and every day and watch your relationship transform...and remember R U OK? day also reminds us that it is OK to say "No I am not OK.  Things are not working the way I want them to right now".  And that it is OK to seek help...

Catriona ooxx