We’ve all read the grim statistics surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, each new infection and tragic death added to a growing tally.
While the virus has threatened the physical health of millions, it’s also quite clear that the combination of isolation and stress has undermined the emotional and mental well-being of many more.
Feelings of anxiety, helplessness and grief are rising as people face an increasingly uncertain future.
Things are tough right now. And it may feel difficult to reach out and ask how someone is actually feeling, or to start a conversation about their mental health. But sometimes — you just have to ask.
That’s the message from the popular blog “I Don’t Mind,” which has posed 10 simple questions to check in with your friends and family.
The post is called Just Checking In, offering advice on what to say when you connect over the phone, on FaceTime, or even six feet apart.
Before you reach out, keep the following in mind:
- It’s designed to last 10 minutes, but spend as much time as you want on each question.
- Stay engaged with follow-up questions.
- Keep things judgment-free.
- You don’t have to be an expert, you just have to listen.
- Stay in touch after, and don’t be afraid to connect them to local resources, including those provided by Interim, Inc.
Here are the questions
- How are you feeling today, really? Physically and mentally.
- What’s taking up most of your headspace right now?
- What was your last full meal, and have you been drinking enough water?
- How have you been sleeping?
- What have you been doing for exercise?
- What did you do today that made you feel good?
- What’s something you can do today that would be good for you?
- What’s something you’re looking forward to in the next few days?
- What’s something we can do together this week, even if we’re apart?
- What are you grateful for right now?
It’s a great way to pay it forward during these uncertain times. Use these same questions with every person in your life, multiple times. You can even check-in with yourself!