It’s always nice to see someone make a positive change in their life with the goal of bettering themselves. If they’ve taken a step in the right direction, you probably want to show them your love and support in order to encourage them to continue bettering themselves.
How do you support someone in a way that will help them overcome their difficulties and show progress without interfering too much? A bit of empathy and cleverness would go a long way. Here are some ways you can be kind and supportive to your close ones when they decide to make big changes.
1. Give them a gift
The art of gift giving is an often-underestimated part of friendship. When you know someone well enough to give them a wonderful gift that they will cherish and adore, then you can truly say that you’re close to them. Knowing what kind of gift to get is just another part of knowing the person.
If you’re particularly close to someone that enjoys fitness and bettering themselves in a physical way, what better gift to give them than a free fitness class? Clubs and training centres that organize fitness classes often give out coupons to get people to try the class out. You might run into one during a sponsored event, or you could ask around the centre itself to find out how to get one. It’s a way to motivate someone to attend the class without outright paying for the opportunity.
What if they aren’t looking to lose weight or gain muscles? If their idea of fitness includes relaxation or a calming atmosphere, Yoga would be a great alternative. While they’re also visiting a Yoga class, why not join them and make it a social activity for both of you? It could be an interesting bonding experience to find yourselves in a quiet Yoga class and relax while doing the various exercises. Hardly anyone would object to at least trying Yoga, considering how popular it has become in the past couple of years. You can rest easy knowing that they’ll love the suggestion.
2. Partake in healthy things around them
Everyone likes to enjoy a snack or two while they binge-watch movies or TV shows. You probably wouldn’t say no to a candy bar after a good work out, right? However, if some of your close ones have decided to make some drastic changes to their diet, you might want to keep up appearances in front of them. That isn’t to say that you should fake your enthusiasm or distaste for certain types of food, but rather you should be understanding of their current situation and support them by showing solidarity.
If you decide to have coffee together, you might want to consider healthier snacks for the occasion. If you normally bring out a bag of chips or salted peanuts, reconsider and switch them out with something that they might like. For someone on a diet, well-seasoned celery sticks are considered a saving grace as a quick snack. They have no calories whatsoever and they’re crunchy enough to qualify for a comfortable snack. On the other hand, you could always go the more dedicated route and make a specific kind of salad that might appeal to both of you. There’s no reason to overdo it since it’s your coffee date as well.
If you decide to bring a little something to the office, take care in noticing those who might not be able to eat the food that you brought. For example, if you brought doughnuts and one person is a diabetic, there’s no reason you can’t specify to the baker that one should be sugar-free. It’s a small gesture that goes a really long way in people’s minds.
3. Explore the great outdoors
Going outside is a wholesome activity no matter how you look at it. It’s not called “nature’s gym” for no reason. Exploring the outdoors can be a wonderful bonding experience that can bring two or more people together like nothing else. If you like hiking, mountaineering, or even biking, you can be sure that your friend or friends would love to go on a trip along with you.
Being cooped up in a stuffy gym isn’t something that everyone is content with. Seeing the same exact environment every time you work out can get tiresome and boring. Sight isn’t the only sense that suffers there, either. The music that plays is often comically generic, and only includes dance or pop hits, which don’t really appeal to everyone. Let’s not forget about the smell of sweat in an enclosed space and how it can affect your perception of the workout space. Partaking in some physical activities in the outdoors is the preferable option for many of these reasons.
What you choose to do is up to you. Consult your friends and figure out what everyone’s favourite option is. Consider the fact that having a run or riding a bike means that you have limitless options. There’s no shortage of nature to make use of for outdoor activities. And it’s not exactly an environment that you can get bored of since there’s always a trail that you haven’t tried out.
Natural environments also give you the opportunity to soak up the fresh air and warm sun. It’s an additional layer of healthy living that will motivate your friend and yourself to keep on fighting for wellness and health goals.
4. Root for them
Motivation is the biggest part of bettering yourself. Wanting to do things is great, but actually having the strength to get up and improve your current state is what really counts. Getting the drive to achieve things isn’t easy, and it depends on a multitude of factors.
A big part of motivation itself is how our environment treats us and our attempts to reach our goals. If you encounter indifference and boredom from your close ones whenever you talk about your hopes and dreams, it can affect you and your motivation significantly.
Try to be a shining beacon of hope and positive energy around your close ones whenever they decide to make big changes in their life. If the changes are positive, you could become a huge influence on how they view themselves and the decision they’ve made. You would be surprised at how much a simple smile or word of support could do in a situation like this.
5. Join in on the fun
If someone close to you enjoys certain activities and hanging out with you, why not combine both of these things and go do them together? Almost any activity is more fun when you have someone to share in the enjoyment with. Better yet, if your close one is interested in something that betters their health, you could take the opportunity to keep them company. Your presence and support will only motivate them further towards their goals.
Offer to join them when they go out for a run or bike ride. These activities can be painfully boring when you do them alone and having someone to talk to and share breaks with would improve them immensely. The most important factor is to create a routine for the shared activity as this can make the whole idea seem like an exciting adventure.
Don’t force yourself to do things that you don’t enjoy for the sake of your friend, because it’s pretty much certain that they’ll notice. Stick to things that you know you won’t mind. If you like riding a bike with your friend and they invite you on a ride through the park, get your bicycle off of the bike stand and go take it for a spin. If both of you are enthusiastic about a hike or ride through nature, you can be sure that you’ll enjoy it even more as a tandem team.
6. Avoid unhealthy temptations
There’s nothing wrong with partaking in the occasional “unhealthy” habit. Everyone’s human, you don’t need to be a robot that only strives for perfection. However, you need to keep in mind that some of those around you might be struggling with giving up some of those unhealthy habits. It’s easy to fall back in when you are exposed to them often.
Obviously, nobody likes a killjoy. You shouldn’t refrain from anything and everything that is fun simply because someone might not want to partake in every part of the activity. Just be a bit mindful of their choices and don’t pressure them to join in if they don’t want to. Peer pressure is a huge factor in certain unhealthy vices such as smoking, drinking, and eating unhealthy food.
People need a bit of encouragement and support when they make big changes in their life. Drastic changes take their toll on our mental state and getting a small push from our close ones can really improve the whole experience. If you find the time and energy to be supportive of your friends, you can be sure that you’ll contribute a lot more to their success than you might expect.