We have previously discussed taking care of your own mental health but what about your friends? Are you sure they are mentally healthy? Do you want to check in on them but you’re not sure how? Everyone goes through different hardships in life, and it may be difficult for you to understand how to help them out with advice to deal with their unique challenges. Read our strategies below which may be able to remove the stigma of being embarrassed, or too afraid to check in on the mental wellbeing of your friends.
1. Start with a simple message to reach out.
“Hey, are you okay?”, “How are you feeling?”, “How was your day?”
When expressed with sincerity, these questions can have a powerful, positive, impact. These questions don’t step over any boundaries, and it may make lift your friend’s spirits, just by the outcome of your concern.
2. Listen and acknowledge their feelings.
Validation, listening, and acknowledging is important during a communication process. This reaffirms to your friend that you are genuinely listening to what they have to say, and can reflect your support even further. While you may not understand what they are going through in order to give advice, it’s important that you comfort them and validate their thoughts.
3. Do it consistently.
Checking in on your friends shouldn’t be a one-time event. Your friend may feel positive one day and can go towards a complete downturn the next – life is a rollercoaster. The good news is, once you first establish a relationship that involves checking in on each other, you will remove the stigma of afraid to connect and communicate about each other’s feelings.
And don’t forget… you shouldn’t have to give up your own mental health in order to support your friend’s. Your needs are just as important and you should expect others to do the same to you, and check in on you in return. If not, focus your energy somewhere else.