Every now and then we tend to feel a little low and need that push to lift our spirits. Our friends do that job pretty accurately. So when it comes to helping a friend who is going through depression or anxiety, we should offer our helping hand.
Since mental health is still considered a taboo in our society, its best to support your friend and encourage them to get professional help. Letting them know that it is nothing to be ashamed of or everyone goes through it at some point in their life is the first step towards healing.
Sharing Your Feelings
Talking to a loved one about our problems goes a long way. Listening to your friend who is going through a tough time can give them a sense of support and love they need. Letting them know you are there for them listening and understanding their problems will give them the morale boost they need.
Support Them To Get Professional Help
It is always best to get professional help when it comes to mental health issues. Even now it is considered a big deal. So, lending a helping hand to a friend who is battling depression is a major step. Support and encourage them to get professional help and let them know that it is nothing to be ashamed of. Research and find the best professionals and discuss options with them. Support them by going with them to their first session.
Look For Warning Signs
We all have bad days and we feel down. But if you feel your friend’s mood fluctuates more than usual, it might be a warning sign. It’s best to provide help at the initial stage. If you feel your friend is angry for no reason or sad and doesn’t feel like doing the daily normal chores and is lethargic, ask them about their feelings and listen to them without being judgmental. People suffering from anxiety or depression tend to avoid meeting people and try to cut communication, lose their appetite, either sleep a lot, or suffer from insomnia. So look for these common signs which might give an idea. And without being forceful and forcing them to come out, just call up and ask them about their day. Make them understand you are there to help and support them in any way possible and you are not judging them for feeling depressed.
The simplest and basic thing you can do is help them doing their daily chores and checking upon them. In depression sometimes it becomes hard even to get out of bed. During these times help them clean their apartment, cook healthy food, play games, have a movie night. You can even have your group of friends to spend a fun day together to show your friend love and support.
Foods That Help Battle Depression
There are foods that can actually help you feel better and put you in a good mood. So dropping by your friend’s place and cooking together a healthy meal can prove really helpful on your part. Some of the foods that help battle depression are broccoli, pumpkin, strawberries, oranges, kiwi, nuts and seeds, grapefruit, etc. since carbohydrates are known to boost your mood, it’s better to have complex carbs (whole grains) instead of carbs in cakes or refined sugar that we found in packaged food items. We should avoid junk food and refined sugar as they not only harm our physical health but also our mental health. Eating a balanced diet is the key to a healthy mind and body. Include omega-3 rich foods (fish, flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon, etc.), iron-rich green leafy vegetables and vitamin b12 are brain foods as they help release hormones that relieve stress, sleepiness, and fatigue and improve our mood. Practicing mindful eating and having a balanced dietary plan will help us in the long run.
Cooking actually is a stress reliever and builds your self-esteem. It provides us with a sense of gratitude and makes us appreciate the benefits of eating clean. Not just your physical body will feel satiated but also your mind will be calm and ease. And include exercises as they are considered the stress busters. Take up yoga or dance classes with your friend as it will take their mind off unnecessary stress and is also a good healthy activity option for both of you.
Remind them of good times, share memories, love, support, and show sympathy towards their feeling. Make them feel wanted and not alone. Don’t be judgmental and show kindness towards their emotions. Every small step matters when it comes to helping a friend who is dealing with depression. Let them know this is not permanent, that even after the darkest night, the sun always rises.
We have mentioned above all the food that helps in battle depression and if you have any suggestions or questions, feel free to mention them in the comments section.