We have all learned more about ourselves this year after spending so much time alone. It’s fair to say that 2020 strained relationships, work-life balances, eating habits, and workout routines for a lot of us, but the most enduring impact that the last year has had is on our collective mental health.
While everyone is excited to reconnect with their friends and coworkers again, the sudden dive back into normal life, or something close to it, has also been quite jarring. It’s almost as if the abrupt shift back into socializing has had a similar effect as the abrupt shift into solitude did!
It might feel a bit harder to ask how someone is actually feeling — at risk of sounding like a buzzkill — but it’s important to keep checking in on friends’ mental health as well as your own. When your network is thriving, they are better-equipped to support you and help you grow as well!
These ten questions only take ten minutes, and they’re a perfect jumping-off point for a mental health check-in. The most important thing to keep in mind here is to be an active listener and give your friends the space to get everything out. You don’t need to be an expert, but try to keep judgements out of the picture and ask follow-up questions.
Now let’s dive into it:
- How are you feeling today, both physically and mentally? How have you been feeling over the last few days, weeks, month?
- What have you been preoccupied with lately, or what’s taking up the most of your mental energy?
- Have you been eating well and often enough, and have you been drinking enough water?
- How have you been moving your body lately?
- How much sleep have you been getting? Have you been sleeping well?
- When was the last time you did something that made you feel good and what was it?
- What is something you can do today that will make you feel good?
- What’s something that we can do together this week, even if we’re not together in person?
- What are you looking forward to in the near term?
- What are you grateful for right now?
You can do this exercise an infinite number of times with as many people as you’d like, and every time you’ll learn something new about yourself. By asking your friends these questions, you’re also opening up that dialogue with yourself. Don’t be afraid to check in on yourself too!