Hello!! As you know, it has not been sunshine and rainbows in Lil Red’s world as of late. I have basically been a dual citizen between Akron and Cleveland while a loved one is a long term patient at the Cleveland Clinic. During this difficult time, I have been so thankful to everyone who has reached out to me in case I need anything. In this post, I thought I’d put together a few helpful and not so helpful things that you can do if you would like to offer assistance to someone you know who is going through a hardship too. I know firsthand the merits and annoyances of a few of the following so let’s discuss:
DO – Let the person know you are here:
Sometimes, the most comforting thing that you can do is to just let someone know you are here. You are available to chat on the phone. You can be there in a flash if needed. Help is available if you ask. This puts the ball into the recipients court and gives them the opportunity to take you up on your offer if they choose. Which leads me to my next point:
DON’T – Bombard the person:
One of the absolute best things that you can do is to not bombard your loved one during the hardship they are experiencing. Constantly asking for updates, if they need help, and checking in is coming from a good place, of course, but it can also be a lot. I would highly recommend keeping check ins to a minimum unless asked for it because lots of calls and messages can be extremely overwhelming.
DO – Be empowering:
As much as it is appreciated to receive offers of assistance, there are some approaches that work better than others. I, personally, don’t like when it is implied that I can’t do things like maintain my household, grocery shop, or cook. Be mindful of your phrasing and try to empower the person instead. Something like “you have been doing so much, would it be helpful if I did XYZ?” goes a much longer way than “have you even been able to do XYZ?”.
DON’T – Pressure the person:
I have talked with SO many people during my “residency” at the Cleveland Clinic and one thing that we have all agreed on is how sick we are of hearing “take time for you”. The running joke is that we all reply with “how?” lol. It almost just feels like one more thing that we have to do on top of everything else. It sounds weird, but it is somewhat pressuring when you are hearing it from everyone and their brother! Once again, phrasing is important. “Can I do XYZ for you so you can take a break?” gives you the chance to say yes or no instead of a question mark.
DO – Be understanding:
I have become the queen of sending texts a week after receiving one, ignoring phone calls, and simply not replying back period. This is not coming from a place of being mean – just tired! Of course, I don’t love doing this but what was helpful for me was letting people know that if anything important was happening, they would know too. Your texts and calls might go unanswered and that’s okay! Be understanding of it and try your best to not blow up anyone’s phone in the process. ❤
At the end of July, it will be a year since my hardships began and these are all just things I noticed for myself personally. What is in this post might not be the case for you, but I thought I would pass it along anyway in case anything is remotely helpful!
Are you good or bad at accepting help? What was something that was beneficial or annoying during a difficult time? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah