Is one of your friends currently going through a tough time? Whether they’re grieving the loss of someone, struggling with something at work or just generally having a difficult time, it is important as their friend to support them as best as you can.
No matter how much you want to support someone, it can be difficult to know how best to do it, especially if they are going through something you have never experienced yourself.
Making a conscious effort to learn how you can support them is a great place to start, so well done for taking the steps to becoming a more supportive friend.
Here are just some of the ways you can take care of your friend during a tricky time:
4 ways to support a friend in tough times
Let them vent
When going through something challenging, venting can be very therapeutic. Allowing your friend to do this is a great way to make sure they aren’t bottling their feelings up, and saying things aloud often helps people process them better.
It is likely that they may want to talk about the same problem more than once, allow them to do this and offer words of encouragement. It may be that they aren’t necessarily looking for constructive advice, but just someone to listen to them and emotional offer support over practical solutions.
Learn their love language
Love languages are the different ways we like to both express and receive love. There are five love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, gifts and physical touch. These don’t just apply to romantic relationships but can be used in friendships too.
Learning your friends love language will allow you to express your support in a way that is going to resonate with them the most. For example, if their love language is gifts then you could put together a care package for them, including feel- good treats such as camomile tea and their favourite chocolate. Whereas, if their love language is acts of service, you could help take some work off their plate, for example doing a load of washing or loading and unloading their dishwasher.
Let them know you’re there
Every responds differently to hard times. While some people benefit from talking about how they’re feeling, others may prefer to process things on their own.
If this is the case for your friend, it is important to let them know that even if they don’t want to talk about what’s going on, you are there for them regardless. This can be as simple as sending them a text every so often to let them know you’re thinking of them.
Encourage them to get outdoors
When going through a tough time, no matter what that may be, it can be very easy to isolate yourself and spend a lot of time at home. Whilst this is sometimes what people need for a couple of days, it can be beneficial to encourage your friend to get outdoors if they can.
Spending time in nature can be very beneficial for mental health. Even if they get out for a ten minute walk around the block, they are likely to feel better for it.