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Watching a loved one struggle with mental health issues can be excruciating. It is not easy to watch the people that you care about the most suffer. The good news is that there are active steps that you can take to help them to deal with these issues. Here are five ways that you can help to support a family member’s mental health.
Give Them Opportunities for Self-Care
It is your job to make sure that your family member has plenty of opportunities for self-care. Do not underestimate the power of self-care when struggling with mental health and wellness issues. Self-care looks different for everyone. For some people, this may mean carving out time each day for physical exercise. For others, it may look like time spent with friends participating in fun activities such as shopping or going to a movie. Introverts may prefer a day of pampering at the spa or browsing the local bookstore. The important thing is that you provide these opportunities for your family members so that they are able to nourish their mental health.
Turn to the Professionals
There may come a time when your support and love are just not enough to get your family members through the rough patches. Do not be afraid to turn to professionals for help. A professionally trained mental health counselor can diagnose the problem and help to provide treatment options or coping mechanisms to use. In addition, a professional counselor such as Dr. Ramani Durvasula is also an objective source for your family members to turn to with their struggles. This type of expert support is invaluable when looking to improve your mental health.
One of the best things that you can do to help your loved one is to educate yourself about the importance of good mental health. Be proactive about seeking out ways that you can encourage your loved one through difficult times. Educating yourself about mental health also means that you need to familiarize yourself with the danger signs of a more serious issue. While there may be a significant amount of issues that you can help your loved one work through, it is also important to recognize when somebody more authoritative and knowledgeable needs to step in.
Help Them to Practice Gratitude
While it may sound cliche, counting your blessings truly can give you a better outlook on life. To help your loved one to boost their mental health, try encouraging them to practice mindful gratitude. There are a number of ways to achieve this sense of gratitude. Keeping a journal and writing down one thing each day to be thankful for is a good start. When you are with your loved one, be intentional about pointing out good things that have happened and amazing things that are to come in the future.
Be a Calming Presence Offering Support and Encouragement
In order to support your family member’s struggle with mental health, it is vital that you make yourself available to offer encouragement. The person needs to know that you will always be there with unwavering support and love. However, there will also be times that your family member may just need someone there to be a calming presence. They do not always need words of advice or encouragement. Be sure to approach each situation with patience and understanding.
All of these five tips will help you to be the support that your family member needs to deal with life’s curveballs. While you cannot solve all of their problems, your loving presence and acts of support can go a long way in supporting positive mental and emotional wellness.