Listen without judgement - mental health and well being
Lock down and isolation can be pretty tough for a lot of our whanau and often that might feel alone and the only ones facing challenges. For many of our whanau who might be anxious there are some simple things that we can all do such as listening without judgement and knowing the signs to look out for when someone might be suffering. To help i've put together some simple things you can look out for and how to ask that perennial question - are you ok?
Recognising the signs:
Some people display signs that they are not travelling so well. Some of the signs that someone might be in trouble include:
1. Changes in behaviour
2. Changes in sleeping patterns
3. Withdrawing from friends and family; social circles
4. Loss of interest in routine activities or work
5. Changes in eating habits or not eating at all
6. Mood swings
7. Mention of the word “Plan”
8. Putting their affairs in order or talking openly (and out of character) when it comes to death.
9. The giving away of personal items or things of great value to them
Talking with a loved one about how they feel, and their emotions can be a challenge. Here are some pointers that could be of help to you:
1. Ask “Are you ok?” – by asking the question it shows you care, especially in a trusted friendship or family setting. The right environment is also key. It may be asking the question in a place that might be comfortable for the person or familiar to them.
2. Listen without judgement – it is important to listen and not judge, whatever the circumstances might be. We all face different situations in our lives and make different life choices. Whatever you do try not to leave a conversation mid-way through and turn off any interruptions such as your mobile phone.
3. Encourage action – try and guide them to a referral service or possible solution to the problem if you are able; plant seeds of ideas that could lead to a solution.
4. Check in – always make sure you check in with them on a regular basis and follow up on your conversations – try and never leave someone feeling more isolated by a conversation than it was helpful.