The relationship with your girlfriend will be tested when she is going through a rocky time in her life, but don't back away. Showing that you care will help someone going through a rough time to feel understood and not feel alone, according to the TeensHealth article "About Getting and Giving Help," reviewed by D'Arcy Lyness, Ph.D., behavioral health editor.
Lend a Helping Hand
Ask her if you can do anything to lighten her load during this rough time. Perhaps she lost a close relative and is neglecting her daily needs. She will appreciate you bringing her meals and cleaning up her place. Or, she could be stressed out with her schoolwork and worried about failing her classes. Offer to tutor her if you have expertise in the subject or refer a friend who has knowledge in the area she is struggling in.
Change Her Environment
Distract her from her troubles by taking her on an outing. Changing a physical or mental environment can be an effective coping mechanism, according to the article "When You're Down and Out: How to Get Through the Bad Days" by Toni Bernhard, J.D., writing for "Psychology Today." Take her to see a funny movie at the theater to give her a good laugh, or prepare a picnic lunch and drive to a nearby park. Let her relish in the serene environment to take her mind off her stressful situations. You could also take a trip to the spa to help her release tension.
Give a Listening Ear
Being her sounding board will show her that you are really concerned. Allow her to talk about what's bothering her. If she is grieving a lost loved one, she may want to reflect on memories she had with the person. Be prepared to embrace her. Perhaps she just wants to rant about something to get it off her chest. Conveying that you are seeing things from the other person's perspective will show authentic emotional validation, according to the article "The Antidote to Anger and Frustration" by Guy Winch, Ph.D., in "Psychology Today." Give her your undivided attention without being judgmental, and try to see things through her eyes.
Avoid It Taking a Toll
Though your girlfriend is going through a rough time, it is crucial to remember to take care of yourself and not let her problems wear you down. If the help she needs is out of your control, lead her to the resources that can help her, such as a school counselor or a support group. When another person's problems are overwhelming, step back and prevent yourself from being dragged down, suggests the TeensHealth article. You can still be there to encourage her and lend support, but while granting her the space to get necessary help.
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