Be a great mate to a friend who’s struggling with these helpful tips…
We all need a little extra support now and again. If you’ve noticed your friend struggling with low mood or anxiety, there are ways you can help them feel better. Try these five top tips today to see if you can boost your mate’s mood!
Keeping your friend busy and active is a great way to stop them from spending too much time in their own headspace. Make plans to do all the things you both enjoy doing, whether that’s a game of footie, a movie night or the gym. You can also think of a new activity to try or a place to explore to grab your friend’s interest if they seem reluctant.
Try a completely off-the-wall activity – something you would never think of doing in a million years. It’s sure to be a memorable experience for you both!
BE A SAFE SPACE
Let your friend know that you are there for them, no matter what. Tell them that you will always be on hand whenever they need you, to listen and talk without judgement. It can be a huge help for your friend to know that support is never far away.
Check in with your friend by text, as well as face-to-face. There may be some things they feel more comfortable sharing over the phone.
WORK IT OUT
Exercise is very often the last thing people with low mood feel like doing but it really can boost the mood and give you all sorts of feel-good benefits. Become your friend’s workout partner and encourage them every step of the way. You can hit the gym, do a workout in the park, or even just go for regular daily walks. It’s also a great chance to talk and discuss anything that might be troubling your mate.
Create a basic fitness plan for you and your friend. This can be as simple as setting a steps goal for every week or smashing your own PBs in the gym.
MINIMISE THE PRESSURE
Often, people who are struggling with low mood feel completely overwhelmed by the stresses of their daily lives. Where you can, do your bit to help them out. Worrying about schoolwork? Help your friend make a simple study or homework timetable to make things more manageable. Setting mini goals and targets for your friend helps to boost their mood and confidence as they achieve each one.
Ask your friend if they’d like a helping hand with anything that’s keeping them up at night. Two pairs of hands are better than one!
Ask your friend what you can do to help. It might just be that they need a friendly ear to listen to their worries – or there might be something specific you can do to help them feel better. Asking this question outright lets your friend know that they have your full support, and this can be a source of relief and gratitude.
Research a few local help groups or advice lines to give your friend as much information about available support as you can.
If you have serious concerns about your friend’s mental health, talk to an adult you trust or encourage your mate to call a helpline such as Childline on 0800 11 11. If you have immediate, grave concerns about your friend’s safety, you may need to call the emergency services.