We've all been there before. A friend is down in the dumps and you just don't know how to help her. You've tried loving text messages and dinner deliveries (we recommend Dineamic, it's preservative free and 100% real food) but your friend is still not able to get over that rough patch. Maybe it's a relationship break-up, a fight with a family member, or she's lost her job. Whatever it is, you're a good friend, you care and you want to help. Here's a top tips to helping your friend pull through.
1. Check and re-check to ensure their mental health is ok.
How? Bit of an awkward discussion? The more I practice at asking people about their mental health the easier it gets. I've asked a friend who I saw crying at work, I asked a friend who wasn't sleeping because of her newborn, I asked a friend who had been made redundant. What did I ask? Well you've got to tailor it for the situation, but here are some suggestions:
i) Oh babe you've got some difficult things you're dealing with at the moment, have you got someone to talk to about it all? A counselor? NB: If they say no, then you can suggest that they see their GP about it who can refer them to get 6 free counseling sessions.
ii) Have you used the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at your work?
iii) How much sleep are you getting? NB: if you are asking this of a new mum they're likely to say not much. You should then ask them when their last maternal health check up was and see if they have put in place any strategies to help them deal with the lack of sleep. You should be careful about dishing out advice - instead help them speak to a professional about it.
2. If unemployment is an issue or she's unhappy in her job...
There are plenty of great online tools that your friend can use as a starting point. Careering by Selection Partners is a great source of information for job hunters. Alternatively, your friend can google 'Careers Counsellor' and find someone that meets her requirements. Generally such people are qualified to assess your skills and work out options for you. Given that we spend so much time at work it's important to get enjoyment from it. My husband Brendan went through this process and he is now reskilling in IT and loving it.
If your friend has been out of work for some time, she might benefit from a free appointment with Fitted for Work. This free service includes mentoring, interview preparation, personal outfitting, work experience and a range of transition to work and staying employed programs. Once your friend meets these amazing women she'll be truly motivated to kick some arse!
3. Ensure that she doesn't feel alone and isolated.
I have a very clever friend Susanna who is a trained mediator and amazing friend. She told me that the women that are most at risk are those that are isolated because their friends have gotten sick of them making such crap decisions, like staying in the wrong relationship or whinging about a bad job but not doing anything to fix it. It's easy to turn our backs on such people and friendships. It's hard to stay by their side and watch them make the wrong decisions. But these are the people that need us the most. You don't need to agree with what they're doing / not doing, but making sure that they can still call you for help in emergencies is really crucial.
4. Give her the ability to #treatyoself
Yes chocolate is a good pick me up, but we prefer to give friends products that last for ages and are good for them. Via our Gift Concierge service, we've been lucky enough to help a number of people choose treats to cheer up a sad friend. So here are our top recommendations:
For a friend that is sick, struggling with their health and just plain tired: Our amazing TTotaler Organic Immune Booster Tea. 100% organically grown in Australia, the T-Totaler Organic Immune Boost Tea combines a herbal blend of echinacea, olive leaf, rosehip, calendula and aniseed myrtle. It is perfect to boost your immune system, and help ward off any unwanted cold.
For a friend that is sleep deprived: our Badger Sleep Balm. Badger Sleep Balm is a dreamy night balm rich with precious oils to calm, encourage, cheer and relax poetic Badgers and other restless wanderers. It doesn't make you sleepy and it is not a drug; rather, this natural sleep enhancer uses a sophisticated blend of essential oils to help quiet your thoughts and clear your mind, so you can then fall asleep naturally.
For a friend that is in need of some alone time: the Salus Body Rescue Duo. This stuff is so nourishing and calming that we've even written a blog about how to give yourself a pampering session at home. Combine that with the Salus bath salts and you're truly on to a winner.
For the friend who never treats herself and spends all her money on her kids: get her a gift voucher from Natural Supply Co and then she can choose exactly what she wants! We wrap each and every gift up beautifully so that every one of our customers feels spoilt and loved. Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange this for you.
Do you have any other recommendations for cheering up a sad friend? What's your go to gift?