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How To Be A Great Support System For A Struggling Loved One

7 Ways To Be An Effective Support System

The road to recovery can be difficult which is why surrounding yourself with like-minded people and a great support system is so important. However, we know this can be easier said than done. Support systems can be anyone who you respect and trust whether that is a family member, friend, professor, therapist, neighbor, or more. Oftentimes, the amount of emotional support an individual has can be correlated to their stress level. The more emotional support you can provide your loved one who may be suffering, the lower their stress level will be. We are here to provide you with tips on how to be a great support system.

  1. Create A Comfortable Environment and Be An Active Listener
    1. It is crucial to make your living environment judgment-free in order for your struggling loved one to thrive. A great way to do this is to be an active listener. A beneficial method we like to use so that everyone is on the same page is to ask your loved one if they would like your opinion or if they would like you to just be a sounding board to listen to what they are going through and support them. This way, you can ensure that you are not overstepping and providing them with what they need in the moment.
  2. Create A Substance-Free Environment
    1. If your loved one is struggling with addiction, surrounding them with a substance-free environment will make their journey to sobriety much easier. Voluntarily live a substance-free life with them, even if only for a couple months while they build new habits. It is critical to set this good example and an effective way to be a good support system.
  3. Promote A Healthy Living Style
    1. This doesn’t only include getting exercise and eating healthy. This also includes maintaining healthy communication between family members. We suggest promoting open, emotionally safe communication. This way, the more endless support you are able to provide your loved ones, the more comfortable they will be to come to you with their challenges and concerns.
  4. Plan A Fun Activity
    1. To get their mind off their current troubles, it is crucial to be sure to have balance and also do something your loved ones love to do! Whether that may be doing artwork, or going on a hike on their favorite trail, set aside time with your loved one to distract and enjoy time with them.
  5. Support Their Solutions
    1. As mentioned above, we suggest avoiding telling them what they should do (unless they are planning on being in or in a dangerous situation), but one thing you can do is support their solutions. By providing them with positive reinforcement that their plan to recovery is working, you will let them know that you are always there to support them.
  6. Show Physical Affection
    1. Depending on the person, physical affection like a simple 10-second firm hug can go a long way. This act shows that you are here to be a great support system for them no matter what.
  7. Checking In
    1. Simply asking “hey, how are you doing?” can make someone’s day. It is important to be intentional about reaching out and check in with your loved ones when you have the mental capacity to do so.

All of these simple gestures are a great way to show your loved ones you are here for them. If you or your family members are in need of mental health or addiction treatment help, be sure to review our services and we would be more than happy to help guide you on the road to recovery! We are here to be a support system for you.