5 Ways to Lighten Your Friend's Load


5 Ways to Lighten Your Friend's Load
Faithful friends are a source of unconditional love and support. They are one of life's greatest gifts. When life is hard and full of clouds and dark times our true friends can help us weather the storm together.
"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud," said Maya Angelo. This concept can challenge us all to be the type of person who sees and helps others in need.
Here are five practical ways you can lighten a friend's load when they are going through a difficult time:
1. Listen to your friend
Check in regularly and carefully listen to how your friend is doing. Resist the temptation to ask detailed questions or force a conversation. Instead, ask open-ended questions. Create a safe space for them to share and for you to listen and encourage.
2. Offer to help with a specific task
When someone is overwhelmed it's often hard for him or her to voice what is needed. A direct and specific offer takes the pressure off your friend and decreases her mental load. You can easily offer to create a meal schedule, order groceries, take the kids for the day or to stay with your friend.

5 Ways to Lighten Your Friend's Load

3. Send an encouragement card
I discovered encouragement cards perfect to send with a meal or care package from MaryDean Draws. She creates art to warm your heart and help you encourage others. She creates beautiful hymn artwork, Bible journaling bookmarks and coloring books, hope-filled cards and other art for your home. A friend recently gave me some of her mini-cards. They are displayed on my desk as a visible reminder of friendship and support.

5 Ways to Lighten Your Friend's Load

4. Show your support long-term
Make a point to intentionally care for your friend even as time goes on. Often there is an initial flurry of support that decreases over time despite the ongoing situation your friend is experiencing. Create an electronic reminder to check in and ask her how she is doing. Continue to offer invitations to your activities and social plans even if the offers are declined.
5. Tell your friend it's brave to ask for help
When a friend needs help with meals, medical appointments or counseling, etc. remind her she is not alone. To ask for help is a sign of strength and wisdom. To seek professional help for mental health is brave. Share this with your friend multiple times if needed. There is no reason for a friend to walk through the darkness alone. It's okay to lean on others.

Read other recent articles by Lindsey Shantz:

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Adina & Maureen
Adina & Maureen

Welcome! We're thrilled you stopped by. Our own joys and sorrows have taught us that a well-timed meal delivered by a friend is one of the best gifts imaginable. In this space, we share our favorite recipes to take to friends, meal-taking tips, and other ways to care for those who are dear to you.

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