Why do we wait until someone’s funeral before we say how much they mean to us? Why do we so often not tell our loved ones how important they are to us and how lovely we think they are before they’re dead and literally don’t care because, well, they’re dead?
I have heard countless people express deep regret about this after the death of a loved one.
This is not to make anyone feel guilty. I know that if you have depression, you can feel terrible about yourself and all the ways that you’ve ‘failed’ or let down other people. This is not the point. The point is that everyone needs a little love and affection and to be told that they matter, especially those of us that suffer from depression.
So whether you’re a depression sufferer or have a loved one who struggles with it, here are some quick and simple things you can do to show someone that they are appreciated (by the way, you can do some of these things for yourself too…)
1. Send a bunch of flowers through interflora or another online flower delivery service.
2. Send a ‘buddy box’: you can find these on blurt, an excellent online depression resource, or you can make your own by filling a small box with random bits and bobs like chocolate, a magazine, some colouring pencils, some colourful socks, some nice soap, etc…
3. Send a quick message via WhatsApp or Facebook messenger to ask someone how they’re doing, or just to say that you’re thinking of them and send hugs.
4. Send a message to say ‘I saw…and thought of you’.
5. For someone’s birthday, get some of their friends to sign a card and write one thing each that they appreciate about that person in the card. For example: ‘I love your sense of humour’. Or ‘you were so kind to me when…and I am really grateful for that’. Or ‘you’re a great listener’.
6. If you’re with your family or a group of friends at Christmas or Easter, get a bunch of postcards. Have everyone choose one and write their name on it, then leave the postcards somewhere around the house (e.g. in the Christmas tree). Over the course of the day you can write things on the postcards: either messages of support or nice things about each person as in suggestion no.4 above. By the end of the day everyone will have a postcard with some lovely messages on it.
7. Make an effort to remember how your friend takes their tea or coffee. It might sound silly, but remembering little details like this can make people feel like they matter.
8. Call round to your friend’s house and leave a little bunch of flowers or pretty leaves on the doorstep.
9. Turn up at your friend’s doorstep with cake, if they like cake. Or chocolate, or bacon, or avocados, or cheese, or whatever.
If anyone has more ideas, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear some of your suggestions.
Love from Katy xx