5 tips for helping a friend going through a hard time
Reaching out to a friend going through a hard time can be challenging. Your mental health companion Nuna has 5 tips for you, if you're wondering how to support a friend in the time of hardship.
It can be hard to figure out what to say to someone going through a hard time... what if the things we say just sound stupid or aren’t helpful at all? The truth is that it really isn’t important what we say, but the fact that we show we care. No words are just going to make everything okay, but letting our friends know that we are there by their side might make the journey a bit easier.
Reach out and be resilient
Showing someone that you are truly there means reaching out. And then reaching out again. And maybe just once more. Of course, we shouldn’t force someone to talk to us and we need to respect the fact that they might want time to themselves—but showing the people around us that their problems aren’t inconveniencing us is important?
Be careful with problem solving
It can be very tempting to find a solution to people’s problems when we want to help them. But let’s be honest, this doesn’t always feel very helpful. Listening, validating, and asking questions can go a long way. And if you’re not sure what your friend needs, then don’t be afraid to ask.
Deep talks or memes?
Deep talks can be very helpful, but they might be too overwhelming for some. So if you feel like your friend or yourself aren’t in the right headspace for that, try to find other ways to be available? If you come across a meme or a song that makes you think of them, send it to them. Or, if you’re going for a walk, invite them along! Don’t be sad if they don’t answer, the important thing is that they see you’re thinking of them.
A good hug can be exactly what you need when you’re feeling down. But not everyone feels comfortable with physical touch. Remember your friend’s boundaries, even when comforting.
Final note: Remember your own boundaries
It is vital to support our nearest and dearest. But, it can also be very energy consuming, and here it is important to put your own health first. It is alright to take a step back and tell the people around you that you need some time to yourself.