3 Ways to Check In on Your Loved Ones with Intention

Remember when Sesame Street’s Elmo asked, ‘How is everybody doing?’ In case you missed it, our furry red friend dropped this question on social back in January, sparking an overwhelming response. Many vulnerably opened up to Elmo, revealing their struggles with relationship issues, financial stress, and feelings of loneliness. As of the second week of May, the viral post has garnered 218.1 million views on X alone, a testament to the fact that many are doing not okay.

We must recognize this reality and ensure that we and those around us know the resources available to help, such as local mental health hotlines, online therapy platforms, and support groups. However, if the pandemic taught us nothing else, actively checking in our loved ones is equally important. As one Instagram user put it, “Elmo – causing one of the most honest conversations about our collective mental health crisis and the lack of awareness and understanding is amazing, and sad and heartbreaking.” 

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s commit to moving honest conversations about the actual state of our well-being from the comments of a social media platform to more personal conversations. 

Here are three ways to intentionally check in on your loved ones. 

Use Your Calendar

Scheduling a call not only blocks the time off your calendar but also allows for a focused conversation and catching up on details that could be missed in a quick text. If you’re super busy, use commute times or times when you know you’ll be running errands to check in. When you make the call and ask how your loved one is doing, remember that it’s not just about the conversation but the connection. Instead of quickly jumping in to give advice or switch the topic to talk about your ‘stuff,’ listen, hold space for your loved one, and truly connect. 

Arrange a Date

Plan a virtual or in-person activity together. Make it intentional by choosing to do something you know your loved one likes. Showing interest in something you know they love shows you genuinely care and are interested in what is happening in their lives–even if it’s not your cup of tea.

Offer Help

Ask your loved one if they need help with anything. Whether washing dishes, grocery shopping, or cooking a meal, your willingness to lend a hand can provide them with much-needed relief and support, ultimately showing you care.

Updated: May 17, 2024 — 3:01 pm