Reaching Out To A Loved One With Depression
Mind Charity have declared this Christmas a mental health emergency, and it’s no surprise after a year of lockdowns, furlough, and the coronavirus pandemic.
For some of us, depression is like an old friend who we know well, for others it’s an occasional visitor who can be trusted to leave when they have overstayed their welcome. Unfortunately, this year has seen depression as an unwelcome unknown who has haunted many an unexpecting host as well as those of us who are used to its unwanted advances.
We hear many people urging us to ‘reach out’ but as a person with depression, I know that for most of us, asking for help or admitting were struggling is near impossible. Though for some, asking “How are you?” may be enough to encourage a conversation, for others it’s too easy to simply respond with the standard “I’m good” response whilst continuing to suffer in silence.
We’ve put together a few alternative ways to reach out and show a loved one you care. Please remember talking is always key and these are not a replacement – but these actions are a fantastic way to show how much you care and initiate those conversations from another angle.
Cook For Them
When people are feeling depressed, they can often have an unhealthy relationship with food, whether its starving themselves, binge eating or not eating healthy or consistent meals. Cooking a meal for someone who forgets to eat or baking a cake for someone who’s feeling low could make a huge difference. Have a look at the recipes below for some portable meal ideas which you can easily drop at their door.
Looking back at happier times and reminiscing could be a great topic of conversation when the world is getting too much. It can be a happy reminder that things aren’t always bad and will be good again. Maybe you could recreate one of your favourite events or holidays at home or even make plans for a future trip that you can both look forward to.
Send A Self-Care Gift
Another symptom of depression can be not caring for yourself, neglecting washing, dressing, or relaxing. Sending a self-care gift can be an encouraging reminder for your loved one to take care of themselves. It’s easy to feel you don’t deserve to look after yourself when a low mood calls, but a bath, a scented candle or a nap could be the key to a more positive outlook. Everyone deserves to take a break and put the world on pause, especially when they feel sad.
Create A Jar Of Positivity
You many have seen them on Pinterest. A jar filled with reasons for loving someone, affirmations or positive quotes is thoughtful and personal as well as being cheap to create. Why not add some funny jokes too. Your notes can be made into origami stars or hearts if you want to get really creative! Here are some affirmations to get you started.
Ultimately the best thing you can do for anyone who is feeling low is to be there. Be patient and take each day as it comes. Depression isn’t a straight line, and what one day seems simple and straight forward can hit like a brick wall the next day.
If you are experiencing a bad day, write it off, take a break and start again tomorrow.
If you would like to see more resources about depression either for yourself or someone else, have a look at these links:
Meet The Author: Abi Arnold-Michael She/Her
Co Creator Of Esperanza
Abi Arnold-Michael is the joint creator of Esperanza.
Having grown up with a series of health problems, Abi has always created her own way. After renovating her first home, Abi who lives with her wife Emma, best friend Andy, and dog Tia, plans to move into a home large enough to adopt and foster children and animals. Abi currently creates flatlays for small businesses and her goal is to establish a more sustainable and ethical shopping experience by encouraging customers to shop locally and with independent businesses.