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Check-in Challenge for Mental Health Awareness Month

The Kim Foundation works to increase awareness around mental health and suicide prevention in Nebraska, serving as a communication and connection link between individuals, organizations, and communities. Naturally, Mental Health Awareness Month is a big deal for our organization. In addition to our initiatives to spread awareness in the workplace, schools, and in the community this month, we’re championing our first ever Check-in Challenge!

Join us by “checking in” each week with ourselves, our workplaces, our loved ones, our neighborhoods and our community. If you miss a day, don’t sweat it! The purpose of the challenge is to become aware of and support our own and others’ mental health. Save this blog post link to reference all month (and all year!) long.

Personal Check-in Week
Monday, May 1 — Ask yourself how you’re doing, both physically and mentally. It can be helpful to track daily moods in a journal, planner, or on a health app with a scale of 1-10. Consistently lower numbers will indicate that it’s time to pay attention to your mental health.

Tuesday, May 2 — Think about who is a part of your support system. These people should be respectful, good listeners and have your best interests at heart. If you don’t feel like you have a support system right now, reflect on what type of support you need and seek out local or online groups.

Wednesday, May 3 — Make an effort to wind down before bed this evening and get at least 8 hours of sleep. Try to avoid screens an hour before bedtime, opting to read, meditate or have a relaxed conversation with another household member. Writing down your next day’s tasks can also help calm a busy mind.

Thursday, May 4 — Write down three ways you like to be supported or celebrated. Share your list with a friend, loved one or coworker and encourage them to share their list with you.

Friday, May 5 — Think about activities that bring you joy. Do at least one of them this weekend.

Professional Check-in Week
Monday, May 8 — Are you experiencing normal work-related stress, or are you nearing or in a state of burnout? Take this burnout assessment to find out. Becoming aware of our mental health at work is the first step toward nurturing and protecting it.

Tuesday, May 9 — Identify three work/life boundaries you could set to support your mental health. These could include anything from responding to messages after a certain time of day to setting limits on your workload. Be sure to communicate these boundaries to your coworkers so they know to respect them ahead of time.

Wednesday, May 10 — Acknowledge a coworker with a note of gratitude. This could be through a physical note, verbal comment, or a short message.

Thursday, May 11 — Make a plan to invite a mental health speaker to your workplace. The Kim Foundation offers workplace presentations. If you’re unable to host a speaker, explore video presentations that may be a good fit for your workplace’s specific culture or needs. For example, the restaurant and hospitality industry has many people who have begun to talk openly about mental health.

Friday, May 12 — Think about activities that bring you joy. Do at least one of them this weekend.

Loved Ones Check-in Week
Monday, May 15 — Text, call, or email someone who you appreciate, even if it’s been a long time. Tell them why you appreciate them or something that reminded you of them recently.

Tuesday, May 16 — Do you know someone who has been “disappearing?” Some people isolate themselves when they’re going through a tough time. Reach out and ask how they’re doing.

Wednesday, May 17 — Take some time today to talk about mental health with members of your household. Give them space to talk about their stressors, what they’re looking forward to, and how you can all support each other’s mental health.

Thursday, May 18 — Make plans to meet up with a friend who you haven’t seen in awhile.

Friday, May 19 — Think about activities that bring you joy. Do at least one of them this weekend.

Neighborhood Check-in Week
Monday, May 22 — Walk around your neighborhood and look for three things you haven’t noticed before. Physical exercise is an important component of supporting our mental health, and you may get the chance to socialize with neighbors.

Tuesday, May 23 — Pick a house in your neighborhood, whether it’s a totally random house or one you find intriguing. Write a letter to the resident and introduce yourself to build a new neighborhood connection.

Wednesday, May 24 — If you have the opportunity, say hello to your next-door neighbors and ask them how they’re doing.

Thursday, May 25 — Find out when your neighborhood’s next community gathering is and make a plan to attend. This could be anything from a neighborhood clean-up to a monthly meeting. You can use this online tool to look up groups in your area.

Friday, May 26 — Think about activities that bring you joy. Do at least one of them this weekend.

Community Check-in Week
Monday, May 29 — There are many local and national resources available to support mental health in our
community. Our website is a great place to start. Becoming aware of these resources now will help you support yourself or someone else in the future who may be experiencing a mental health crisis.

Tuesday, May 30 — If you have the capacity to volunteer, explore local opportunities. The Kim Foundation’s volunteer team is full of passionate mental health and suicide prevention advocates. Learn more about getting involved here.

Wednesday, May 31 — Go back through this month’s check-in challenge and identify a few prompts that you want to continue throughout the rest of the year. It’s always a good time to check in with ourselves and others.