This week is Mental Health Week in Canada. And how timely given the challenging times of this global pandemic. The overarching message for the year is the importance of social connection on mental health. A message that’s difficult to heed when we’re trying to protect ourselves and others by physical distancing.

So the Canadian Mental Health Association’s campaign is for everyone to “#GetReal about how we feeland lean on each other for support, even if it has to be from afar.

So often we’re used to covering how we’re feeling with the words ‘I’m fine.’ When we do that, we’re choosing not to share our truth, and so preventing opportunities for real social connections and missing out on meaningful connections.

I hope you’ll become aware of the times you say, “I’m fine,” when you’re not and consider opening up a bit more.

Be kinder to yourself by being as honest as you can right now.

I know that it can sometimes be uncomfortable and awkward so to help you out, here are a few examples of other ways you can answer when someone asks, “How are you?”

  • “I’m noticing I want to pretend I’m okay, but honestly, I’m lost.”
  • “I don’t know how to handle this.”
  • “I’m not sure how I’m feeling, but I’m glad to be able to talk with you.”
  • “I’ve been crying for no reason or upset for no reason.”
  • “I can’t sleep.”
  • “I’m eating/drinking/smoking more than usual.”
  • “I’m worried.”

Everyone is in a similar boat right now, so notice any habitual behaviours or tendencies that cover up what’s really going on for you. #GetReal about how you feel!

How are you really during COVID-19?

How are you holding up? I know this time can be difficult in many ways, so I want to offer you my support. What would help you out at this time? Let me know the issues you’re facing and what you’re needing.

One way I thought I could help out is to offer a chat online or by phone. If you haven’t used online or phone counselling before, try it out by booking a free 15 minutes with me and tell me if you’d prefer phone or online.

I’m here for you.


Liz Coleman, RTC, is a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor based in Surrey, BC. She specializes in anxiety, anger, insecurity, and relationship problems. If you have any questions about this article or would like to schedule an appointment, please call Ms. Coleman at (604) 809-8947 or use the convenient form on her Contact page.