It’s hard when a friend, online or offline, is having a hard time. Maybe they’re struggling at the moment and feeling down, and you don’t know what to do to help. While things aren’t as easy during the current crisis, there are things you can do remotely unless you’re able to see that person safely in person. Here’s a look at 6 ways to lift a friend’s spirits & show them you care.
DOES YOUR FRIEND NEED A BOOST?
Everyone has felt miserable at one point or another. This post isn’t about depression, it’s the general way in which any of us can feel low. Events such as breakups, hassles at work, friendship problems, falling ill, or something seemingly less obvious like losing sentimental items can all make people feel miserable. The global health crisis is having a negative knock-on effect for many, on top of the day to day things that might make life harder and pull our spirits down.
“Everybody wants to be happy, nobody wants to be in pain. But you can’t have a rainbow, without any rain” – Dolly Parton.
If you’ve noticed a friend of yours is a little worse for wear, it’s natural to feel powerless and not quite sure what to do. In some instances you distance yourself because you fear you can’t add anything meaningful or helpful to their life right now, or you’re not sure if they’ll react well to your efforts. Actually, there’s SO much you could do to show that person that you care.
Below are six suggestions to help make your friend feel a little better, reminding them that they’re not alone and that someone cares about them.
A SURPRISE DELIVERY
An out of the blue surprise is destined to put a smile one someone’s face. I personally love those ‘I saw this and thought of you’ gestures. The gift can be anything you like, whether you buy it or make it, it’s the thought and effort that count. For example, a bouquet of beautiful posies to brighten their home. Their favourite yummy chocolate, a good book, a novel mug or a cute bookmark. Maybe even some snuggly pyjamas.
There won’t be many people that don’t like receiving thoughtful gifts. You might think of something off the top of your head, get to making something yourself, or browse online for ideas. Once you know what you want to send, why not begin planning your surprise delivery today?
LIFT THEM WITH LAUGHTER
Laughter is a brilliant medicine to soothe the soul, positively influencing both our mental and physical state.
For instance, the giggles fight off invisible monsters such as stress, and in turn laughter can boost overall health and the immune system. Finding the funny side can help people to get a little perspective, making the difficult times seem a little less dark and daunting, even if only temporarily.
What’s more, laughter is free! Whether relaying an embarrassingly hilarious story that you’ve never told anyone, telling a bad joke, watching stand-up comedy on Netflix, or going through funny memes and YouTube clips, howling will automatically lift your friend’s spirits.
We all know that exercise is important for physical and mental health, but it can seem less appealing when we’re feeling low, and perhaps even more so for some people when they’re doing it alone.
If your friend is hesitant to engage in their usual exercise routine or apprehensive about going for a walk on their own, why not go with them? Walking and talking is a multi-purpose activity because you’ll be bonding, maybe laughing, and exercising all at the same time, releasing feel-good endorphins and reducing loneliness.
When your friend is feeling sad, you don’t necessarily have to worry about saying the right thing, or saying anything at all for that matter. Actions often speak much louder than words. If your friend is happy with physical contact, embracing them with a hug might just be the spark that makes them feel loved and uplifted. A heartfelt hug is a kind and genuine way to show you care about someone.
If you’re a natural problem solver, it may be difficult for you to listen thoroughly to what the other person is telling you without adding how you think they can resolve the matter. But in some scenarios, particularly when someone is feeling miserable, your friend may want to be heard, to vent, and get something off their chest.
Whether they’re retelling stories about themselves and the current situation, or venting about their annoyance of everyday things getting on top of them, listening is a wonderful help to allow that person to release some of the worries and sadness they’re carrying around.
SEIZE A SUNNY DAY
Vitamin D works wonders for the body and mind, from healthier bones and teeth, to boosting mental health. We need vitamin D to thrive and help us cope with daily stressors better. Plus, a sunny day usually makes us feel a little brighter just by looking out the window compared to grey skies.
When a sunny day arises, or if you see one coming up in the weather forecast, seize it! Reserve it for your friend that’s feeling down, and invite them to do an outdoor activity like a picnic in the park, a garden brunch at home, or a trip to the seaside. At the end of the day, your friend is bound to feel a bit better than they did before they ventured outdoors with you.
When your friend is feeling down, it more than likely makes you feel sad and unsure about what to do. Hopefully, the above suggestions have given you a few ways you can help lift someone’s spirits when they’re feeling blue.