Good afternoon lovely people. I hope that life is treating you well. I have made three parts to this post. The reason being is that this year has taught me a lot. There have been lots of trials and tribulations I’m sure for everyone. Normal life is no longer existent and we have had to navigate through these changes; much of which have not been easy. My first post was on a past relationship that ended badly at the beginning of the year and what I needed to learn from it in order to better the relationship with myself and others. The second part (post) was how new relationships pose difficulties and new ways of learning about what works for you and your partner. Especially during these times being in a pandemic, mental health has decreased substantially for many. My second post was about how to cope with your mental health while being in a relationship. I believe that the inner work for yourself never changes, and things are put into place for you to learn and grow from them.
This post is going to be on friendships and how to be supportive to your friends who are dealing with mental health. As I mentioned before, mental health is at an all-time high being in these uncertain times. A lot of people are struggling. It is important to understand that everyone deals with things differently, and a lot of people aren’t open to talking about their mental health. I am sincerely grateful to my friends who have continued to support me and be there for me, especially when they themselves are struggling. There are people that are open to talking about their mental health, and then there are people who tend to shut off and try to deal with things on their own. It is important to let those people know that you are there for them regardless. These are some ways in which you can be supportive towards your friends who are struggling with something.
- Just listen. Sometimes people aren’t looking for a response, they just want to be heard.
- Remind people that you love them and that they are cared for. You never know what somebody is going through internally, and sometimes people need to hear that. It’s also just nice to know that people are there for you and that they genuinely care about you.
- Check in on them. Although this is similar to the last post, a simple check in is a reminder that you’re still there. Mental health has a great way of making people feel alone sometimes, and perhaps even unwanted or unloved. So checking in on people can go a lot further than you think.
- Never point fingers. People can often feel attacked when they feel like they’re being blamed for their behaviour, or the way that they feel. A good way to avoid blame is with “I” statements, like “I feel this way because…”
- Try to gain a better understanding of how someone is feeling. Often times our perceptions are limited to things that we have experienced and have felt. Everyone experiences emotions and difficulties differently. A great approach is to ask what their difficulties look like and feel like to them, rather than just assuming.
- Get them out of the house. Often times people shut down. They stop doing things that they enjoyed previously, and their behaviours might change. Every so often for people, it is hard to get out of bed, let alone do a simple task. Asking somebody to go for a coffee means that it’s a “quick getaway” if they don’t feel like leaving their house for long. It allows them to get up and get out, and sometimes people need that extra push. Going for a walk just around the block or in nature is also a great grounding technique. Plus, fresh air is always good.
- Send them inspiring quotes. As cliché as that sounds, it could easily bring a smile to someone’s face.
If you have anything else to add to this, I would love to hear about it in the comments! Have a wonderful rest of your day!