Mental health – 5 Simple check-in questions

Sometimes an employee may not be themselves, they may seem less engaged, tired, are quick to get angry or seem to be overwhelmed. If you notice behavioural changes, it is important to check in and ask; is everything OK?

Here are some simple questions you can ask – try them on yourself first…


1. How are you feeling today?

It may seem an obvious question, but we are often too busy to stop and ask how you or others may be feeling. It is important to stop, listen to and take note of the answer. 

Checking in on your mental health starts with assessing how you are feeling. Do you notice when you are feeling stress, anxiety, worry, sadness, or other challenging emotions? 

Notice how you’re feeling physically, too. Some ways mental health concerns can show up physically include:

Stress: Headaches, body pains, skin rashes, or worsening of chronic health problems 

Anxiety: Headaches, stomach aches, muscle tension, or frequent urination 

Depression: Appetite changes, weight loss or gain, loss of energy, and unexplained aches and pains 


Rate your answer from 1 – 10, 10 meaning you’re feeling great!


Consider what is prompting the rating you have given, then consider the following question.


2. What’s been worrying you lately?

Take a moment to think specifically about what’s been weighing on you recently. Is it work, family, friends, money. Maybe it’s one, two, or even nine different things that are worrying you. Whatever it is, it’s important to notice how these potential triggers make you feel — and to do your best to address them.

For instance, if you’re worried about something that’s happening in the news, take breaks from the news and social media at least a few times a day.

If it’s work on your mind, jot down when you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed or stressed at work, this way you can monitor and see which situations or matters stress you the most. Then, try to develop healthy responses, like taking a 10-minute break.  Coming back to work with a clear head after a break gives your mind space to clear and sometimes solutions can form without even thinking about them. 

If you don’t know what’s causing negative feelings, it will be tough to address them. Take the time to identify your stressors, so you can work on managing them.

3. Are you taking care of yourself?

When we get busy we tend to forget to focus on the basics — food, exercise, and sleep. These are simple ways to ensure you stay healthy, both mentally and physically.

Your mental and physical health are deeply intertwined — and paying attention to both is key to your overall wellness.

4. What are you doing to bring yourself happiness?

Taking time to be happy is so important to your mental health.

Ask yourself what you’re doing for you that is just for you that makes you happy – puts a smile on your face or enables you some time out to relax.  

Plan a mini getaway, like a camping trip or staycation near your home. 

Get creative with a new project – learn to cook something new, visit a beach or park you’ve never been to.

Watch a funny movie or television show.

Visit with loved ones who make you smile. 

Spend time with your dog, cat, or another loving pet.

Sit outside in the sun for 15 minutes.

Find a good book or magazine to read.


5. Who do you have in your corner?

Having a strong support system is essential to mental health. Ask yourself who you consider trustworthy and loving that you can turn to when you need it most.

Whether it’s a partner, sibling, healthcare provider or other trusted individual, make sure you have at least one person in your life who;

Gives good advice when you ask for it.

Is respectful and trustworthy.

Allows you space to make decisions, grow, and even make mistakes.

Actually listens to you. 

Has your best interests at heart? 

It takes time to form a habit. At first, asking yourself or others questions about mental health might feel strange, however over time, it can become natural.

By being proactive and monitoring your mental health, you can ensure you stay happy, healthy, and prepared to take on anything life throws your way. Penn Medicine.

If you require assistance with managing mental health within your business, or if you require HR Advice, please contact the team at HR Advice Online on 1300 720 004.


Information in HR Advice Online guides and blog posts is meant purely for educational discussion of human resources issues. It contains only general information about human resources matters and due to factors such as government legislation changes, may not be up-to-date at the time of reading. It is not legal advice and should not be treated as such.

Information in HR Advice Online guides and blog posts are meant purely for educational discussion of human resources issues. It contains general information about human resources matters and due to factors, such as Government legislation changes, may not be up to date at the time of reading. It is not legal advice and should not be treated as such.


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