« Back
09.30.21 | Sage Advice

The Importance of Checking In

It’s easy to assume that someone may be happy just from the smile on their face. However, behind closed doors, many people are dealing with heightened feelings of isolation, anxiety and depression. At Sage Collective, we believe that connection, engagement and shared relationships are vital to our health and well-being, as well as that of many other folks in our community. Checking in on friends, family and neighbors can be an effective way of looking out for one another and fostering those connections.  

Checking in on someone you haven’t seen in a while, who works remotely or who recently lost a loved one is a powerful gift. The simplest way of checking in is just asking how someone is doing. Reaching out can be done in person, through text, email or phone, and these small efforts can go a long way to show support and invite them to share more with you.

Words are meaningful, but in many circumstances, actions can be even more powerful. Delivering meals is a thoughtful way of checking in during difficult times or extending a hand to those who may have trouble accessing healthy foods. Whether it’s some of your own leftovers or cookies you’ve baked, your thoughtfulness will bring joy and comfort. Offering a form of mutual aid, a topic we talk more about here, is another inspirational way to foster engagement and check in on neighbors, since we know that extending aid to others by sharing knowledge and skills is a great way to develop ‘care webs’ — an element of mutual aid — in the community.

It’s essential that while checking in on those around you, you do not forget about yourself. It can be dangerous to ignore your physical and mental health while helping others. Valuable practices to utilize for checking in on yourself include asking yourself how you are feeling, meditating and taking advantage of other mindful habits that benefit your health and happiness.

Cropped shot of a cheerful elderly woman hugging her husband who's in a wheelchair at home during the day
› Back to top
« Back
08.05.21 | Sage Advice

Understanding Mutual Aid: How It Can Support Community Success

At Sage Collective, we strive to foster feelings of value, engagement and community. One of the most impactful ways these shared values can be attained is through the action of practicing mutual aid in our everyday lives. 

The concept of mutual aid is something not talked about enough, specifically in shared environments. Looking back on the events of the past 18 months, the practice of mutual aid is more important than ever to the continued success and survival of communities like ours all around the world. 

What is it?

Mutual aid (often referred to as care webs)  is a form of public and political participation for neighborhoods, organizations and groups of all sizes. They provide an avenue for looking after and tending to each other’s health and well-being to create more livable, sustainable environments.

The process and goal of mutual aid is to create accessible and collective care by accepting and sharing mutual responsibility within one’s community space. 

Why is it important?

One of the most important reasons why enacting mutual aid in these spaces is such a key to survival is because it helps foster community engagement and social relationships through responsible, collective action. The more people who perform mutual aid in a shared community or group, the greater its tangible benefits spread.

The concept of mutual aid also parallels other values that we hold at Sage Collective, since it lessens the strain on individuals by strengthening the collective will and ability to ensure the success of all. Think about the expression “a rising tide lifts all boats.” That’s mutual aid in a nutshell.

How to practice it?

There are many ways to practice mutual aid in everyday life. Some may practice it in routine activities and others may spend time waiting for an event or specific cause they feel comfortable supporting. The most important thing to remember about mutual aid is that you shouldn’t feel pressured to offer more than you are capable of providing for yourself or your community.

Here are some examples of how to apply mutual aid in your own life:

Offering a space to share information, organizations and resources such as access to healthcare and food services, as well as transportation accessibility. 

Taking political action locally by volunteering for campaigns and vocally supporting policies that may help those in your community, or actively supporting movements, protests and funds that help benefit those in your care web.

Practicing mindfulness and sharing resources for anything from mediation guides to suggestions for dealing with anxiety, grief or anger.

Providing communication skills such as being open to offering translation services, if you are multilingual, to those in need. You can also help others with different technology devices and platforms you might better understand, or training and learning techniques in bystander intervention and/or steps for nonviolent communication. 

These are all ways in which we can help to foster a sense of connectedness and community among your neighbors and friends in support of uplifting the collective.  Everyone has something that they can share with those who could use a little help in the community.  Sage encourages you to engage your friends and family to initiate activities that provide others a chance to share their skills and experience with those in need.  This isn’t a new concept, it’s simply one that could use a little refreshing.

A group of people holding each other.
› Back to top