What can you do if someone you love is sad? Maybe they’re suffering from heartbreak, loss of a loved one, or anything else associated with modern life – whatever the reason, it’s hard seeing them down.
Read on for our guide to some “home remedies” that’ll soothe your loved ones and make them feel better!
1. Listen carefully to how they feel.
The first step is to listen and understand what’s going on. Doing this will not only make them feel heard but will allow you to gain more insight into the way they feel. They’ll feel much better when someone is listening to what they’re feeling and is there for them.
Let them know that they’re not alone and that there’s no shame in feeling sadness every now and then. We all need to understand that sadness is a natural human emotion.
In addition, you may be able to provide useful advice or some insight into why they might be sad in the first place!
2. Don’t be dismissive.
Try to not be dismissive of how they feel, even if it seems they’re overreacting. Sometimes people don’t know what the appropriate level of emotion should be – and telling them that their feelings are invalid could make them feel misunderstood or unheard.
Remember: everyone’s emotions are valid!
3. Help with their daily tasks.
They might need you more than you thought. Often, when people are in a depressive state, they may not even have the energy to do their daily chores. Although no one likes doing them, you can help with tasks around the house, check off items from their grocery store shopping list, along with anything else you think would be helpful!
4. Help them create a routine.
By having specific times set aside for activities like exercise or spending time with friends and family, your loved one can stay on track and feel more in control of their life.
5. Understand their boundaries.
Let them dictate what’s best for them, and respect those limits as much as possible. For example, if they don’t want to talk about what’s upsetting them, you can still offer comfort by sitting quietly next to them.
Don’t tell them how to feel or try to make the sadness go away; this will only widen the gap between your viewpoints and could lead to disagreements. Remember that you’re there as an outlet for them to express themselves without judgment.
6. Invite friends over (but ask first!).
Sometimes, a person needs to be reminded that they are loved and cared for. One way is by having their friends come to visit once in a while. You can invite them for dinner, to have a few drinks, or to watch trending TV shows.
7. Plan cheerful activities.
You can cheer up this person by planning activities that have a social element, such as going to an amusement park or taking cooking classes together. This should do wonders for their mood.
8. Take care of your own mental health.
Just because you’re looking after someone else doesn’t mean you should stop looking after your own mental health. This is especially true when you’re giving your own energy to help your loved one.
As such, understand when it’s appropriate to set boundaries for yourself – don’t let anyone else drain all your energy!
If you’re feeling sad too, don’t hesitate to reach out for support! If not from friends or family members, then there are plenty of online resources with people who have been through similar situations as well.
You can also speak with a mental health expert about how to take care of your loved one during this difficult period.
9. Give advice, if they want it.
If the person wants your opinion about what’s upsetting him or her, it’s okay if you don’t want to say anything or feel like you’ll give the wrong advice to someone you care for. However, if you do have something valid/meaningful to offer, then go for it!
Just make sure not to be pushy with your advice, so that they know it’s their choice whether to accept or reject it.
10. Remind them about good times.
Tell a happy memory of the two of you together or talk about something funny that happened to remind them that life is worth living. This will also help with feelings of regret since they’ll be momentarily taken to a happy place.
11. Take them out for some fresh air and sunshine.
Sunlight is proven to cheer up moods – so if they’re feeling down, try an outdoor activity like going for a walk in the park. Remind them that you are there with them!
Some people prefer being inside their comfort zone, which is understandable, but it’s still important to take a step outside once in a while.
12. Don’t stay too long or overstay your welcome.
They may want and need a little space or time alone, so be sure you don’t overstay your welcome. Look for clues that they want to be alone, or ask them outright if they’re okay with you being there for so long.
13. Help them find professional help.
Encourage them to talk to a therapist or another professional and offer them support if they’re reluctant. People who are suffering usually don’t know how to reach out, so you could help them make that first step.
You can even go with them to their first appointment and wait outside – which can make them feel much more comfortable.
14. Encourage them to stay active.
This can help with depression in general – but if they find it too difficult to get going, then make an effort to take part yourself. You don’t have to go hard in the gym for 3 hours, either; activities like yoga and walking are enough to get the endorphins flowing.
15. Explore all the potential sources of their sadness.
If you want to get to the root of the sadness, it’s wise to find out what they’re currently feeling and why they feel that way. Basically, it is important to understand where this sadness stems from in order to be more helpful.
16. Do small things to make their day more enjoyable.
- Get up early one morning just to prepare their breakfast before work
- Invite them to a movie
- Ask if they want to watch something on Netflix together
- Go for a walk
- Buy some of their favorite snacks at the store without asking
The list goes on! Find something meaningful, and do your best to cheer them up.
17. Give them space if they need it.
It’s great that you want to be there for them, but sometimes too much help can cause even more stress or pressure.
As such, if they want to rest or need some alone time, try not to take it personally. Respect their privacy, and understand that it’s important for the person to feel like they’re in control of their own life.
18. Educate yourself on mental illness.
There are so many ways to learn more about the different types of mental illnesses and their symptoms, and the best way to start is by simply not assuming that they’re just being lazy or unmotivated. Do some actual research to learn more about how they might be feeling.
19. Don’t take things personally.
If they’re feeling down, it might feel like their emotions and feelings have come to a head. They probably just need time to think things through. There may be times when the person takes their anger out on you – but it’s important to recognize that they don’t mean it.
20. Don’t try to fix them.
You can’t! That’s the hard part about mental illnesses; it’s not something that you can cure or fix. They need to work it out on their own or with the help of a professional. They may even get angry if you try and help too much – so it really is a balancing act.
21. Don’t compare or minimize their experience.
Their experience is their own, so don’t try to compare it with your experience or that of someone else you know. The key is to validate that their pain exists – and not to minimize it by comparing it to the pain of others.
22. Connect on social media if you can’t be there.
If you can’t go to their house, the next best alternative is to talk with them on social media, whether that’s Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
23. Stay positive.
Keep things upbeat by remembering the good times the two of you had together or reminding him/her how much better life is when they’re happy. It might seem like a small thing, but it can make all the difference in their mood!
24. Suggest a project to keep them distracted.
Search for an interesting new hobby to get involved with together, such as knitting or drawing. This is a great way to keep them focused on something rather than sitting around and overthinking.
25. Eat well.
Depression can cause people to eat poorly or not at all, which only makes them more depressed. As such, try making delicious healthy meals that they’ll love. Not consuming enough calories will only result in your loved one feeling exhausted and fatigued.
A good meal can do wonders for our mental health.
26. Drink enough water.
Just like eating healthy, it’s also important to drink enough water. When you’re feeling down (or stressed), it’s hard to remember anything other than negative thoughts running through your head all day long.
Drinking plenty of fluids will help flush those toxins from the body and help them be their usual self.
27. Encourage them to get some sleep.
If he’s been having trouble sleeping, remind him that it can be managed with a few simple lifestyle changes – like minimizing caffeine intake and not watching TV before bedtime.
They may even want to take naps! A 20-minute nap is enough to make someone feel refreshed again – so perhaps plan a day in which you both take turns resting while doing something relaxing.
28. Be patient.
It might take some time before they start opening up again, but as long as their negative feelings don’t turn into thoughts about suicide, everything should be all right in the end.
The length of time it takes for them to recover will generally depend on the reason why they’re sad. For example, someone going through a break-up will have to go through the different stages of grief.
29. Be mindful of medication.
Some medications can lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. If the person is taking several different pills, it’s important to make sure they’re not mixing alcohol with their medication or that one of the drugs isn’t causing other issues.
30. Donate money/clothes.
You can feel better by helping others – so encourage your loved one to donate some of their items to a good cause. This will give this person a sense of purpose and reduce any feelings of guilt.
31. Initiate contact.
There’s a chance that they don’t have the energy to reach out, so make it your job to do so. Text them, call them out for coffee or just show up at their doorstep – the more social interaction they have with you and others, the better!
32. Cook together.
One of the best ways to relieve stress is by doing something that requires physical activity and teamwork – so try cooking dinner together! Once again, this is an activity that requires your friend to be in the moment while also giving a sense of purpose.
33. Create a care plan.
If they are struggling in their day-to-day life due to depression or anxiety, then it is imperative that someone close helps them create a care plan. These plans usually include meditation, medication, and visualization exercises.
The Bottom Line
The tips in this guide should help give your loved one some relief from feeling so down all the time. Remember that sometimes people can’t see themselves improving on their own when they’re in such a dark place – so it’s always helpful to work together!