Do you have a family member who is going through a tough time right now? Perhaps the person is struggling with an addiction or going through a divorce. They may feel very alone as they move through whatever situation it is. You want to offer emotional support to them, but maybe they live several states away from you or even clear across the country. Fortunately, there are many ways of helping family members and offering emotional support without literally being there.
Consider the following ideas:
Get on Video Chat
Chances are, your family member has a phone or laptop computer with a camera. Suggest Skyping to your loved one. Skype is an excellent tool for overcoming long distances to connect with family members. If your family member isn’t sure how the technology works, take some time to explain how it’s used. Skype allows both of you to talk to and see one another. Plus, it’s a fast way to connect at any point throughout the day or night. This type of communication is more personal than just talking on the phone. You can see your loved one’s expressions and body language as you listen to their struggles and offer encouragement. Plus, seeing your face as well as hearing your familiar voice is going to be a comfort to them.
Know the Area
It’s a good idea to take time to know the ins and outs of the area a loved one lives in to better help them through tough times. This might seem hard when you live far away, but thanks to Google it’s not too difficult to become familiar with a city you’ve yet to set foot in. This can provide critical information for guiding a loved one through a crisis. For example, finding outpatient facilities in Seattle close to someone living there struggling with a hard drug addiction. Another example would be helping an elderly loved one living far away better navigate the local mass transit system to reach their doctor, thanks to information available online.
Though many people prefer to text instead of email, it’s a great way for your loved one to express their feelings in a more complete way. It’s the 21st-century version of writing a letter. Dropping your loved one an email each day gives them the chance to let you know they are feeling and if they are progressing toward a better situation. Whether an email is short or long, it’s an easy way to connect with a family member.
Social Media Messages
Many people use social media to communicate with others who live far away. You can use social media to send private messages and have an ongoing conversation that way. Or, you can post inspirational things on your loved one’s page to make them laugh and/or give them hope for a brighter future. Furthermore, social media can be used to reach out to long-lost loved ones who may be in need of someone to talk to about things.
Plan a Trip
It may be helpful to a struggling loved one to plan a trip to see them. It’s something they can look forward to as they continue to communicate with you each day. Choose an upcoming vacation from work or a long weekend and ask your friend or family member if it would be convenient to pay them a visit at that time. You could plan some fun activities to share with them during that time. By the end of the trip, you and your loved one will probably be closer than ever before.
Lastly, no matter how you choose to communicate with a family member who is struggling, they’re bound to feel uplifted by your thoughtful attention. They’ll know that someone really cares about them and wants to see them get into a better situation or state of mind.