tough time

When someone you love is going through a tough time, it's important to look after yourself while you look after them

We can all go through hard times in our lives – whether that’s in school or college, through our relationships with family and friends, our mental or physical health or romantic break-ups. If someone you love is struggling with something like this, it’s natural to want to help support them with what they’re going through. 

Here are some suggestions on how to care for someone going through hard times 

  • Ask them how you can help 

Everyone has different ways of getting through tough times and has different ways they want to be supported. It may seem simple, but just asking them what you can do to help shows that you want to hear what they need, and not just assuming you know what’s best for them. 

  • Listen (if they want to talk)  

If they want to talk about what’s happening, you can give them the space to share with you how they’re feeling, their worries and concerns. Stay present in the moment with them, give them your full attention and really listen to what they’re saying. Try putting yourself in their shoes and imagine how you would feel in their situation. For tips on how to be a good listener, click here.

  • Do something together 

Maybe there is something you and the other person enjoy doing together, be it watching a movie or TV show, going for a walk, gaming, or any other activity you both like. You could suggest meeting up with them and taking their mind off whatever they’re going through, even for a while. 

  • Look after yourself too 

It can sometimes be draining and tiring supporting someone else, so it’s important to be aware of its effect on your wellbeing too. Make sure you take time for yourself and do the things that you enjoy and make you feel good. 

  • Reach out 

Both you and the other person (if they are 18 or under), can always contact Childline for a one-to-one chat. It is confidential, and you can talk about absolutely anything you want to. You do not have to support this person on your own. You can get in touch via the LiveChat button here on our website or on the phone (1800 66 66 66), we are here 24/7 every day.