seizetheawkward200 karma2020-10-05 17:37:19 UTC
Hi. The most important thing in checking in with a friend is to simply do it - to let them know you are checking in so your very desire here is great! After that, I recommend asking them directly about how they are. Text is okay, but let them know you have noticed that they might be feeling a little down and ask them an open-ended question about how they are doing - " How are you feeling these days?" or "Is there anything you want to talk about? I am here for you." You can also share what you have noticed so they know why you are asking. Something like, "I have noticed you may feel a little down, are you doing okay? I want you to know I am here for you." You can also head to https://seizetheawkward.org/ for more ways to check in and additional questions you can ask a friend.
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seizetheawkward175 karma2020-10-05 18:05:42 UTC
This is such a great question! And, it is not one I can answer easily in a Reddit AMA so well :). But, the one thing I have often wished that all young people knew (and older folks too), is that they are WAY stronger and capable than they tend to think they are. And, I wish they knew that the most powerful north star we all have in life, is simply the things we care about deeply and authentically. How is that?
And, what do you wish you could share that no one ever asks about?
seizetheawkward101 karma2020-10-05 17:59:37 UTC
Thanks for the question. While you cannot force someone to talk, you can open the door and keep it open by letting them know that you notice that they are depressed (or having a hard time - choose language that you think they can understand and relate to) and that you really want to be there for them. You can also share that you know that keeping feelings inside can make them worse, not better. If they resist sharing, don't give up. You can do this by simply reaching out regularly and inviting them to talk or take walks or simply be together in some way (socially distanced, of course :)). Sometimes just being there, with no direct pressure helps open doors to communication. You can also let them know that you would like to check in with how they are feeling regularly, even if they do not want to talk about it. This can signal that you care and that you are not going to be scared off by their being closed or unwilling to talk at any given time. Asking them to agree is one tiny step toward them being engaged with you and may pave the way for a more "real" conversation later. Most importantly, if you notice anything that scares you - makes you think they might hurt themselves, reach out for help.
seizetheawkward82 karma2020-10-05 18:14:41 UTC
Hi and yep, short term memory challenges are common with stress, especially if it is prolonged or acute. But, there are other things that can cause this too, like use of certain medications or drugs. Cannabis use is well known to effect short term memory, for example. In any case, trying to reduce stress, increase stress relief practices, like meditation or other practices that calm emotion (since intense emotion interferes with thinking and memory) can really help.
seizetheawkward50 karma2020-10-05 18:21:47 UTC
Hi. Yes, this sounds challenging! First, it is important to give yourself credit for knowing what you struggle with and how it affects you in times of stress - that is really helpful! It is especially helpful since you can work with what you know about yourself in stressful times or experiences, like moving. So, I would ask yourself to come up with a plan you think might work. For most of us, breaking tasks into small parts and not putting pressure on ourselves to do it all at once, can really help. Consider picking a room or even a part of a room to start with. Also, it can help to start with something easy or fun - just to get it going. It often becomes easier to tackle the big or unpleasant parts of unpacking if you can make the beginning a little more fun or enticing. You can also try making the environment more motivating by putting on music that gets you moving, asking a friend to join you by phone, Skype/zoom, or in person (if it is safe to social distance). Just know that once you get started, it can be a much easier to keep going - often it's the beginning that is tough.
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