Growing up, and even in my adult life, I really didn’t have that much support. I was a bit of a loner or an introvert in today’s world. I had to learn to put myself out there, and that might be why I truly value those people who actually do choose to be a part of my world, be it through business or personal friendships.

My circle of friends is small, I can count on one hand the women and men that I have deep-down conversations with, and I am a fairly private person to this day, you won’t see me airing much on social media, and I’m cautious with exactly whom I choose to extend myself to. While self-care is important, caring for others who nurture you is also vital. While I’m not the clingy type, I will go out of my way to make sure that when my friends are hurting, when they are ill or just need a shoulder that they know that I appreciate them, value them and their input, and that I truly love them.

I’m the lady that will gently commiserate with you over a glass of wine, I’ll ease into conversation, but not unless you are willing to share, I’m able to be an impartial party, but I won’t let you sit and wallow for too long, because I know first hand how damaging that can be, and how depression can harm our physical and mental health. It can turn us into someone that we barely know.

One thing that I have found over the years is that when we are not feeling ourselves, we don’t take the time to fix a meal or overindulge in things that aren’t good for us. One small way I’ve been able to show up for a friend who is going through a hard time is that I’ve been known to drop in with all the makings for a home-cooked Italian meal. There’s nothing like a little comfort food, tomato sauce that needs stirring in a pot, garlic bread toasting in the oven, to take your mind off of a stressful situation, or get someone to open up and breathe a bit.

Taking someone out of their environment, allowing them space to vent, or just sitting there with them in silence and letting them know I’m there, has helped heal many a broken heart or helped to ease a worrisome situation. The tip is to try to have them focus on something that they can control, rather than the problem at hand, even if it is just for an hour or so.

While I’m no fairy godmother, I can provide a safe space and a little savory food to boot.