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16 Texts to Send a Loved One Struggling During COVID-19

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Editor's Note

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Physical distancing to reduce the deadly impact of COVID-19 might be necessary, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. For many people, being cut off from your in-person support networks is devastating. The isolation can pull you back into a difficult place and make coping with the COVID-19 pandemic even more painful.

Never has staying connected with the people you love been more important. A text message that says, “Hey, I’m thinking about you!” will never be the same as an in-person hug or chat over coffee, but quick reminders you’re cared for can go a long way.

“Compassionate expressions are more likely to help people move in a healthy direction,” Shenell D. Evans, Ph.D., a psychologist in New York, told The Mighty. “How many of us might feel lured out of sadness when someone expresses they miss or need us?!”

It’s not always easy to know what to say though. So to find out what text messages people who are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic would like to get, we asked The Mighty’s mental health community.

Here’s what they told us:

1. “This made me think of you.”

Text bubble that reads, This made me think of you.

“I’ve received music videos with the person saying, ‘this made me think of you and this day.’ I think that’s what’s special. They heard a song and it took them back years and for 30 seconds, someone I haven’t seen in months or years thought about us and that memory and that was able to open doors for today.” — Jamie S.

“I actually have a friend who has been sending messages and funny videos. We check in on each other often, and ask each other how things are going. It helps to not feel alone.” — Joanne S.

2. “I miss you.”

Text bubble that reads, I miss you.

“I miss you from my best friend.” — Kim H.

3. “Thinking of you.”

Text bubble that reads, Thinking of you.

“I got a ‘thinking of you’ text. It made all the difference.” — Kathyern M.

“Hi, thinking about you and would like to know what your immediate needs are and if I can support you in some way because I care about you and you matter to me.” — Tammy M.

4. “You are not alone in this.”

Text bubble that reads, You are not alone in this.

“You are not alone in this.” — Chelsea T.

5. “I’m here for you!”

Text bubble that reads, I'm here for you.

“I’m here for you if you need a safe, judgmental free person to talk with!” — Kimberly J.

“Hey you. Let me know if you want to chat. We can talk about whatever you like. I love you and I’m here for you.” — Katie S.

6. “You are allowed to be selfish.”

Text bubble that reads, You are allowed to be selfish.

“You are allowed to be selfish and think of just yourself in these scary times.” — Rosa V.

7. “You can let go.”

Text bubble that reads, You can let go.

“I would love to get this kind of text right now: I know you are struggling and this whole thing is playing havoc with your ability to stay in control but you can let go. I don’t expect you to always be in control all the time, especially right now. You can be angry, scared, stressed. You can shout. You can cry. It is OK. I understand. Dump it in my lap. I will listen to it all because I love you.” — Tami Z.

8. “Just breathe!”

Text bubble that reads, Just breathe.

“Just breathe! We will get through this.” — Courtney P.

9. “You matter.”

Text bubble that reads, You matter.

“You matter. Hang in there and remember this will not last forever.” — Dina .

10. “How are you doing?”

Text bubble that reads, How are you doing?

“‘Hey, how are you doing?’ It would be so nice just to get a simple message from my friends to let me know they’re still thinking about me during all of this. I miss them all but feel like a burden and like I’m annoying them if I constantly text them.” — Jenn H.

11. “You are loved.”

Text bubble that reads, You are loved.

“This isolation will pass and you are loved. I’ll listen and help any way I can.” — Cynthia W.

“I like texts that are short and ones that I don’t feel like I have to respond. So a simple text telling me that they love me.” — Brandy W.

12. “I’m here if you need anything.”

Text bubble that reads, I'm here if you need anything

“I know you have been struggling. I just wanted you to know I am thinking about you. I miss you and can’t wait to hug you. I’m here if you need anything.” — Kelly W.

13. “I’m glad you’re alive.”

Text bubble that reads, I'm glad you're alive

“I’m glad you’re alive.” — Jade B.

14. “You don’t have to be productive.” 

Text bubble that reads, You don't have to be productive

“Take a nap, you don’t have to be productive every day.” — Ali H.

15. “Whatever you’re feeling is valid.”

Text bubble that reads, Whatever you're feeling is valid

“It’s OK to feel all the things you’re feeling. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for it.” — Chiana D.

“Though everyone has challenges right now, yours are unique to you and nobody can know how you feel. Your feelings are valid and important to me. How can I help you at this time?” Jennie H.

16. “You are not a burden.”

Text bubble that reads, You are not a burden

“You are not a burden. It is OK that you need someone to distract you from your own mind. I am here if you want to chat. How are you doing, seriously?” — Kelly B.

What texts would you like to receive right now?

When you’re struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, what’s a text you’d love to receive?

Originally published: May 4, 2020
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