It’s hard times up in these streets. Are you feelin’ it? If you aren’t, I’m pretty sure you know someone who is. We’ve got natural disasters in our backyards and across the world. People are breaking up. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Money is funny and a certain someone is still President. Yeah, I get it. Struggles are all relative. I may be stressing over student loan debt while someone else is griping over the fact that their tropical vacation was canceled due to hurricanes (hint: both of these people are me).
I am never one to tell people what they SHOULDN’T stress over. That’s not my place. As a partner, friend, relative and parent, my goal is to support to the best of my abilities. Even if I don’t understand it.
And especially if they aren’t telling me everything.
Some people will dump every single emotion all social media. They’re open about their highs and lows. And then you have people like me – the silent suffers. People like me will only reveal to a few people how they’re feeling. But to everyone else? They’ll appear fine. In reality…they’re crumbling, struggling and dying inside. They want you to notice but they also don’t want you to notice.
And one of the most annoying things to say to people like this is, “Let me know if you need anything.”
I don’t even know what I need. I’m struggling here. I NEED help. I NEED a break. I NEED to not make decisions. I NEED to be free from this personal hell.
But they won’t tell you that. They’ll say, “I’m fine.”
And you’re left thinking, “Okay, cool. They’re fine! They’ll let me know if they need something, right?”
Maybe they will. But they probably won’t. But if you want to best help people going through some thangs, here are 50 ways to be supportive when you don’t know what to do. Some of these things require money. Some are free. Some require time.
- Offer to babysit their kids for a night
- Send a Blue Apron or Hello Fresh delivery to their home
- Show up and tell them you’re going to clean their home
- Do a brain dumping session with them
- Plan a cheap/free date where they don’t have to make any decisions
- Send them a birthday card (with cash) even if it’s not their birthday
- Ask them to share their To Do List with you. Tackle some of those things
- Drop a card or love letter to them in the mail
- Ask about their mental health
- Gather a ton of funny online videos and send them to them
- Leave sticky notes of love
- Sing them a song (these is especially funny if you can’t sing)
- Get family members/friends to put together a video of reasons why they’re loved
- Treat them out to tea, coffee, lunch or dinner
- Offer to sit and bookstore with them to talk or – not talk
- Spend the night at their home
- Bring dinner over – no questions asked
- Be their personal assistant for a day or week
- Watch TV with them
- Get with other friends to donate a few dollars for a special gift
- Ask their partner/a family member what they really need
- Offer to give them a big ol’ bear hug
- Get them a massage treatment
- Bring them their ice cream or their favorite fruit
- Send them a surprise gift via Amazon Prime
- Just check on them – a call, a text, an email…something!
- Take beautiful pictures of their favorite loved ones
- Send a gift card to their favorite store
- Send them cheesy jokes
- Remind them of their greatness
- Remind them of the time they succeeded greatly at something
- Call them just to say “I love you and I’m thinking of you.”
- Remind them that they aren’t going through this alone
- Hold their hand
- Show up to their office/home with lunch and a love letter
- Start a Facebook thread and encourage other people to say why they love them
- Go shopping together – with no intentions to buy anything
- Draw them a picture and mail it to them
- Ask if they want to be left alone or if they want to be checked one
- Let them talk – don’t offer advice, just listen
- Send a ton of texts featuring gifs
If your goal is to really love on and support people going through tough times, don’t wait for them to ask. Do something NOW.