Seeing a loved one experience mental illness can be incredibly challenging. You might wonder how you can help but just don’t know where to start. Rest assured, there are many ways that you can support a friend or family member through their mental struggles.
- Check-in regularly
The symptoms of mental illness can be sneaky. Sometimes there are obvious warning signs, such as a lack of interest in usual activities or sudden mood changes, but sometimes more subtle changes can be harder to read. One way you can get ahead of this is by proactively reaching out to your friends and family every so often to ask how they are doing.
- Encourage routine
Routine is crucial in managing mental health. A consistent schedule is something that everyone can benefit from, especially your loved one who is struggling. Encourage them to set sleep schedules, eat regular meals, and make lists of daily tasks where possible. Practicing organization and time management can help break through brain fog they may be experiencing.
- Share the load
Mental illnesses like Depression and Anxiety can make everyday tasks feel overwhelming. Offering to help with cleaning or cooking, or even buying a meal for a friend or family member can really brighten their day. It could be as simple as running a load of laundry that’s been piling up or washing the dishes. A little gesture to let them know you are thinking of them can go a long way!
- Take care of yourself
In order to adequately care for others, you must first make sure that you are taking care of your own needs and prioritizing self-care. This can look like creating your routines and setting boundaries, eating a well-rounded diet, or finding an enjoyable hobby that can aid in your own stress management. Remember that everyone needs to slow down and take a break sometimes.
- Guide them to help
Lastly, it’s important to recognize the benefit that therapy services can provide. Try encouraging your loved one to seek the help of a trained professional who can create a more thorough treatment plan and teach them the proper coping skills for their situation. Here at the ITM Group we are dedicated to providing exceptional therapy services to our clients, and we are eager to help your loved ones too.
Always remember that there is no right or wrong way to help someone close to you who is experiencing mental illness. Above all, the most important thing is letting them know that they are not going through this alone.