How can I support a loved one during difficult times?
Many people have experienced receiving hard news, witnessing the death of a loved one, or experiencing traumatic events in their lives. A myriad of emotions accompany this painful encounter, but perhaps most particularly the typical five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Those who have gone through or are going through this process may feel lost or isolated. While it’s difficult to see a loved one going through tough times, your words and actions can make them feel a little less alone.
Stop what you are doing and just listen. There will be times when you can speak up and express your support, but most of all, listen to what your loved one has to say. Unless they say they want advice, this is not the time, much less the time to judge. Validate their emotions and be gentle and understanding with your loved one when it is your turn to speak. They might want to talk about the event in detail, or they might want to talk about everything else. Sometimes there might be nothing to say. It is important that you are there for them.
Offer help where help is needed. While “I’ll be here if you need anything” is a well-intentioned statement, someone who is in a grieving process or is being flooded with deep emotions may not feel motivated to step up and respond. Sometimes the best help you can offer an injured loved one is specific help. If the person is interested in your visit, ask them if they would be willing to help around the house or if you can offer to cook a meal. If not, you could bring her favorite food, offer to pick up her groceries for her, or even drive her to a doctor’s appointment.
Give them space. Someone who is in pain may not want anyone around at all. This is a time when emotions ranging from anger to fear to depression can be rampant. So give your loved one space to process their emotions. You can also show your support from a distance, whether it’s by writing a card, sending a friendly message, or leaving flowers or a gift. Be patient with those in your life who are hurting and know they don’t want to be short or push you away; Experiencing intense emotions is exhausting, and if your loved one expresses a desire to be left alone, perhaps the best way to show their support is to follow their lead and reach out to them in a few days .
Understand that everyone is different. Not everyone processes emotions the same way, so tips that got you through a tough time may not always work for your loved ones. As mentioned earlier, the best place to start is to listen to the injured person and help them from there. Some may want you to be positive and affirmative about their situation, while others want realistic and deep conversations. Additionally, healing from trauma or overcoming grief is not a linear process, so realize that some people find peace quicker than others; Keep checking those in your life who are going through something difficult.
October is National Depression Awareness and Awareness Month, Domestic Awareness Month, Critical Awareness Month and Infant Loss Awareness Month. When it comes to difficult conversations, you don’t always need to know what to say; Being with someone who is hurting can mean more to them than anything else. Also, remember to be kind and accommodating to everyone, including strangers — you never know what someone is going through.
This health tip is brought to you by Tabitha. To learn more, visit us at Tabitha.org or call us at 800.228.0417 | 308.389.6002.
As a state award-winning expert in senior care, the nonprofit Tabitha empowers people to live happily and age gratefully. Tabitha has been supporting families across Nebraska since 1886, providing a range of services from outcomes-based rehabilitation, accessible home health care, innovative residential communities, resourceful critical illness support and compassionate hospice services. Tabitha is your answer for elder care; Learn more at Tabitha.org.
Runners moved fast to brave the rain at the 2022 AppleJack Fun Run, which began and finished its route at Steinhart Park on Saturday morning.