It’s the final week of our Check-in Challenge, and as we wind down, let’s check in on the mental health of the essential workers in our lives.
Consider your grocery store clerk, a food server, mail carrier or delivery person. These are the people who are sometimes under-appreciated and yet help keep the world going. You can help them feel seen by checking in on them, and here are six ways to do that:
If you only did one thing on this list, just be kind. Many times, essential workers get the brunt of people’s stress. Give a wave to your delivery or mail person. Make eye contact, say “thanks” and let them know you value them.
Learn their name
If you can see their name on a badge, use it. If you don’t know the essential worker’s name, ask for their name by introducing yourself.
Verbalize your appreciation by offering some key phrases:
- “I realize how hard you’re working, and I just want to say thank you.”
- “It’s people like you who are helping me get through this. Thank you for showing up today.”
- “I know these are challenging times, and I just want to let you know how grateful I am for you.”
- “I appreciate you and all that you do.”
- “You’re helping to keep us all nourished and fed, and that isn’t going unnoticed.”
Write it down
Leave a thank you note or ask your kids to draw them a picture.
Share a treat
A gift doesn’t have to be big to say thanks to those who work hard so we can get groceries, coffee, mail and deliveries. Try giving them a small goodie like a favorite candy bar or a homemade treat that is safely packaged to enjoy later. A gift could also be practical like a small pack of tissues, a bottle of hand sanitizer or lotion for their dry hands.
Ask open-ended questions
Here are some prompts to check in with the unsung heroes of our daily lives:
- “How are things?”
- “How’s your day been?”
- “Have people been nice to you today?”
- “How are you coping?”
- “How are you holding up?”
- “How are you dealing with things?”
Get mental health resources from CHOC pediatric experts
The mental health team at CHOC curated the following resources on mental health topics common to kids and teens, such as depression, anxiety, suicide prevention and more.