Encouraging self-care in our friends helps to encourage self-care in ourselves.
Sometimes it’s easier to do nice things for others than for ourselves. We enjoy taking care of others, but we feel selfish taking care of ourselves. If you’re one of those people who never misses an opportunity to help others but can never seem to find the time to take care of you, then self-care is probably often overlooked in your life.
Helping others is a great way to do something good and make yourself feel good. It allows you to take time out, away from your regular, everyday, routine and do something else.
Encouraging self-care in your friends’ lives is a great way to encourage self-care in your own life.
Checking in on your friends and connecting with people outside of your normal responsibilities can be rejuvenating and refreshing.
*This is a Guest Post and all the opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate links. Please rest assured that I only work with individuals and companies that I trust. While some of the companies and people I work with may work in the medical field, this post is not a substitution for medical advice. Always see your Doctor should you have mental health concerns.
Here’s how to be a great friend
1. Create a Self-care gift box
A self-care gift box doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive. It’s the thought that counts, after all. To make the perfect spa basket, all you need are some bath salts, a sleep mask, comfy socks or slippers, a fresh-smelling candle, and a few chocolates or toffee.
Include a handwritten note letting your friend know how much you appreciate their friendship and encourage them to get some time alone to pamper themselves.
2. Drop Off a Meal Tray
There is nothing better than a home cooked meal, but it takes a lot of time to make one. Give your loved ones some time back in their day by dropping off a breakfast casserole, a small tray of cured meats, cheeses, crackers and fruit, or a premade dinner.
Let them know you wanted them to have more time for family, or personal care, or whatever they need, because they’re appreciated and they deserve it.
3. Genuinely Check-in
Another way to show a friend how you care is sending a text, calling, or sending a handwritten card in the mail, letting your friend know that they’re appreciated, loved, and thought of, is a wonderful gesture.
When you reach out, make sure you’re in a good place so you can really be there to listen and ask questions. Keep the conversation about them so they can feel heard.
4. Offer a Specific Favor
For people who have little time in their day, whether they have children or parents to care for, or they work a lot of hours in a demanding job, offering a specific favor helps to alleviate some pressure and stress in their lives.
Make sure your offer is specific so they don’t have to think of something to outsouce to you, otherwise they’re more likely to say, “no, thank you.” A specific favor can be as simple as picking up groceries, or a prescription for their parents. Payment exchange platforms like Venmo and Paypal make it easy to transfer money so you can help them out!
How to treat your friends
5. Pizza, Wine, Movies
Make a date with your friend to have their favorite pizza, drink your favorite wine, and watch all the classic movies. Encourage your friend to make this date a priority.
You’ll get some time out to relax and your friend will feel pampered and cared for. You can’t go wrong getting some alone time together.
6. Send a Treat
Sending cupcakes, a fruit basket, or something fun off Amazon lets your friend know you’re thinking of them. And bonus, you’ll get to shop, which can be such an enjoyable pass-time, especially if you’re doing it for someone else out of love.
Don’t forget to include a note to let your friend know that the treat is a reminder for them to care for themselves!
Sometimes our friends will let us know about something important in their lives, like their mother having an important doctors visit coming up, or a certain health concern they’ve been dealing with.
Most people don’t like to go on about their troubles every day, but it’s comforting to know that someone was listening when we expressed our troubles. Follow-up with your friend about the matter in a gentle way, see if there’s any way you can help.
8. Offer to Babysit
If your friends have kids, they probably don’t have much time for self-care, or doing anything alone. Offer to babysit, even if it’s only for a couple of hours, so your friend can nap, or shop, or get a manicure. Let them know you want to do something to help because they deserve to take care of themselves.
9. Virtual Coffee Invite
Sometimes we just can’t get out of the house, so a virtual coffee date is a great way to connect with someone without having to leave your home. Send your friend a gift card for their favorite coffee or tea shop and a calendar request to meet up and chat with you.
A video chat makes a coffee date so much more fun!
10. Recommend Shows, Movies, or Books
My personal favorite way of letting a friend know I’m thinking of them is by sending a handwritten letter or card. I love writing and handwriting is so much more personal.
Send a card to your friend and include some recommendations for shows, movies, or books you think they might enjoy. Encourage them to do something for themselves. Then, let them know you can’t wait to talk with them about it.
How to Encourage a Friend
Struggling to make time for yourself is normal. Now imagine if you were presented with a card, or a basket, or a movie date, it would make taking that time for yourself so much easier.
When a friend has given us the gift of time and personal attention, we feel a sense of obligation to utilize their gift. It’s a guilt-free excuse to care for ourselves; a friend has requested that we do so.
Self-care doesn’t always have to be about getting your nails done or making all of your wellness visits—although those are an important part—sometimes self-care is doing something nice for someone else. Encouraging self-care in friends is a great way to encourage self-care in yourself as well.
Joscelyn Kate is a freelance writer and blogger at TheMiddayLatte.com where she writes about self-care for moms, time management, and tips on keeping life simple. Joscelyn is a puppy-loving, mom of two girls, and when she’s not writing, you’ll find her at the beach, in a Starbucks, or running around the yard with her littles. Find her Instagram here and her Facebook here