Compassionate Care: The Words We Use Matter

The words we speak, print, and repeat matter. What words and phrases do you hope to never hear again? When you are communicating, think about the messages you are sending.

Consider challenging and changing:

  • “Return to work.” Most people have been working as hard if not harder than before. It can be demoralizing to process the belief that we were not working during this time.
  • “Return to normal.” Consider that some people may not want to return to their old way of life, or maybe they cannot return to it because they have experienced permanent life changes like loss of a loved one. Everyone manages challenges and processes changes differently; let’s normalize different perspectives.
  • “It’s okay to not be okay.” How else can you capture this phrase to consider that some people’s “not okay” might be severe and require intervention for healing? Be careful not to normalize suffering. Try, “It’s okay to ask for help when you are not okay,” instead.

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