Emotional Health Check-Ins During COVID-19

The top priority of the whole country right now is to stay healthy. And while we recognize that right now physical health is the biggest focus, kid’s emotional health is just as important. Try to incorporate emotional check-ins into your daily schedule of activities. These check-ins can be formal and structured, or informal and on the fly.  The important thing is you are helping kids to intentionally identify, reflect on, and share about their emotions during this unique time.

Here are 5 easy emotional check-in ideas!

Internal Weather Report: Ask kids, “If your mood were the weather, what would it be?” For example, if you’re angry it could be a thunderstorm, or if you’re happy it could be sunny. Give them a chance to think, then share their mood. They can choose to explain and elaborate on their feelings, or not. 

Feelings 1-10: Ask kids, “Rank your mood today on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst mood and 10 being the best.” They can choose to explain and elaborate on their ranking, or not. 

Pop Culture: Ask youth, “If your current mood were a song or movie, what would it be?” For example, if you’re having a great day your song could be “Happy” by Pharrell, or if you’re grumpy your movie could be “The Grinch.” Give them a chance to think, then share their mood. They can choose to explain and elaborate on their feelings, or not. 

Highs & Lows: Ask youth to think of their “high and low” of the day – this is the best thing that they experienced during the day, and the worst thing that they experienced during the day. Give them a chance to think, then share. They can choose to explain and elaborate on their feelings, or not. 

Rose, Bud, Thorn: Ask youth to think of their “rose, bud, and thorn” of the day – this is the best thing that happened to them during the day (rose), something they’re looking forward to (bud), and the worst thing that happened to them today (thorn). Give them a chance to think, then share their mood. They can choose to explain and elaborate on their feelings, or not. 

Ultimately, it’s important for youth to know that it is OK to feel how they are feeling – everyone experiences a range of emotions every single day. It’s normal to feel sad, excited, angry, calm, or nervous every day, multiple times a day. What matters is how youth cope with these feelings, especially during times of uncertainty.