June 25, 2024

When people you’re close to go through big life events, you likely want to be there for them. Sometimes figuring out how to show up in those moments can be a challenge. How do you let them know you care? You don’t want to overstep, but you also want to help.


If your heart is in the right place, try not to fret. Doing anything can be special. Try not to think ‘oh it’s just a little something.’ The fact that you thought of someone and did something is special. If you’re stuck on what to do, keep reading for ideas for simple gestures to show that you care.


1. Send a Meal

Sharing a meal is one of the easiest things you can do to care for someone going through a life event. Whether they just had surgery, are sick, are going through a loss, or welcomed a new baby home, food is love. It can be hard to think about planning meals when you’re going through these big events though. Sending a meal to your loved one’s home or sending get well soon gifts with snacks and soup can be a sweet gesture. You could even order groceries to be delivered or send them a gift card for their favorite restaurant.


2. Do Some Chores

Often, when you ask someone going through a hard time how you can help, they don’t know what to say. It can be hard to ask for help. Instead of saying ‘I’m here if you need anything,’ ask them a time you can drop by. Show up and mow their yard or water their plants. If you’re close, clean their house. Do their dishes or a load of laundry. Household chores can stack up and feel overwhelming during hard times, so try to relieve that burden.


3. Call or Send a Note

It might seem like an obvious tip to call or send a note to a friend or coworker. But it’s a kind gesture that is done less and less in an increasingly tech-forward world. Don’t just send a text or make a post on social media. Take time to make it personal with a call. Getting a card and writing a little note and sending it via snail mail is also a sweet touch. Think about how happy you were last time you received physical mail.


4. Give a Hug

Sometimes, people just need a hug and some connection. Depending on your relationship, a hug can really lift your loved one’s spirits and show that you see them. It can be that release they need for a second to just be still and be held. Physical touch can also help ground a person who is going through great excitement or experiencing pain. If you’re not sure if they would like a hug, just ask.


5. Share Compliments

There’s an old adage that flattery gets you everywhere. It seems like more and more people like to complain more than they like to acknowledge the positives. Sharing a compliment can really boost the recipient’s mood, especially if it’s on something they have gone above and beyond. It lets them know you care and you see them. Whether it’s about their work, a new shirt, or how they have handled a tough situation, share the positives.


6. Go on an Adventure

Everyone has interests and things they like to do. If you want to show someone you care, take an interest in their hobbies and be willing to join them. Maybe they love hiking, gardening, or music festivals. Offer to go with them or, better yet, plan an outing and invite them on an adventure with you. They will have a great time and your company will mean a lot. You might even find you enjoy what they do too.


7. Listen More Than You Talk

Not every issue is yours to jump in and fix. Let your friend off load and vent without interrupting to say how you could handle it. Oftentimes, people just want to be heard and process what they have going on. If you’re sitting with an elderly family member, ask questions and listen. They might just share stories of the past with you that you’ve never heard before.


8. Babysit

If the person you’re wanting to extend some love and care to has children, offer to babysit. Let the parents go out for time away. Or, if they just want to be home alone or take a nap, offer to take the kiddos on an adventure. Taking the kids to the park, a trampoline zone, or the zoo can offer them enrichment too. It also can give them undivided attention if they are also dealing with life changes at home.


9. Show Little Acts of Kindness

Making a cup of tea or coffee and bringing it to your loved one shows you care. Running a bubble bath for them and creating time for them to relax is restorative too. Giving flowers or their favorite chocolate bar or snack shows love and that you know them well. A sticky note of affirmations on the bathroom mirror or on their keys lets them know you’re thinking of them. Topping off the gas tank in their car and washing the windshield is another nugget of goodness to surprise people with.


Showing people you care doesn’t have to be a huge production. In fact, little things over time often make a bigger impression than one grand gesture. The consistency of care and showing up for others is what lets people feel seen and loved. It shows that you care and they are on your mind. If you don’t know what to do or if you should do anything, just remember it’s on your heart for a reason.


Ask yourself, would I want someone to reach out to me during this time? What would make me feel better? Simple gestures can really go a long way to show others that you care.


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