Something I have been asked a few times over the past little while, and that keeps cropping up in conversation is…How much help can you give a friend in need? Or how long can you be a shoulder for someone to lean on.
Now this is a difficult topic, as each individual relationship and circumstance is different. However I believe if you have offered support - mostly by listening and someone is still not improving. It is imperative that you look after yourself and take a step back. We all know if we hang around with negative nancies then we start to become negative as well. But most importantly is to assist your friend to get professional help.
This is where it gets trickier. Professional help for a lot of people - especially those in the country, seems to be a sign of weakness. I "should" be able to work this out on my own…or "It's ok, I have a strong supportive network of friends". That is important, but professional help offers an independent and objective view of your problems, and are able to assist with strategies to help you over whatever you need.
Statistically speaking nearly half of the Australian population (45%) will suffer from a mental illness at some stage of their life (http://www.sane.org/information/factsheets-podcasts/204-facts-and-figures-about-mental-illness). So realistically you or someone you love will have a troubled time. This is not a sign of weakness. The best thing you can do for someone you know needs some additional help, is be supportive and WAIT until they ask for, or are ready to accept professional help.
There are so many other options of help (many of which I have discussed so far in my blog)
- Eating Healthy and Regularly
- Adequate exercise
- Reducing Alcohol and Caffeine intake
- Reducing sugar and refined foods (takeaway, fast food etc)
- Allowing yourself to 'be'
- Acknowledging and accepting your thought are just thoughts and you are able to let go of them
- Surrounding yourself with positive people that pick you up
- Completing a grateful journal
- Doing something you love DAILY
The list is endless. Yet we so often get caught up in the mindset of what we AREN'T doing. I spoke with someone yesterday who is going through a challenging time at the moment and she said "But I haven't done meditation and I haven't done anything off my to do list". When I asked what she had done - her reply was "nothing" - which I said was preposterous and went on to list ALL of the things (however minute) she had done thus far today (getting up, putting on make up, going to work, eating a healthy lunch etc) to which she scoffed. However every little thing you do in a day can be marked off as an achievement.
…Until Tomorrow xox