It’s hard when those we love are struggling. Whether from a mental illness or a physical condition, maybe they’re in a difficult situation or have opened up to you about something. You want to help them, but how?
Helping those through any kind of difficult situation can seem daunting. I know that for me, I sometimes wonder if I’m saying or doing the right things. The truth is, there isn’t one guaranteed way to handle something. The best you can do is simply be there. You don’t need to have all the answers, you don’t need to do any kind of grand gesture, just being a friend is enough.
So, how do you ‘be there’? Listen to your loved one, offer to support them in finding professional help if need be, share some resources if you know of any, ask if there’s anything you can do, maybe set up a time to watch something and eat ice cream, and just let them know they don’t have to go through this alone. Like I’ve previously mentioned, it doesn’t have to be big, just you showing up is enough. It’s more than enough.
However, remember to look after yourself, too. Caring for loved ones is not an easy task - it’s hard to see the ones you love struggling. It may feel selfish to step back every so often, but it’s actually some much-needed self-care. After all, you can’t pour from an empty glass! Taking time for yourself allows you to continue to show up without risking your own well-being.
The best thing you can do is simply let your loved one know you’re there. It might not seem like a lot to you, but it will mean the world to them.
Voices of Hope wants you to know that you do not have to do this alone. Click here to ‘find help’ - it’s not weak to speak!