IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, SOME OF US HAVE LEARNT SOME GOOD COPING SKILLS, AND OTHERS ARE REALLY COPING NOT SO WELL. MOST TIMES, YOU CAN'T CHANGE CIRCUMSTANCES FOR THEM, BUT YOU CAN MAYBE MAKE THINGS A LITTLE LIGHTER BY BREAKING UP SOME POSSIBLE RUMINATION AND GIVING THEM SOME TANGIBLE IDEAS TO DISPERSE SOME CLOUDY THOUGHTS. SOMETIMES, JUST A SIMPLE INTERVENTION OF HAVING YOUR COMPANY FOR A WHILE AND DOING SOMETHING DIFFERENT CAN BREAK UP A SOMBER STATE OF MIND THAT IS MAKING THEM FEEL SAD, LONELY OR VULNERABLE. IT'S SHOWING THEM SOMEONE CARES, HEY? AND THAT CAN MEAN A LOT.
From Different Authors
By Rachel Sharpe
Write Them A Card
If your goal is to cheer someone up, send snail mail and mail them a card. Let the card be a surprise. Within the card, write down all the reasons why you think that person is incredible. It’s a great way to make the person feel special and appreciated. It’ll likely be kept as a memento for years to come. If the person who needs cheering up typically doesn’t get mail, this will be a pleasant surprise for them. You can also include some humor in the card. A handwritten note can go a long way, as you learn how to cheer someone up. So write from your heart, and they’ll feel the love.
Surprise Them With A Gift
During lockdowns, someone shipped cheesecakes to the homes of various family members to cheer them up. The cheesecake price was much lower than sending flowers, which made it a cost-effective option. Plus, everyone was pleasantly surprised. Since no one was able to have guests over or see loved ones, it gave them something delicious to look forward to. The note included a funny message that said, “Even though we’re apart, I’ll never dessert you. Hope you have a sweet weekend.” You can personalize a gift to the person, and a delicious treat is always appreciated.
Make Them Laugh
You can relieve stress for another person when they’re in a bad mood by making them laugh. Whether you show them a funny video, tell them a funny story, or share a funny joke, there are tons of ways to get people roaring with laughter. If you’re having a movie night consider watching a comedy. When people are going through a rough time, it’s hard to make them laugh. But laughter could strengthen their Immune System, so that they can heal their pain, trauma, or illness. You don’t need to talk to a clinical psychologist to know how important a positive attitude is. So, share the best medicine: laughter.
Replace Their Negative Thoughts
When you want to cheer someone up, it’s essential to help them recognize their thought process. Most people cycle these repetitive negative thoughts in their heads. It’s important to call that out, so they don’t make themselves worse. When someone has a bad intrusive thought, tell them that they’re catastrophizing so that they see what they’re doing. And if possible, say one positive thing they’re doing for every negative thing they tell you. People tend to hear negativity louder than positivity, so the more positive things you tell them, the more likely that one of those things will stay. You may even share some happy thoughts with them.
Tell Them You Love Them
When it comes to cheering someone up, you’ll want to tell them you love them. People sometimes feel alone or lonely. Letting them know you care will cheer them up. You can tell people you love them in a million ways. You can use the words “I love you” as a starting point. You can make a kind gesture that shows someone you care about them. You can hug them or show physical affection, such as resting your hands on their shoulders. Some people tell people they love them by making or buying a gift for others. Or you can tell someone you love them by spending more time with them since time is the most limited possession you probably own.
Have a friend day
If a good friend is going through a rough time and you need to find ways to cheer them up, do things that people enjoy doing with friends. That could include a spa day for the ultimate pampering, such as getting a massage or facial. Or you can chill at home and sing karaoke to your favorite song while having a dance segment. You can talk about what’s going on in their life and focus on helping them see the light at the end of the tunnel. Be in the present moment with them, enjoying each other’s company. When you spend quality time with people, there’s always a boost in someone’s day.
Remind Them Of Happy Memories
When someone needs some cheering up, you can remind them of happy memories. The goal of sharing happy memories with them should be a reminder that things get better with them and that bad times are temporary. If they’ve lost a loved one, you can share happy memories they’ve had with that person. Or you can remind them of funny stories you two have been through together. You can send them silly pictures of the two of you to lighten the mood to cheer them up, but be sure to read their feelings depending on the situation.
Hear Them Out
Sometimes the best way to cheer someone up is to simply listen to them. People often want to feel heard. So, by all means, don’t say cheer up to help cheer someone up. That doesn’t work. Instead, focus on mirroring what they say. If someone says, “My husband filed for divorce.” Tell them which feeling you hear. For example, “You seem sad.” And let them elaborate on how they feel. Mirror the feelings and words they say to let them know that you hear what they’re telling you. Avoid giving advice; just lend a listening ear.
Invite Them Over
When you need to cheer someone up, the best way to do that is to invite them over. If someone feels lonely or depressed, responding to texts won’t cheer them up as much as an in-person conversation would. You can invite them over for tea or coffee to just chat about their situation, whatever. All you need to do is offer a listening ear. Sometimes that means more to people than doing something outrageous to take their mind off things. I’m not going to lie, there have been times when I’ve invited upset friends over for a two-person Taylor Swift dance party, and they have felt better immediately after.
Have fun with them
One of the ways to cheer someone up is to show off your playful side. Having fun with someone could involve dancing in the rain when they feel like crying in it. Being silly or goofy in a let’s make you smile kind of way could help also. Reminding people of the silver lining in life, instead of what’s going on in this moment could also be a fun way to look at the way. If you’re stuck for ideas, look for things that cause more Endorphins, such as listening to music, dancing, exercise, eating chocolate and spicy foods like chili peppers, and things like that.
Do An Act of Kindness For Them
We recently compiled a list of 200+ acts of kindness you can do to help show compassion towards others. Your good deeds can be as simple as sending them one positive message every day until they cheer up. You can also create a jar where you add little notes of all your favorite things about them and give it to them as a gift. Listening to them is a great way for them to feel heard and loved. Showing up at their home with a care package and a coffee can also brighten their day. You can reach out to your mutual friends and family members and ask them all to send that person a positive message telling them how amazing they are. So many ideas, pick one that you think would work best for them.
Remind Them Of What They’re Grateful For
Helping a friend come up with a gratitude list when they’re struggling to see the good in the world can help improve their perspective. Yup, sometimes life gets hard. But even on those dark days, there’s still so much good in your life and in the world around you. Your friend or loved one might’ve lost something they loved dearly, but they still have so many things that they cherish. It may be a good idea to buy them a mindfulness journal. Most recommend listing between 3-5 things you’re grateful for each day. This can be a good practice to help someone cheer up while helping them take ownership for their wellbeing.
Talk about their feelings
Ugh, feelings can leave you feeling overwhelmed. But they’re so much harder to deal with when stuck in our mind instead of spoken out loud. Paying attention to how someone talks about how they feel can allow you to interrupt them when they’re cycling the same story and get stuck. You may not be a clinical psychologist, or even a marriage counsellor, but you can still boost someone’s self esteem, help them deal with stress and reduce stress, and prevent self pity. If you find you’re in over your head or getting drained around them, help them find a therapist or counsellor who can better support them.
Hug Them Until They Laugh
Have you ever hugged someone until they laughed? No? Then, you’ve definitely not hugged them long enough. Studies show that hugging releases Oxytocin– the love hormone. And while some people hate affection, they’re often the ones that need it the most. (But of course, make sure someone still consents to any physical touch before hugging them). So if you have a chance to cheer someone up, give them a hug. You can joke that you’re only going to hug for a few more seconds longer, give them an extra squeeze, or do a dance while you hug them. But ultimately, those long, playful hugs can help cheer someone up. Practice sensitivity when doing this. If someone pushes you away, give them the space they need.
Go For A Walk
The best way to cheer someone up sometimes is to go outside, in the fresh air, for a long walk/heart to heart. To make someone happy, you’ll need to remind them that there’s a different world outside. This is especially true for those who need help coping with depression. Take them for a walk by the water, sit on a park bench, show them what the outside world is like. I used to give all my heart to hearts in cemeteries. It helps remind people that their story is still unfinished and there’s so much life to live in the meantime. You could also visit the Hills or a Park with a friend to discuss life with them. Or try a Mindful Walking practice with a friend if you want to try something new.
Give Them A Distraction
Men and women approach problems differently. Women tend to ruminate on their problems. Men tend to distract themselves. And while it may seem like distraction is a bad approach, men move on from their problems much quicker than women who are cycling those thoughts round and round. So rather than talking it out, you could choose to give them a distraction. Maybe you ask them to play video games with you and you just hang out playing, avoiding the difficult topic and having fun. Or maybe you pull out a board game and invite friends or family to play with you. Let them know that if they want to talk, they can, but if they just want to enjoy the activity you can do that too.
By McKenzie Terry
Ask Them If They Want Help
First off, find out if the person you’re trying to cheer up actually wants your help! Dr. Susan Edelman, who has spent 30 years as a practicing therapist in California specializing in women’s issues, says, “it's important to get someone's permission to cheer them up. Otherwise it might feel to them like you're uncomfortable with how they feel and just want to make it go away. That isn't as likely to cheer them up.”
Simply Be There for Them
To get over breakups, loss of a family member, or other serious incidents, people need time. "The best thing you can do to help them heal is to be there. Connect with them, give some time and energy without expecting anything in return. Patience is a virtue when it comes to grief," says Kelly Baez, a licensed professional counselor.
Take On a Creative Project Together
Whether you plan some elaborate project on Pinterest, or you grab some paint to sling at a piece of cardboard, doing something artistic (collages, painting, drawing, making music, etc.) could help get your friend smiling again.
Go Get Some Ice Cream
Ice cream can always brighten someone’s day. Seriously, maybe a double scoop of rocky road is all they need. Or mint chip, whatever.
Do Whatever They Want to Do
"Taking out at least an hour or two every week for an activity you enjoy can help you relax and de-stress. Coping mechanisms to deal with life stressors are crucial since chronic stress may make one susceptible to depression," says Dr. Igbokwe. Help your friend feel better by taking the time to do something they like to do, even if it’s not your favorite.
"Research indicates that volunteering for others can build self-esteem. If your friend needs cheering up, volunteering for others can be both rewarding as well as a positive distraction from their emotional distress," says Denise Limongello, Social Worker in New York State.
Give Lots of Positive Reinforcement
"Science has shown that for every negative thought, we need three positive ones to counteract the negative one. That means negativity impacts us more than positivity, it sidelines us and makes us unhappy," says Dr. Erin Stair, a physician and health consultant who runs Blooming Wellness in New York. It might not have been you who put those negative thoughts into your friend's head, but you can totally help negate them — three positive statements at a time!
"Baking has been found to have a therapeutic effect which eases depression and anxiety. Because the act of measuring, mixing and paying attention to a recipe often takes your whole attention, you actually create 'peace' in your mind, that pushes away many negative thoughts and emotions. The delicious aromas also produce happy feelings and if calories are of any concern, share them with a friend or donate them to a charity" says family coach Erica McCurdy.
Take a Tech Break
Psychotherapist and life coach Dr. Kelley Watts suggests you get them out of their bedroom and off electronics. "It can get more difficult to motivate [them] if [they] huddle up in a cave in pajamas binge watching Netflix."
Spend Quality Time Together
Turn off the TV, put your phone on silent, and just focus on being present and ready to listen. "Conversation will most likely take place, as well as just the enjoyment that comes out of receiving focused, quality time with someone that we care about. Anything that will enhance someone’s self-image and bring them out of their circling thoughts are all effective coping strategies within the world of mental health," says family therapist Crystal Rodenbaugh, who owns Tenfold Counseling in Kansas City.
Skip (Yes, That's Right, Skip)
Find your yellow brick road and get a move on. "Exercise is a fun way to build Endorphins, increase Oxygen, get you moving and distract you from a bad mood. You can do whatever exercise you want, but if you want to be extra silly, try skipping. It's extremely hard to stay glum while you skip,” says Dr. Stair. So try skipping together, if only for a few minutes.
Do Something Outside
"Nature therapy is a big thing for improving mood," says Dr. Stair. "Science has shown that just being in nature (or even just looking at photos of nature) naturally improves our mood." So, whether you’re in the the suburbs, or you are close to the Beach, Hills or Province, find something to do Outside. Even if it’s just 15 minutes of fresh air outside, it can really give your friend or loved one a lift.
Encourage Them to Talk It Out
Talking is one of the most effective ways to cheer someone up. Encourage your friend to share their feelings! "Teenagers (especially girls) often say that when they are stressed that they want someone to talk to about things. Be there for them, listen to them. If they aren’t interested in talking, invite them to do an activity with you and more than likely, they will start talking," says Kibler.
Make Them a Meal
"Cooking and eating with family and friends promotes bonding and studies show, also, overall happiness," says Danielle Hamo, a registered Dietician and licensed Nutritionist. If you can, go for a healthy meal full of Nutrients to help Nourish your friend.
Do a Random Act of Kindness Together
"Do a random act of kindness together — oftentimes when we do things for other people, we are the ones who benefit. Go out and do things, even small things (e.g., opening a door for someone, paying for someone’s drink at a restaurant, smiling and saying 'good morning' to a stranger, etc.), for others and see how your day changes," says Kibler.
Give Them a Cute Nickname
Come up with a nickname. The funnier it is the better. It’s not only a great way to get them laughing right now, but it will be your secret weapon to getting them chuckling in the future as well.
Make Friendship Bracelets
This throwback activity is sure to bring a smile to your friend's face while they're making it and whenever they look at it. If you live close to country, you could even make Daisy Chains.
Exercise (Anyway You Want!)
"Studies show just one in four teen girls get enough exercise. Scientists estimate that every 60 seconds of exercise adds a seven minutes to our total lifespan," says Joshua Duvauchelle, a health writer and certified personal trainer based in British Columbia. There is a lot of information out there on how exercise makes us happier but Duvauchelle says that the "Anti-Stress, Mood-Boosting effects kick in after just the first 5 minutes of exercise." So, get up and shake something!
Share Your Perspective on Whatever's Going On
Sometimes, all a friend needs is for you to tell them how you see it, in a kind and gentle manner. It can be hard to see the forest through the trees, so sharing your point of view could help your pal shift their mood.
Have a Smiling Contest
Tell each other jokes, make funny noises, make your best impression, etc — the only catch is you have to keep your face as straight as possible, the first person to crack a smile, loses. Or, try out a compliment competition - see who can outdo the other:)
Help Your Friend Clean Their Car or Room
Being surrounded by a mess doesn't do much for your mental state. Having a tidy space can help you feel more in control and Calm. Offering to help your friend straighten up their room or car shows you really Care and gives you something productive to do together. Plus, later, when they're on their own, they can Relax in a clutter-free, Peaceful space.
Identifying and focusing on the Good Things in your life can do Wonders for lifting your spirit. Help your friend channel her energy and attention into those things. Together, you can each make a list of all the things you are grateful for.
By Emily Skehill
Send a cute animal photo.
What’s better than looking at cute (or funny) animal pictures? Make someone’s day by sending a random text with a photo that will put a smile on their face. Bonus: while searching for the perfect one to send to your friend, you can look at as many as you want!
Reach out first.
When we aren’t feeling our best, reaching out can be daunting. If you know your friend is having a tough time – or even if you don’t but are having a good day yourself – start the conversation! Sometimes just knowing that someone wants to talk to you can lift your spirit.
Do an extra chore.
If you aren’t living alone right now, pick up an extra task around your home! One less thing on your roommate or family members’ plate will go a long way in making them feel supported.
Send a story of kindness.
There’s a lot of scary stuff happening right now, but there are so many people rising up to help each other. If you see a story that gives you some hope, send it to others to pass that feeling along. Need some ideas to get started? This article includes a bunch of feel-good stories from around the world.
By Katherine Eion
hugging someone truly relieves stress and can make another feel a lot better. Hugging is a great stress reliever for both parties and is very helpful when there are no words. Research shows that oxytocin, a chemical that is a natural stress reliever, is released in the brain when hugging. A hug conveys loving care when mere words just won’t do.
Share a Walk
Walking has a multitude of benefits, among them walking is a stress reliever. Taking a stroll through the neighborhood may be just the right thing for the person you know who needs cheering up. A walk is free and getting a little fresh air is very beneficial. Walking has a way of soothing nerves and serving to help someone who is tense to relax. Just the thing for someone who is experiencing a temporary set back.
A Spa Experience
Having a spa day need not be expensive. The above link provides tips for a DIY spa day treat. A spa day can be a real treat for you both. Relax, unwind, and simply enjoy one another’s company. Treat yourself and a friend or loved one and essentially “stop the world” for an hour or so. You’ll both feel relaxed, refreshed, and simply pampered. A spa day is just a great way to may a day brighter.
Believe it or not, offering to volunteer is a great stress reliever. Research has definitively proven that volunteering helps a person sleep better, gain a new perspective, and raises self-esteem. There are many opportunities to lend a helping hand. Tutoring or any favored charity are all great places to get started. Plus, you’ll have the added benefit of a shared experience with someone who really needs the lift.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
Sometimes it helps to allow a friend or loved one to expand on their problem and a possible solution. Asking open-ended questions in order to enable a flow of ideas. Help by asking and by listening in return to relieve stress. You will assist the person through developing a sense of ownership of the problem and in developing a resolution to it. You will both benefit through increasing and strengthening communication skills.
Be A Friend
While it may seem simple, being a true friend is not always easy. Listening and caring for another takes time and energy, both well spent when investing in another person. Your friend will come to find this is only a temporary setback and one that can be conquered with loving support. Indeed, you are that loving support. Be a good friend and help another through by listening with an open mind and heart.
By Camille Styles
Drop Off A Home-Cooked Meal
This is a classic move for a reason. Put your love for your friend into a hearty meal that’ll nourish their body and soul. Make sure it’s something hearty and easy to prepare so your friend doesn’t have to exert any extra effort. It’s all about the little things, and a ready-to-eat meal is surely something they’ll appreciate.
…Or A Bag Of Goodies
Nothing ignites joy quite like a good dessert. In a time of need, sweet treats are both comforting and delicious. Dessert feeds the soul, and your friend will definitely appreciate the sentiment that comes with homemade goodies.
Just Pick Up The Phone
In this world of “likes” and emojis, it feels like we’ve forgotten how much more intimate it is to make a phone call. Hearing your voice and getting carried away in a 30-minute conversation can make all the difference in the world to someone who’s down in the dumps.
Give Them Animal Cuddles
Pet therapy is a thing. In fact, it’s been proven that pet therapy can decrease stress levels, anxiety, fatigue, loneliness, and even physical pain. You just can’t beat the love and joy received from a cuddly, furry friend.
From Joyful State Of Mind
Take them for a cruise.
A drive around the city or countryside is a good distraction and gives them much-needed time with a loved one.
Listen to them without judgement.
This is such a powerful way to be there for someone. Be present and attentively listen to what they say without judging them or the situation.
It’s not necessary to give advice or solutions unless, of course, they ask. Often lending an ear is the best way to support someone genuinely. Empathize with them as this validates their feelings and lets them feel heard.
Send them thoughtful text messages
After my father passed away, I remember receiving sweet text messages from close friends, family and co-workers. As simple as some of those messages were, they brightened my day and made me feel loved.
Write out a gratitude list together.
Encouraging them to focus on what they are thankful for will shift their frame of mind and how they feel.
You can suggest fun ideas, such as creating a gratitude jar, writing things they are thankful for on colourful post-it notes and sticking them around the house, or doing some gratitude journaling.
Buy them a thoughtful little gift.
Do they like candles, tea, chocolate, beauty products, plants or movies? Whatever it is, a thoughtful surprise from a friend or loved one is something anyone would appreciate and is sure to make them smile.
Give them a long hug.
Did you know that hugs can strengthen our immune system and increase our happiness?
Hugs are proven to lift your mood because they help your body and brain boost feel-good chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. (1)
Long hugs have even more benefits. For example, a 20-second hug reduces the harmful impact of stress, lowers our blood pressure, and even helps with heart health. (2)
Plan a day out (set a date).
Setting a day to get together is something you both can look forward to, and planning it out is so much fun and will boost their mood.
Get your creativity flowing and do some Crafts.
You can try adult colouring books, painting, card-making, or any little DIY project that is a positive distraction and gives new energy to a bad day. There’s satisfaction in creating something, and that’s also a mood booster.
Remind them of happy memories.
Reliving positive memories you share is another way to get someone’s mind off what they are going through. This helps focus on the blessings in their life, thus shifting their mindset from negative to positive.
Try Braiding Your Friend's Hair
There are some good Tutorial Videos on YouTube
You will find the best easy ones by EverydayHairInspiration
How To Dutch Braid Your Own Hair Step By Step For Complete Beginners HERE
How To French Braid Step By Step For Beginners HERE
10 Basic Braids For Beginners -
How To Braid Hair Cute & Easy Everyday Hairstyles HERE