Oftentimes the people closest to those struggling with mental health are overlooked in the conversation of how to cope and overcome. When one struggles with anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses, their loved ones fight the battle with them.
For many, they don’t know how to help or where to start. Frustration builds due to lack of understanding, and many people opt to not deal with said person altogether.
However, most people stick with their loved ones and need support.
Here is a list of eight ways you can support your loved one through depression:
- Be there with them physically:Studies have shown that cuddling and face-to-face interactions help reduce depression and anxiety and generally boosts one’s mood. Phone conversations, video chatting and emails are great, but nothing can replace the comfort of someone physically there with you.
- Create a care package:Who doesn’t love surprise gifts, especially those filled with random things you can actually use from someone you love? It will instantly induce happy feelings. For many striving to overcome depression, they constantly battle with the notion that no one cares. A basket filled with candy, fuzzy socks, magazines, bubble bath and more treats would instantly go a long way.
- Get creative with them:Get some arts and craft supplies, and create a vision board together. Have coffee, wine, tea or whatever you fancy, and spend a day dreaming and visualizing a better future. It doesn’t have to be the new year: You can create a vision board anytime!
- Schedule a random coffee date:When they’re on your mind, don’t hesitate to invite them to coffee, breakfast or brunch. Getting out of the house can be a mood booster especially over coffee, pastries and good conversation.
- Cook dinner for them:How awesome would it be after a long stressful day at work getting a phone call from someone who says they are bringing you dinner? Imagine more so how your loved one who is dealing with depression would light up at such a good deed. Home-cooked food goes a long way.
- Assist them with errands:There are times when even the smallest tasks can zap all of one’s energy. For a loved one trying to stay above water mentally, a hand and a partner while they fulfill duties can make the load seem easier and go a lot faster.
- Take the lead:Sometimes being understanding and gentle can only help but so much when you want to speed up your loved one’s recovery. You can take the lead in ways such as researching therapists, holding them accountable for their well-being and taking a stand against unhelpful actions.
- Listen:The most important action you can do to help someone with depression is to listen intently and sincerely. Don’t judge outwardly, and listen to understand. Most people dealing with brain imbalances have a constant feeling of being alone and misunderstood. The most valuable thing you can do is listen with your heart.