If someone you know is suffering from depression, or even just going through a tough time, they may need your help even though they haven’t actually come out and said so. While this can be a delicate situation to navigate, here are a few simple acts you can do to brighten their day, and with any luck, help pull them out of this difficult place.
1. Send a Thoughtful Gift
A gesture as simple as sending a gift can have a profound effect on a person. By doing so, you’re letting them know that you were thinking about them, saw this gift and thought they’d appreciate it. For someone battling depression, this could completely change their day. Unique flowers are a great option, especially if the recipient has a favorite type of flower, or the blooms come in a fun and quirky vessel you know they’d love.
2. Go See Them
Sometimes, spending time with someone is all they need. When experiencing bouts of depression, it’s easy to feel unseen or forgotten, so someone stopping by for a quick visit may be enough to make them realize they are seen, loved and certainly not forgotten.
3. Bring Them Into a Positive Atmosphere
Many times, when someone is feeling down, they have no desire to go out and be social, which is understandable. However, if you know of a place they love or a group of people in which you know they’d feel comfortable, invite them to an outing you know they’ll enjoy. Pick an activity that won’t be too triggering like walking around a farmers market or going bowling. Then ensure the people invited will be supportive, positive and loving.
4. Offer To Reduce Their Stress
Try to notice specific triggers or stressors in your friend’s life. If you can make their life easier, offer to do it. If they’re struggling with their schedule, offer to pick up their children from school. If they don’t have the time or energy to cook a healthy meal, bring them dinner a few nights a week. Even something as silly as going to their house, putting on a fun playlist and helping them clean their home can be enough to help reduce their stress and even lift their spirits.
5. Exercise With Them
Exercise is a way for the body to release endorphins, which would certainly help people battling depression. You could start by simply inviting them out for a walk in a park. If that goes over well, test the waters and see what other activities they might enjoy. Working out together, whether playing tennis, going to a yoga class or just lifting free weights while you chat is a great way to improve your physical, mental and emotional health.
6. Make Them Laugh
If you’re comically inclined, have a few jokes handy next time you see them. If you come across a funny tweet or Instagram post, take a screenshot and send it their way. If you’re looking for something to do, rent a classic comedy and watch it together. These simple acts can add a bit of levity to their day. You know what they say, laughter really is the best medicine!
7. Provide Resources for Them
Every case is different, and of course, you don’t want to overstep, but it may be worth providing your friend with some resources that could help them. When in the throes of depression, it’s difficult to take it upon oneself to look into therapy, support groups or doctors that may help. If you can take that stress and guesswork off their plate and provide them with a few names and phone numbers, you could be helping them more than you know.
8. Let Them Know You’re There
Sometimes all we need is someone to talk to. By letting your friend know that you’re there to chat, you’re giving them a safe space where they can vent, cry or just talk about life. Knowing that they can be open and emotional without fear of judgment is invaluable.
Helping someone through a difficult time may not be easy, but it’s certainly worth it. No one should have to suffer alone, so when you spot a friend in need, remember these tips and help brighten their day.