How to support our loved ones through difficult times
Have you ever thought to yourself, “How can I help?” I know I have. I often have family members ask me, “What can I do to help him/her through this?” Though there is no one answer that cures everything, there are some things that we can do as caregivers/family/friends that do help when someone we love is going through a hard time.
- Express your care and support - They do want to know that you love them, it makes a difference.
- Be involved in therapy when needed - Ultimately this is their therapy and it’s their decision, but when they ask, please come.
- Don’t try to fix, police, or take charge of their problems - Ultimately, they have to be the one to take responsibility for their issues. However, an empathetic nonjudgmental ear is welcome.
- Spend quality time together as a family or as a couple everyday - I know we live in a busy world, but sharing quality, positive time together, helps to normalize our lives and nourish us physically and emotionally. It’s great to not ALWAYS concentrate on what’s going wrong, but to focus on what is going right!
- Encourage them to utilize their healthy coping skills-The key word here is encourage.
- Remember, we don’t want to fix, police, or take charge of them and their recovery. Offer to do the skills and healthy activities with them (going for a walk, practice deep breathing/meditation, etc.).
- Focus on coping with your own challenges in a healthy and effective way - We can’t pour from an empty cup. So take care of yourself too!
As we work on becoming better versions of ourselves, it takes time. Ultimately, showing our love and support in a nonjudgmental tone often goes so much further than we think!