1. Uplifting Sticky Notes: This is something my Language Arts teacher did during finals week, and it worked remarkably well. She wrote out tiny notes for the class and then stuck them on each desk before we walked in. As my extremely stressed classmates walked in, I could literally see the entire mood of the room lift as students read the tiny notes on their desks. If you can get a sticky note on a friend’s desk or planner, leaving an anonymous message (something simple like “You’re doing great” or “Stay strong, you can make it”), it will do wonders to the receiver. I do this a lot, not really in sticky note form but more through social media. Others can contend to this but I honestly love spreading support and good vibes with simple acts of kindness like this.
2. Smile: When someone is down, the typical tendency is not to smile (for obvious reasons). But once a step is taken and a smile is formed, it automatically helps the mood in general. And thus, a temporary healing phase can begin. You might not be their best friend, or be the best at jokes, but smiling is contagious and sometimes, that’s really all you need to do. Just think about it – when you’re in your neighborhood and an old man walking his dog smiles while he passes you, you can’t help but smile back. That’s just how humans are built…whether it’s obligation or a tendency to be like those around us, we always smile back and the kind stranger who took the time to smile at us. So, be that stranger for someone else. It really does help.
3. A Hug: When someone is upset, when all they want to do it curl up into a ball and disappear, being held provides a lot of comfort. Hugs are a wonderful way to provide physical comfort and warmth, and most importantly, it sends a message that says “I am here for you in this moment.” This is my usual tactic – if my radar picks up someone who is quiet and upset, hugs are my go to. If they are a friend, well then hugs are easy to give without question and I can provide the physical support needed in times of emotional turmoil. But if I don’t know the person well and physical boundaries haven’t been set or dealt with, I will more often than not just walk up to them and say “I don’t know what you’re going through, and I’m not going to ask, but would you like a hug?”
4. Offer them a private, safe environment: Now, this doesn’t mean force it upon them, but leave the offer open to them, and this is really more for someone you are closer to. I will say this: Hearing a kind “Hey, I know you’re going through a rough time so if you ever want to grab some coffee or go for a drive and just talk, I’m here for you.” will mean a lot to the other person.
5. Cookies: Well, really any baked good. Brownies, cupcakes, banana bread…anything that is nice and fluffy and light. It’s a miracle how much a good batch of chocolate chip cookies can totally turn someone’s day around. Somehow, stuffing your face with something soft and sweet does wonders to one’s mood…all your problems melt away for a little bit. If you’re looking for a way to help out a friend, I definitely recommend this form of therapy (after making sure allergies aren’t an issue of course)!
Thanks for taking the time to read guys. For everyone out there…life is stressful. All of us are going through some form of pressure so let’s come together as a community and help each other out!
– Ro ♥