Within just weeks since the COVID-19 hit the world, everything around us has changed. The rapid spread of the coronavirus has pushed professionals worldwide to find ways to cope with the new normal. Indeed, each one of us is affected, but some, sadly, are seeing more devastating consequences than the rest of us.
One of the most daunting parts of this outbreak is the fact that we are unable to personally support our family and friends who are more affected than you are because of the social distancing guidelines placed upon our communities for our safety. You struggle to find ways to let your friend know that you want to hug them or treat them for coffee and some heartfelt conversation, but you can’t.
A psychotherapist was interviewed about this matter, and she explained the importance of validating your friends’ feelings. Right now, they are confused, anxious, afraid, and even angry about what they have experienced. They might blame their employers, the government, or themselves and for reasons that may be unreasonable, but they won’t realize it until it might be too late.
The best you can do is call your friend in need and listen to them as they pour their emotions out to you so that when they get them out of their chest, they might be able to recharge. Keep in mind that often times giving advice is not always necessary, perhaps only if your friend asks for it. In this case, we have listed a few ways that you can show love and support to your friends during these trying times, depending on their situation.
Your Friend Is Experiencing Financial Problems
Some people are fortunate enough to have savings, but most of us live by our paychecks alone, and your friend may be one of them. If he is, the first move would be to lend him some if you have extra, of course. However, if this is not possible, then listening to him pour out his frustrations would be the initial first step and then providing sensible advice if he asks for it. Instead of allowing your close friend to be pushed into the wall, suggest that you talk virtually (video chat preferable) and discuss how he goes with his daily or monthly expenses. Help him out by asking what he might be able to cut on, like electricity or food. Is there someone he can call to help him out with some cash? If he’s okay with it, you can call his landlord or credit card company or perhaps email them to explain your friend’s situation accurately. Information on unemployment and stimulus check qualifications can be useful.
You can also help with the little things, like offering your code for free grocery deliveries or your Netflix log-in. These would undoubtedly lighten him up. Lastly, you can remind your friend that nothing is without a solution, even debts and payment deadlines.
Your Friend Became Unemployed
Among the seven million people who lost their jobs last March, it is highly likely that you know one or two who just got unemployed. If your beloved friend happens to be one of them, experts suggest that you try your best to display a brave and confident face and be his booster, reminding him that you didn’t lose his job because of his lack of ability but because it was inevitable during this pandemic. He must consider the global situation, you tell him. When he’s calm and composed, you can both do brainstorming on the jobs posted online, and there are a lot of remote jobs available. This is because while there are companies that are cutting on costs and retrenching employees, others are also hiring more on their online investments and businesses that have been hugely sellable these days. Help your friend find a job that suits his skills and work experience.
His Business Is Going Under
Sadly, many small businesses have filed for bankruptcy or have decided to furlough employees hoping that business will go back to its normal status anytime soon. A useful way to be there for your good friend who is going through a situation like this is to talk about other options with him and think about innovative ideas that could help make a difference. Maybe you could help him modify his business into a digital platform, as most companies that are currently thriving are into selling products and services online. Also, if he can’t manage the costs, you can try and think of other colleagues of yours who might be interested in partnering with your friend and venture into a new business or look into local businesses that may be capable of providing capital loans. When a person has sufficient knowledge, he is in an excellent position to make decisions. If your friend decides to close down his business, try to help him in whatever way you can.
If, however, you feel that your friend needs professional guidance to avoid mental health issues, try checking out the BetterHelp app. It’s a tool that your friend can click if he wants to talk with someone who knows how to deal with depression, anxiety, and stress, among others. There are pros and cons to trying online therapy that your friend should know about before checking it out. If he wants to give it a try, he can always get started today.