1. Find out the kind of depression they are suffering from. Symptoms of clinical depression include sleep difficulties, loss of appetite, a desire to isolate themselves, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, suicidal tendencies and an inability to determine the cause of their depression. Those with situational depression may have some of the same symptoms but they generally know why they feel as they do, and once the issue is resolved, they are able to function normally again.
2. Be available to listen or just be there for them. Sometimes you don’t need to say a word. Don’t offer opinions or advice; don’t judge them; be patient and understanding; be empathetic, gentle and compassionate.
3. Take them out of their environment as a change of scenery can help to change their mood. It doesn’t have to be wildly exciting – just a walk by the river or a coffee at the mall is often enough to shift things a bit.
4. Don’t comment on their lifestyle (habits and patterns). Comments like “You ought to try and sleep more or change your diet or exercise more” are likely to shut the person down. These are often beyond the person’s control. They are symptoms of depression and not the actual cause.
5. Encourage your friend to seek professional help. A friend or family member can be a real lifeline but objective support from a professional counsellor can help them deal with the cause in a more effective way.
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Photo via Sincerely Jules
When we’re around people who are stressed and negative it can upset our own sense of inner peace and calm. Here are some suggestions to help you with this:
1. Imagine there’s an invisible shield that separates you from them. See their attitudes, reactions and high expectations as being their choice and decision — they’re not a part of you. You are two separate people; don’t let them influence you.
2. Disconnect from the source of negativity. End the call, close your email or get up and walk away. When we feel stressed and angry we’re more likely to react – so maintain your control by taking steps to decompress.
3. Avoid toxic people if you possibly can. Avoid people who guilt trip you, are constantly complaining or who like to sit and wallow in their misery. They’ll quickly drain your energy and drive you to despair.
4. Be a positive person. Go on the offensive and reach out to people who need some encouragement, a smile or a kind word. That will keep you feeling peaceful and positive.
5. Spend time with people with whom you can connect, and who inspire and motivate you to be a better person. Look out for people who improve your self-esteem, who are positive role models and who live life to the full. They’ll broaden your capacity to give and grow as well. (Let them be your focus – and not the stressed out people!)
Online Counselling College