Here’s some news that probably won’t shock you: Americans are stressed.
According to a recent Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association, Americans’ stress is up significantly this year. For parents with children and minorities, stress is up significantly higher.
Even as we process our own stress and form our own response to current events, it’s important to keep in mind our role in reaching out to others, whether they be employees, clients, or family.
For someone under significant stress, a friendly check-in can make a world of difference. Even if they may not actively feel stressed or depressed, just knowing someone else thought of them and supports them can make a world of difference. Multiple research studies have found that having social support decreases blood pressure, improves our immune system, and actually increases life expectancy.
If you are in a leadership position in your organization or community, your outreach efforts can be even more significant. Having worked in politics for (too) many years, I’ve learned that smart candidates make time — lots of time — to be on the phone with supporters. Pretty much anytime they are not at a public rally or talking with the media, they are on the phone because they know the power of personal connection and checking in on people matters.
Of course, the challenge is finding that time to check in on others. I’ve found that reserving regular time on my calendar specifically for meetings, calls, or saying hello helps me be intentional about keeping in touch.
Tools like Datrm.in can help as well by syncing with your personal contacts then letting you build outreach lists to call, text, or email your network quickly — but personally.
Checking in on people in our network, even those we haven’t talked to in a while, not only benefits them — it also benefits us. Connecting with others improves our own productivity, decreases our stress, and helps give us a more positive outlook, in turn giving us the fuel to push through our own stress.
Whether you are a consultant with clients all over the globe, unemployed and networking to find a job, or simply concerned for your friends and community amid today’s crises, taking the time to check on your people is an important step to help them — and you — get through to the other side.