You know what is one of the best feelings in the world? When you get sick and have someone there to help you. You know those moments – it feels like everything's going well in your life until out of nowhere you've caught a bug. If you don't have someone there to help you, everything feels like a chore. Remember those days where it feels even impossible to stand up or get out of bed? Everything is out of the question – going outside, dealing with people, getting food, trying to cook, finding medicine. It all feels impossible to do by yourself, and we are so grateful when we have someone there to help us!
There's nothing worse than being alone when we're sick, and depression is just the same. People who are upset are reclusive and their symptoms are hard to follow, but it's easy to be there for them when we catch on. People who are mentally down need the same care and attention that we would administer to someone who was physically ill. Both conditions have similar symptoms – we need to eat but it's difficult; we need to go outside to shop, but it's difficult; we need people around us to console us; we need good food and relaxing settings.
It's easy to help someone who is depressed without letting them feel like we are being victimized by their state. If you suspect someone is feeling blue, here's a few things you can do to brighten up their day without them feeling bad.
1. Contact them just to talk!
We are busy people these days, and don't call our friends to say hi anymore enough. Even with the advances in social media chatting, we still don't give our friends the time of day enough. For some, maybe it's a bit too convenient, and we avoid it altogether to not seem clingy.
If you have a friend who is depressed, do not hesitate to say hi! It is a great gesture to reach out to someone. They will not suspect you're acting as a doctor if you just talk about casual things. Don't worry about catching up or discussing current events because it might just bring them back into their current predicament. Talk about fun things that will help take their mind off of things for a bit!
2. Insist they come out with you!
Depressed people are a tough bunch to get moving. When someone is sad they will avoid contact with others even though we all know that that kind of behaviour is not good for us. However, it's still difficult to muster up the courage to be around people when we are ill.
In this case, it is your duty to get them up and running! If you've already been chatting to them then your friend will feel more comfortable with you. Convince them to come out for a walk through town, to get some coffee, or a drink and some food. Somewhere fun where their mind can wander a bit, and you will have them smiling and back to themselves in no time.
3. Going out of the "comfort zone"
People who are suffering from depression often stay the course because they are constantly surrounded by all the things which bother them. They stay home alone which is no good, and keep to their regular routines, which is also no good because it is predictable and too similar to their life when they are happy. What they need to do is see something completely new to remind them that there is a world outside of their unfortunate misery.
Time to go for a trip. You need to convince your friend to come somewhere totally new with you – maybe for a surprise, or you can plan an outing. Suggestions could be new parts of the city which you haven't seen before, new cafes or interesting plazas, or somewhere outside of town in a rural, beautiful area if you are comfortable with chatting to your friend somewhere with no distractions.
Sometimes people just need to try something new to help remind them that there are things to see and emotions to be had outside of their next at home. It may take a lot of courage and pressure to get them going, but if they come they will be able to see the light sooner than later, and that's the most important part of being a good friend.