I actually had a good day this week and when someone asked me how it went I said, without hesitation, 'it was good'. It took me a bit by surprise to be honest, but it didn't take much reflection and thought to identify why.
It was a meeting, with my team, face to face.
Now this may seem like a little thing, but as a remote worker who communicates electronically most of the time with the others in the same boat as me (all paddling and bailing out furiously to stay afloat) it was an extremely welcome boost.
We didn't only meet but we also shared and had open conversations about how we were (how we actually were) and found the time to listen. It was nice. I learned a lot about my colleagues, some of them might actually be friends now but don't tell them that.
We also did something called 'me in a minute' where we shared a couple of slides with some pictures and detail about who we actually are behind the work namebadge.
I also had some really good chats in the office with people about mental health, through these chats these people turned from colleagues to friends, we discovered common ground and the conversations were both open and also inspiring. I'm really grateful for them for opening up.
It's amazing how many people struggle, and how many people wear a mask. It's exhausting wearing it, it stops you being who you really are, it hides the truth, it doesn't actually help you feel better about yourself and you can forget who you actually are underneath it if you wear it for too long.
So if you're wearing one, try and take it off, just for a little while with trusted people to start with, but be open about who you are, I bet you'll get a better reaction than you're worried about.
Mr Paul Wyse