10 Ways to Support Someone During Their Health Journey 

You may know someone working through a health journey or working their way to recovery. It can be difficult for that person, and you want to help, but you aren't sure if you should. And if you did, where would you start?

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Well, we’ve lined up ten ways to help you support someone through their recovery journey.


 

Ways to Support Someone During Their Recovery


1. Showing Up Counts

Sometimes it can be a little hard for others to admit that they need or that they want help. That is okay. Letting that person know that you are there for them and supporting them is sometimes what they need.


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Just show up for that person in your life that is going through a rough patch. It's the simplest and most effective thing that you can do.


2. Take Care of Yourself


In order to mentally be there for someone, you need to take care of yourself first. To offer your best support to someone during their time of need, you need to focus on your mental health and well-being.

You need to take care of yourself to take care of someone in their health journey — it's as simple as that.


3. Encourage Healthy Habits


When supporting someone who is on a health journey, encouraging them that living well is essential. Help that person with healthy eating, motivate them to exercise, and create activities that give them something else to focus on.


Make some healthy meals and bring them to someone in need. It's the ultimate sign of love and support.


4. Send Supportive Messages


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5. Recognize Their Efforts

They've been putting in the work and pushing through in their recovery. So, giving that person some words of encouragement and being specific about the efforts you see them doing on their health journey will help them stay motivated and push through.


We all might not feel comfortable saying face-to-face, so you can recognize their efforts in a handwritten letter or share your thoughts in a video message. However, it's essential to give them recognition for their effort.


6. Spend Unplanned Time Together


Sometimes the lack of a plan can be the most supportive — not to mention liberating — game plan. For example, spending time with that person during their health recovery without a solid plan can sometimes be the best kind of plan.

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You're allowing for some downtime and hanging out without an agenda or set to-do. With health journeys, a lot of things are planned, and rules must be followed. So spending some unplanned time with somebody can be very freeing and relaxing.


7. Have Open-Ended Support

With the unpredictability that comes with a health journey, it's unrealistic to say something like, “I am free Friday afternoons, so text me if you're feeling down.” This can come off a little rude to the person that is in recovery. Instead, offer that they can get in contact whenever they want.

What's even better is if you're the one to get into contact with them. It takes the pressure off of them, thinking that they need to get into contact with you to catch you up on their health. So take the first step and reach out to them, offering your open support.


8. Be an Active Listener

Being an active listener is not always the easiest thing to do here. So here are some tips on being an active listener for that person going through their health journey.


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The first thing is to pay attention, that is right, pay attention when they are speaking, listen to them without judgment. Take some time to reflect on what they are saying, and ask for clarity if you are uncertain. Active listening is first about understanding the other person, then about being understood as the listener. Knowing that they are understood helps them on their path to recovery.


9. Always Follow Through

You don't always need to “fix what is wrong.” The person in recovery doesn't require you to be fixing things. Instead, you need to ensure that you're following through with what you are saying to that person.

If you tell them that you will be there Saturday at 2 pm, you need to be there. Always follow through on what you're saying to them. Show them that you care and support them.


10. And Finally, Be Understanding


Some essential terminology to use with people going through a health journey is “I had no idea you felt that way.” - or - “I appreciate you sharing with me how you're feeling.” Try to avoid language like “you'll get over it” or point out how “things could be worse.”


Being an understanding human being towards the person on their health journey can make a world of difference for them. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, so knowing that they have someone there who understands and supports them can change their entire outlook.


Bonus: Find Free Resources


A great free resource is CaringBridge. They offer free, personal, protected websites for patients and caregivers to easily share updates and receive support and encouragement from their community during a health journey. Learn more at CaringBridge.


 

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