Updated: May 20
1. Ask people how they are feeling not what they are working on. It is a shock to the system now that we are able to do very little in comparison to what we used to. So many of us are going full force into fixing everything in our house, organizing, getting 2 workouts in a day and posting this all on social media. Some people don’t have the ability to do all that, so be mindful of this. Some are sick, or worried they or their loved ones will get sick, some have to learn a different job in order to save their job, and some are adjusting to the abruptness of this situation. Simply asking how someone is feeling today is all it takes. A friend of mine posted on Facebook this suggestion for moms working from home to share what their kids are doing but asked they refer to them as their “coworkers.” It makes for a funny way to explain to someone how their day was. Try it!
2. Don’t project or suggest unless you have consent. Again, only some of us have taken on the mission to use the next few weeks or even months of quarantine to transform our bodies and our minds. Not everyone has a peloton or a gym. Not everyone has the time to redecorate or organize, and quite frankly, not everyone cares if that is what some of us are doing. This can be a recipe for disaster during these times. If you feel triggered by a suggestion, you can simply say, “it is not a priority right now, but thank you for checking in.” Be mindful of each other. Everyone is experiencing emotions they never had or they have avoided. Ask how you can help. If that is by listening, do just that.
3. Set up a phone call, Zoom, or FaceTime for your friends or kids. Some kids are in very negative home environments with no way out now. They don’t get to go to school or the ability to reach out. Ask your kids to check up on their friends. Set up a chat time. If you are a teacher, send them a message, send them links or numbers they can reach out for support. Stay in touch with the most vulnerable. Start a group chat for your kids. They miss their friends. Let them FaceTime a friend when they are eating lunch or watching a movie. Remember, kids spend hours during their day socializing and it is very crucial to their wellbeing.
4. Respect others alone time. Some people are ok being alone. Respect that. Some people are more comfortable reaching out when they need to socialize. Overloading them can become overwhelming. Some people need time to adjust, reflect, and articulate when they are ready. Know your people and respect their boundaries.
5. Drop off a treat and go! The best thing to do is a quick drop off of a treat. Especially when someone is worried or unable to get the essentials, adding something in there that they are missing is enough to turn them around for the day. For me, it’s a chai latte. Nothing makes me happier than a chai latte. My coworker dropped off her banana loaf and chatted with me from a distance and that was enough to get me going for the rest of the day. Doing little thoughtful things like this will change your mood too!