The questions “How are you?” or “How’s it going?” used to be throwaway questions, meaning they easily roll off the tongue and don’t really gather too much information. Even if someone answered with more than just “fine” or “I’m good,” there is a solid chance the person who asked the question wasn’t really listening for the answer anyway. But we don’t think these questions can be discarded anymore, especially after the past eighteen months we have all experienced. In fact, we believe we need to take these questions to another level; so this week, we want you to CHECK IN. Checking in starts with asking a question. We can ask ourselves a question or we can ask someone else. Checking in is not more connected to the heart than it is to the mind. In other words, “What’s the weather like there?” might not be considered checking in. Now maybe the follow up questions can focus more on how someone is feeling, so the weather question is a nice point of entry. But in the spirit of connecting this month, let’s kindly and supportively show people we are there for them. Let’s create meaningful and thoughtful opportunities for people to feel safe to share. Being there for someone, and yourself, is one of the greatest gifts of all. It shows you care and that they matter. Checking in matters.

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