So you’re worried about a loved one? Knowing how to be a great support to that person can be difficult and take time to figure out. But sometimes just the simplest of acts or gestures can make a world of difference to someone who may be going through a tough time.

Here’s a list of things you could try to help put a pep back in their step:

  • Make them a care package. A hand-picked box full of goodies is a great pick me up and way to encourage someone to do a little self-care, feel pampered or get creative.
  • Bring them a furry friend to play with. When someone’s had a ruff day or feeling a little lonely, having a pet around for comfort has pawsome benefits for your wellbeing. If you can’t bring the company to them, the dog park is the next best place to get a fur fix and added bonus of getting out in the fresh air.
  • Watch their favourite movie beside them. Your couch or theirs. Sometimes just being there with someone and keeping them company during a difficult period can be more powerful than having a conversation. Plus no one likes to sit next to a talker during a movie.
  • Take them out for a cuppa. A few words over a hot cup of however-you-like-it can make a big difference in helping someone feel less alone. Being in a neutral environment might also encourage them to open up and espresso what they’re going through. 
  • Bring them food. Nothing says, “I’m here for you” like getting a smorgasbord of healthy and tasty treats or a home cooked meal. If they’re not up for a visit, get something delivered to their place – it will be a delicious surprise.

A graphic showing various ways to be generous toward someone

  • Make them a playlist. Find or create a mix of soothing music and mood-boosters for them to tune into whenever they need a little help to relax and distract their thoughts.
  • Help run errands. If someone’s feeling low, even the smallest of tasks can seem overwhelming. Ask what’s on their to do list and help cross things off like washing, vacuuming or watering the plants. Pop out and pick up some groceries – add in a few extra things they can heat up or chuck together when they’re not in the mood to cook.
  • Write them a message or letter. Flick them an email, message – or you can even write them a letter – reminding them of all the reasons you are thankful to have them in your life. It only takes a few words to let them know you’re there when they need you.
  • Listen and just be there. Showing that you're willing to listen to a person’s experience is really important. Sometimes you don't even need to say much. By listening and responding in a non-judgemental and reassuring manner – you’re helping in a major way.
  • Hug them for as long as they need. There will be days when they need you to love them a little louder – a hug or gesture of comfort is a sure-fire way to reassure them you’re always going to be there.

Unfortunately, the nature of the coronavirus pandemic means that some of the above advice won't always be possible, and will be dependent on physical distancing restrictions. Adjust where you need to and try your best to be there in whatever way you can.

Related reading: How to check in with someone

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