It doesn’t matter what age you are or how prepared you are for the news, when a loved one is sick, it can be extremely difficult to handle. There is certainly no wrong or right way to handle it, but here are some tips if you’re feeling stuck, unprepared, or just not sure what to do.
The first thing you should know is that you’re not alone in dealing with this new life challenge. Instead of bottling up your emotions, let them out. You can be sad, mad, angry, confused or any other emotion you’re feeling. Let your family and close friends know what’s going on. This will help build support not only around your loved one, but also support to assist you through the process.
The next thing you should do is help console your family member. This may manifest in many different ways, but most importantly being there and letting them know you’re there for them is going to be the biggest one.
You should find different ways to help relive the emotions you’re feeling. Whenever a loved one is sick, it can bring many new feelings to your everyday life. You should deal with each and every one of them in a productive manner. If you’re upset, call a friend or write out what you’re feeling. If you’re angry, go work out or take a run. Each and every emotion you’re feeling is valid and handling them in the right way is extremely important to your health and well being. The same thing goes for your family member, let them feel their emotions and help them go through them in a productive manner. Encourage positive behaviors, get them therapy or a support group, let them paint or do things that help make them feel better.
Be prepared to help out around the house more in any way you can. With your loved one being sick, they may not be able to contribute to the house or life they use to lead. You should offer to make meals, do yard work, clean the house, manage some daily tasks, or whatever you can do to help your loved one out. They will really appreciate it and it will help you feel like you can do something to make your loved one feel better.
Being in the house when a loved one is sick can also be draining. Make sure you still plan fun things for yourself, to get your mind off if it. Make the house cheerful whenever you walk in. Keeping an upbeat and positive attitude can be extremely hard during this time, but it will create a positive and uplifting environment, which is what your loved ones need the most.
Overall, there is no guide or words that may help alleviate the pain you and your family members are going through, but know you’re not alone. Linked below are hotline’s you may find helpful:
Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)
Hang in there my friends, and know that you are stronger and more capable than you ever thought imaginable. Prayers and good vibes go out to all of you.