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7 Ways to Be There for a Loved One

Being there for a loved one can be a complicated process, especially when they’re dealing with grief. While you should always show your support, you also don’t want to be too overbearing to the point where you make them feel stressed. Here are seven ways you can be there for a loved one.

1.  Send a Gift Basket

Whether or not you can physically be with a loved one, you can send them sympathy gift baskets to let them know that you support them and are there for them when they need you. While you can’t always be there physically, you can be there in spirit to offer them the support they need to get through a difficult time.

2.  Have Empathy

When someone is going through a tough time, it’s important that you have empathy. If you don’t have compassion, you could make matters worse by giving off the impression that you don’t care about what they’re going through. Instead of acting selfishly, if someone who is dealing with grief decides to cancel on plans, be empathetic and understand why they’re feeling the way they feel.

If this is the case, you can change the plans by asking if they’d like company while they work through their grief. If they want company, you can change your plans and do something that will make them feel better without causing them too much stress.

3.  Be There

While you can’t always come running when your loved one calls, you can be there when they need you. For example, if your friend is going through a difficult time, you can find ways to be there for them by suggesting things to do, such as visiting a museum or attending a fun online yoga class.

Even if you can’t be there when you want to be, you can still show your support by scheduling video chats with your loved one so that they feel like you are there for them. Your efforts will really shine through, and they’ll appreciate it.

4.  Cook for Them

Even if you’re not a master chef, you can be there for a loved one by making sure that they’re eating at least one proper meal. You can look up a simple recipe online to find one that doesn’t take much time and that you’ll both enjoy. If your loved one feels like being alone, you can also have food dropped off at their home to ensure that they’re taking care of themselves. During times of grief, your loved one may not be thinking about cooking or even ordering a meal. By providing them food directly, you can ensure that they have something to eat when they get hungry.

5.  Don’t be Intrusive

While you may want to be there for a loved one, you can’t and shouldn’t always be there. If you linger around someone who is dealing with grief and stress, then you can quickly become intrusive and actually make matters worse by adding unnecessary stress to their situation. Instead, you can respect their boundaries by scheduling times to see them.

6.  Encourage Them to Talk

Talking can be therapeutic, so it’s important that you create a safe space where your loved one feels comfortable enough to talk about what they’re going through. You should provide a listening, judgment-free ear and shoulder for them to cry on. While talking can be difficult for people, it can also be cathartic, so it’s important that you understand what they’re going through and try to provide them with the comfort they need to get their feelings out.

7.  Sit With Them

While talking can make some people feel better, sometimes those going through a difficult time aren’t ready to talk, and that’s okay. Simply being with someone and sitting in silence can help them feel better. Allow them the silence they need to formulate thoughts and talk about their problems and feelings when they are ready.

Remember, this is a challenging time for your loved one, and all you can truly do is be there for them when they need it. Use the tips above to lead you in the right direction.

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