We often hear about the importance of self-care and paying attention to our mental health. However, while some of us can dedicate some time to this very important practice, others struggle and need some help. What is more, the global pandemic has affected even those who thought they had it all figured out. So, if you have a close friend or family member that is not doing their best, you might be looking for ways how you can support them. Keep on reading for some simple but effective ways that can help someone who is struggling right now.
Ask how you can help
The first thing you should do if you notice that a person close to you is struggling is ask in what way you can be of assistance. In case they are feeling down, you don’t want to overstep and make them feel even worse. Some people simply don’t like receiving help from others so you should see what you can do that might make them feel better without offending them. Certain individuals only need someone to vent to while others are looking for useful advice. If they give you a list of things that you can do for them, do your best to not let them down.
Help out with household chores
Although some people would never outright say that they need help with household chores, you can offer your assistance. Say that you don’t have anything else to do and that you don’t mind helping out. If your friend is depressed, has a hard time getting out of bed, or has some sort of injury that is preventing them from taking care of the household, step in. Offer to mow the lawn, vacuum, dust, do the laundry, or do whatever they say they need help with. It might not seem like much but a messy house can only make them feel worse so try giving them a little mood boost in this way.
Offer to run errands for them
Individuals that are struggling with mental health might not have it in them to go outside. Whether they are anxious about the current pandemic or feeling depressed, getting groceries and meds can seem like too big of a task. If you’re already going out to get food for yourself, ask them for a grocery list and drop everything off on your way home. Even if you don’t live in the same city, you can look into grocery delivery services that will keep their fridges and pantry stocked. Pay bills for them, apply for sick leave and do other administrative tasks that they might not even be thinking about.
Make them food
In case the person in question often struggles with their psychological wellbeing, you might already know how difficult getting out of bed and making food can be. While we all know how vital nourishing meals are, depressed people can either lose their appetite or not be able to prepare dishes. Step in by visiting them regularly and preparing meals for them. You can eat with them a few times a week so that you can make sure they are getting enough food and for days when you know you can’t visit, you should stock up their fridge and freezer with easy-to-prepare meals that they can heat in the microwave in no time.
Send them a care package
Not living in the same city can make it harder for you to take care of someone but not all is lost. Checking up on them over the phone and video chat is a great way to catch up. However, you can also send them heartfelt gift baskets that will show them that you are always thinking of them and that they are not alone. These can contain all sorts of goodies, from quality wines and chocolate to scented candles, fresh flowers, and body care products.
Accompany them to a doctor’s appointment
As much as we try to help, it’s important to keep in mind that some people simply need professional help. Whether it’s a talk with a therapist or a visit to their physician to get the necessary medication, accompany your friend or family member to the appointment. If they are anxious to go alone, you can drive them there and sit in the waiting room to make them feel a bit better.
Take their mind of negative thoughts
Finally, distraction is a great way to get rid of negative thoughts. While they might not be able to distract themselves, talking to you might be of great help. So, come up with topics and activities that can take their minds of things that make them anxious. For example, you can watch a movie together, play some board games, paint, make crafts, go on a walk or long drive, play with animals, and so much more. Even if you don’t live nearby, you can distract them over the phone or Skype.
These are unprecedented times and it’s only normal that some people struggle with their mental health after being cooped up at home and not seeing their friends and family for a long time. Make some time in your schedule and do your best to support your friend through these tough times.