As the saying goes, “into each life, a little rain must fall.” In other words, it’s safe to say you can’t go through life without any negative things happening. But, then again, sometimes life gives you a light drizzle that turns into a torrential downpour with strong winds and flooding (hello, global warming!)… and ultimately, this “issue” becomes a Category 5 Hurricane all in a matter of minutes. This is what a meltdown looks like— and what your friend might be feeling like without you even realizing it. One second, everything might seem fine as if they’re unaffected by their own recent downfalls, and suddenly the facade shatters. In that split second, they’re rendered feeling nauseous, dizzy, and completely immobile under severe stress and anxiety due to the traumatic events and may need help without actually being able to ask for it.
In 2018, it’s life unfiltered: mental health is a serious topic that needs to be discussed openly and taken care of with a side tribe of friends. For whatever catastrophes as to why your friend is feeling unstable, this is a guide on how to provide the best support system for her/him.
Show Them How Much You Care
When your friend is going through a hard time, it’s important to show them that you’re thinking and treating them as your number one priority during your time together, as someone who is loved and appreciated. Sometimes with our busy schedules, we can get so caught up in life that we forget the little things and people who matter the most. Ever have those days where you look at your best friend and be like “wow, I cannot imagine life without you dude”? Well, take these inner emotions and actually tell her/him IRL— your friend will really appreciate the compliment, and it’s the confidence booster they’re desperately in need of. Or sometimes if you can’t speak face to face, send a text message (or a funny picture) in the morning to give them a positive boost or make them laugh.
With a personalized meaningful affirmation to read in the morning, your friend may subconsciously think of this happy motto for the rest of the day and their mood’s trajectory will be set. A simple gesture goes a long way.
Cooking as a Therapeutic and Creative Outlet
That’s right, it’s time to get that apron on and get to cheffin’. In so many ways, cooking is the perfect therapy source for someone whose nerves are jangled and is in dire need of a bit of happiness. Have yourself a BFF night in and make a homemade dinner (and dessert, too, obviously) for the two of you. These days we’re bombarded with so many stimuli that it may be hard to hone in and focus on one thing, but cooking reverses all of that. You both can work together to turn those empty plates sitting on the counter into a hefty serving of a delicious dish. The idea of making a meal for each other is hugely therapeutic and is commonly associated with the feelings of gratification. Just ask Chrissy Teigen—cooking also helped save her mental health. FYI, there’s a reason why they call it “comfort food” and “soul food.” Just sayin’.
Follow Self-Love & Mood-Boosting Social Media Accounts
They say, “you are what you eat.” And in this context, “you are who you follow on your social media channels.” An Instagram feed can sometimes tell you a lot about your BFF and what future short-term or long-term goals she/he aspires to achieve, like having more confidence and practicing self-love. Having them follow these “unapologetically human attitude” and inspirational quote-based accounts will totally kickstart their day with positive intentions and a fresh, new daily outlook. Check below to see what kind of accounts your bestie (and you!) can follow to give your feed a positive facelift.
Wake Up Early and Start the Day With Some Meditation
A relaxing, airy, and secluded space like a meditation studio can help slow down the time and cleanse your friend’s mind of convoluted thoughts with no overarching distractions. Breathing exercises are an excellent, quick-and-easy solution to de-stress and relieve anxiety. Along with attending a local breathing/meditation class with your friend (or in the comforts of your own home), there’s even a smartphone app to download that helps measure your pulse called “Instant Heart Rate.” Take a little breather with these calming classes for both yourself and your friend and go about the day feeling more at peace, whole, and relaxed.
Suggest for Your Friend to Seek Professional Help and Try Therapy
By now, hopefully, one of these steps have helped lift your friend’s spirits and found the best version of the mood-boosting self-care. However, if that’s not the case, it’s crucial that this step is understood if your BFF’s stress and agita have remained the same, or possibly gotten worse. Their negative inner thoughts are not to be swept under the rug, which is one of the single worst things that can be done for improving mental health. Be sure to listen to them and offer to help however you can. Suggesting a professional perspective may be a step towards positive change and growth because sometimes you might need an objective perspective to intervene. It’s important that as a friend, you remind him/her that suggesting therapy isn’t an insult, but rather viewed as a way for them to release emotions and thoughts, and providing support (i.e. offering to go with them or lending a listening ear after the session) can show that they’re not alone in this.
Lastly, make sure your patience and understanding are being conveyed. Your friend should know that there is no rush to get over whatever they’re going through and that you will be by their side for however long it may take.
Feature image via Stocksy