Include some time at the beginning of the meeting for people to share how they are feeling. This acknowledges people have lives beyond the group and helps us to get to know each other. It also warms us up to working together.
It could be an opening round or time in pairs e.g. ‘How are you feeling today/tonight?’ or other prompts like ‘What’s new and good in your life?’ or a metaphor check-in like ‘If you were a plate of food, what would you be and why?’
Using a metaphor (other ideas are, ‘a piece of music,’ or a ‘landscape’) engages humour and creativity and sometimes allows people to share in deeper ways.