"I'm here for you..."
A lot of people are feeling overwhelmed right now, whether facing serious financial insecurity, separated from loved ones and/or struggling with existing mental health problems. This is not
news and it is going to take a long time to work our way through these challenges.
But as we slowly adjust to the changes that might be happening for us personally, perhaps we need to take a step back and check up on our friends. Are we really looking out for them as well as we could be?
Here's a few suggestions for things you might want to think about doing (if you're not already), things that will be good for both you and your friends:
1. Arrange remote meet-ups - whether catching up over coffee, lunch or even Friday night drinks via video call. Try and keep some sense of 'normality' in your week. Be committed to keeping these social arrangements and don't push them out for something else 2. Think about teaching a friend a useful skill or asking a friend to teach you - if just talking isn't really 'your thing,' perhaps you could teach your friend to cook your signature dish or they could teach you how to wire a plug. This can be a rewarding experience for both of you 3. Get a group of friends together for a live streamed workout or some online gaming - this way you get to share the experience 'in the moment'
Of course sometimes this might still not be enough.
If you think a friend is struggling and could benefit from some additional support, there are many helplines out there that can offer them this.
Samaritans - 116 123 Free Open 24 hours a day
CALM helpline - 0800 58 58 58 Free, anonymous, confidential Aimed specifically at men Offer a web chat service, for those less comfortable with talking
Citizens Advice Help with financial issues e.g. potential loss of work and what to do if you're struggling to pay your bills
And of course many counsellors (including us here at Dynamic Counselling) are now offering online and telephone counselling.