Sometimes life can be a real you-know-what. It’s a real bummer when you’re going through the ringer, but sometimes it’s even harder to watch someone you care about experience hardship, when you aren’t able to fix it for them. It’s even harder when you don’t live in the same town as your loved one who is going through a valley in life.
To help you help your loved one, we’ve put together a list of ways that you can still be a support network when a loved one is having a hardship, long-distance:
- Three words: Home cleaning service.
No matter if the person you are trying to support is struggling with a health issue, or a personal crisis, or an extensional problem. Having a clean home will help the situation. When a person is going through a hard time, having the energy (or even the physical ability) to do menial housework like laundry or washing the dishes can be too much. However, mess doesn’t stop only because a person isn’t able to clean. This is more true than you’ll ever know if the person you’re thinking of has small kids; ESPECIALLY if you’re trying to support them because they just had a new baby. As the mess builds up, it makes living in the mess stressful and anxiety-inducing. On top of the stress they’re already going through because of their circumstances.
Arranging for a professional cleaning service to come and mop and dust and get their home squeaky clean will make all the difference in the world. If you’re worried that you can’t foot the bill for a professional home cleaner, check out some local deals on Groupon or Living Social. There are almost always a handful of cleaning services available at a fraction of the regular cost.
- Two words: food delivery.
Every person, no matter what walk of life they’re in, have one thing in common: they need food to survive. (We understand that there are other human needs, such as oxygen and water, but food delivery is far more accessible than oxygen or water delivery). Contact a few local restaurants and caterers (heck, even some fast food restaurants provide food delivery!) and set up meals to be dropped off at your loved one’s home each night.
We guarantee this will lift your friend’s spirits. Flowers die. Cards collect dust. Fresh delivered catering provides comfort and sustainability, and gives the person you want to support one less thing to stress over. And food delivery costs equal to or less than flower delivery!
- Four words: A word of kindness.
Even if you can’t physically change the circumstances of the struggling person you love, just knowing that you’re there and that you support them will help give them strength to continue the battle. While this point doesn’t require money, it does require tact. You can do as much harm as you do good if you don’t approach this with discretion.
When a person is going through a hard time, they do not need unwarranted advice. They do not need you to try to solve their problems for them. They do not need you to remind them of their hardship. What they need is love. They need to know someone cares. Make yourself available to talk about how their feeling, but don’t push it on them.
They might or might not feel like talking on the phone. If they seem to want some personal interaction, make yourself available. However, otherwise, a simple handwritten note — or even a text message — that says, “Hey, you’re in my thoughts this morning. I hope today is filled with peace” will go a long way. Make them feel like they aren’t alone in their crisis.
- Two words: Financial support.
You knew we were going here. There isn’t a person in the world who wouldn’t benefit from some extra money to make their life a little easier. If you are independently wealthy (we’re assuming you are not), you can donate a huge lump sum; for the 99% of us who are not, just giving a small amount will make your loved one’s life better and show that you care.
We want to hear from you. Are there any other great ways to show support for someone long distance that we didn’t mention?