Your friend is going through a tough time. It’s possible she has lost a loved one, is going through a breakup or is experiencing another loss. She has a broken heart and is beside herself with pain and grief. As a friend, you want to cheer her up. Unfortunately, you can’t take her pain away, but you can encourage her in the healing process and help make her day a little brighter.
Encourage Your Friend to Grieve
Your friend may be feeling an array of emotions from anger, bitterness, hurt, betrayal, and fear to relief. Rather than keep his emotions bottled up, encourage your friend to share his thoughts, feelings and fears. An important part of being there for a grieving person is to listen, says Beth Patterson, a therapist and author of “How to Be With Someone Who Is Grieving” on the website, GoodTherapy.org. Unless requested, listen to your friend without offering advice. Be patient and don’t try to rush your friend through the grieving process. Everyone heals in his own time.
Show You Are There
Being there for a grieving friend by being supportive and caring can help her deal with her pain and begin the healing process, says HelpGuide.org in “Supporting a Grieving Person: Helping Others Through Grief and Loss.” Let your friend know that she is on your mind. Send her an email, a card or text and tell her that you are thinking about her. Call and ask how she is doing and what you can do to help. Stop by her house with her favorite dessert and a movie. Letting her know that you are there for her can help her feel less alone and isolated.
Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
It’s important that your friend take care of himself while he is heart broken. Exercise, eating healthy and getting enough sleep helps a person make it through each day and to move on with his life, says the American Psychological Association in the article, “Grief: Coping With the Loss of Your Loved One.” Encourage your friend to go for a run, take a walk or ride his bike, which can boost his mood.
Get Your Friend Out of the House
Urge your friend to spend time with you and other people. Interacting with other people not only helps someone grieving feel better, but it also helps to create distance for them to deal with their situation and issues, says Bobby Emel, a psychotherapist and author of “10 Ways to Bounce Back From a Break-Up” on the website, PsychCentral. For instance, suggest taking a walk in the park, going to get ice cream or trying a new restaurant.
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