Struggling with a heavy mental load can be crippling at times for many and uses up a lot of energy supply. Although those experiencing heavy times are encouraged to reach out for support, it can be the hardest thing to do and many may feel like they are burdening others with their issues. Being a friend or support person, sometimes it may come best from you to start the conversation and check in if you notice a change in behaviour or if you are having a concern. It may not be easy, as we don’t want to assume or perhaps feel like we are overstepping, but there are ways we can support.
- CHECK IN – this is something we can do human to human. It might be through a text message, a passing comment or a reminder to someone that “we are there if you need anything”. This can mean the world to someone that what they are going through, they are not alone in it.
- EDUCATE & LEARN – Sometimes we may have no idea what someone is going through if we haven’t experienced similar times and it is hard to relate. What can be done to support is to find out more and this way we are able to grasp a bit of an understanding of what is going on and display care.
- BEING PRESENT – We won’t always have the right words and often words may not be needed to help or support someone. By making ourselves available to just be able to sit with someone has a lot of positive power. It shows care and that you are there alongside.
- OFFER DISTRACTIONS – Focusing on the issues isn’t always helpful. It can bring up trauma and cause the issue to be heightened again. One way to help support and move forward is by doing something unrelated to what is going on. As a friend or support person, suggesting an activity and engaging is something different.
- REMEMBER THE LITTLE THINGS – Actions speak louder than words. Acknowledging someone is in a heavy spot and helping out can make life significantly brighter. Making someone a cup of tea, taking time out to have a chat, picking a flower or even sending a meme can all impact greatly to someone to reduce the load.
- TELL THEM YOU CARE – It may sound simple, but often words are not said enough. Sometimes the head can be fuzzy, and we forget that we as humans are not actually alone. By letting someone know you care can impact greatly, sometimes they may not believe it but it helps to let others know they are not isolated and alone.