One thing that everyone eventually learns (particularly in adulthood) is that life is a journey filled with peaks and valleys, and unfortunately, some may find themselves at the lowest point – rock bottom.
Everyone is going to hit rock bottom at least once, but of course, this can vary from person to person. One person’s rock bottom might not be so bad for another, but at the end of the day, they’re all valid.
When a loved one is facing tough times and seems to have hit rock bottom, it can be challenging to know how to help, doesn’t it? It doesn’t matter who this loved one is, a partner, a friend, or even a family member; you care for them, and sometimes, the right thing to do is to step in and help if you can. Your support and guidance can make a significant difference in their journey toward recovery and resilience. But again, this could be challenging.
Again, the lowest point for someone is going to vary because all situations are different. For one person, it could be due to unhealthy habits catching up to them; for someone else, it could be getting fired from their job or the death of a loved one. But regardless, how can you help?
How can you help out with being that guiding light? How can you be the light out of the tunnel? Well, here are some various ways to assist someone during their darkest moments and help them regain their footing.
It All Starts with Showing Genuine Concern
It’s going to help if you just went ahead and started simply by expressing your genuine concern. Let your loved one know that you’ve noticed their struggles and that you’re there to support them. Ensure that your words and actions convey empathy and understanding.
Sometimes, a simple acknowledgment of their pain can be a powerful first step. It’s usually going to be at this point whether they’ll indicate to you if they want your support or not. If they shut it down (even though it’s apparent that they need it), it can make it way more difficult to help out).
One of the most crucial ways to offer support is by actively listening. It’s really all about creating a safe and non-judgmental space for your loved one to share their feelings, thoughts, and concerns. Also, be sure to avoid offering immediate solutions or advice; instead, let them vent and express themselves freely.
Encourage Professional Help
While your support is valuable, it’s essential to encourage your loved one to seek professional help if necessary.
Again, it’s all going to depend on what they’re facing, but professional help will almost always be for the better. Time just can’t heal all wounds or all problems (sometimes that can make it worse). So, try to nudge them in the right direction by getting them to see therapists, counselors, and support groups, as these can provide the expertise and guidance needed to navigate through difficult times.
While mental health is so important, sometimes it’s not just that, but physical health too. For example, if they’re dealing with an addiction, try to get them into detox centers right away.
But overall, offer to help find suitable resources or accompany them to appointments if they feel comfortable. There has to be this balance; sometimes, it needs to be done ASAP, and sometimes, it’s about soft nudges, but again, it all depends on the actual situation itself.
Help Out with More Practical Matters When You Can
When someone is at rock bottom, the simplest tasks can feel overwhelming. Dishes? Laundry? Just cooking ramen noodles? All of this can be just way too much.
So, it’s going to help massively if you’re able to offer your assistance with practical matters, such as organizing their living space, running errands, or managing daily responsibilities. These small gestures can help alleviate some of the burdens they may be facing. Again, some of the smallest of tasks are the biggest of burdens.
Push Them Towards Healthier Habits
You’ll need to encourage your loved one to adopt healthy habits that contribute to their overall well-being. Honestly, when someone is at their lowest, this is usually when they give up on healthy habits, which, of course, can make things way worse for them.
So, try to do what you can to get them back on track. This may include regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep. Generally speaking, physical health and mental well-being are interconnected, and positive lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on their recovery.
Get Their Support Network to Help Out
If they don’t have one, or you’re not sure who it is, then try to build one for them. So, with that said, just try to help your loved one rebuild their support network.
Encourage them to connect with friends and family members who can provide additional emotional support. But in general, social connections play a vital role in recovery, and rebuilding relationships can contribute to a sense of belonging and purpose.
Set Realistic Goals
You’ll need to work together to establish realistic and achievable goals. These can be small, incremental steps that lead to larger accomplishments. Plus, try to celebrate their successes, no matter how small, and help them stay focused on the positive aspects of their journey.
Celebrate Progress, Not Perfection
So, right above, it was just mentioned that you should celebrate milestones. This is true, so you should try to acknowledge and celebrate even the smallest signs of progress.
Plus, recovery is a journey with ups and downs, and recognizing achievements, no matter how minor, can boost their morale and motivation to keep moving forward. Of course, this all depends on what the person is going through. For example, if someone is mourning a death, the progress might be something like getting them to be social again or leaving the house.
Engage with Them in Positive Distractions
Something else you should try to do for them would be to encourage activities that serve as positive distractions.
Whether it’s engaging in hobbies, participating in community events, or spending time in nature, these activities can offer a reprieve from negative thoughts and contribute to a more positive mindset. So, you need to be a part of this; don’t just push them to do something alone and say “good luck” because that isn’t going to help at all!
Help Them Foster a Sense of Purpose
Something else you should try to help with is to get your loved one to identify and cultivate a sense of purpose.
This could involve exploring volunteer opportunities, pursuing personal interests, or setting meaningful goals. Usually, at the low points of someone’s life, this sense of purpose just vanishes. Having a sense of purpose can be a powerful motivator during challenging times.
Try to Practice Mindfulness Together
Why not consider introducing mindfulness practices into your routine? How can this help? Well, whether it’s meditation, deep breathing exercises, or mindful walks, engaging in these activities together can help both of you manage stress and stay present in the moment.
Support your loved one in reflecting on their experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Journaling or guided self-reflection exercises can provide valuable insights and contribute to their understanding of the factors contributing to their challenges.
Try and Create a positive Environment for Them
It’s going to help if you’re able to just work together to create a positive and supportive environment. This may involve making small changes in their living space, introducing uplifting elements, or fostering connections with positive influences in their life.
Consider Creating a Safety Plan
While this might not be ideal, you even need to be realistic with yourself in this situation, so in some cases where your loved one is facing severe challenges, work together to create a safety plan.
This plan can include emergency contacts, coping mechanisms, and steps to take in moments of crisis. Having a structured approach can provide a sense of control during tumultuous times.
Do Some Research
It’s going to help out if you go ahead and take the time to research their specific situation and offer information on available resources or support networks. Just providing tangible information about potential solutions or avenues for assistance can empower them to take positive steps forward.
Just Try to Be Patient and Understanding Through All of This
You need to keep in mind that rock bottom is different for everyone, and getting out will be different. So, recovering from this takes time, and setbacks are a normal part of the process. So, one of the most helpful things you can do is just to be patient and understanding and avoid putting undue pressure on your loved one.
Offer unwavering support, even on difficult days, and remind them that you believe in their ability to overcome challenges. It can be hard to get out of all of this; it’s not always easier, and it can stagnate, so just try your best to be patient with all of this.