Everyone feels sad from time to time. Whether that sadness is caused by a specific event (the loss of a loved one, a natural disaster, a divorce, job loss, financial troubles), general worries, or snow-balling circumstances, it’s often helpful to get some support from a friend. So keep an eye on your friends and if you notice that a friend seems unusually blue, use our tips to learn how to cheer someone up. With a little effort and kindness, you have the power to brighten someone’s day.
How to Cheer Someone Up
First and foremost, reach out to your friend. Let them know that you’re there, you’re thinking about them, and you’re available to talk. Sometimes just venting about a stressful situation can make someone feel better. As you’re listening, keep in mind that your goal isn’t to solve the problem. Focus on listening and empathizing.
Send a Handwritten Letter or Card
Whether you live near or far, you can always send a handwritten letter or card to your friend. Not only will this show that you care, but also you may find it easier to write your thoughts than to say them aloud because you’ll have time to carefully consider and edit your words. Plus, if your friend finds the letter or card meaningful, he or she can cherish it for years to come – and perhaps even read it again when tough times arise in the future.
Make Them Laugh
Whatever your method of choice – puns, jokes, sarcasm, physical humor – try to make your friend smile. Don’t consider yourself a comedian? You could send your friend a funny photo or video. Keep in mind, however, that humor is not appropriate in every situation. “Read the room,” as they say, before you attempt a joke. If your friend is still reeling from some unexpected bad news, humor may be ill-advised.
Make Them Dinner (or Assist with Another Chore)
Especially if someone is feeling dispirited due to stress, consider making them dinner. The meal doesn’t need to be expensive or fancy (you could even grab take-out). The point is to take away a stressful portion of the day (deciding what to eat, buying groceries, cooking) and show your friend that you care about them. Not the best cook? You could assist with another chore instead, such as laundry, shopping, babysitting, or walking the dog.
Go on a Walk Together
Has your friend been cooped up inside? Suggest that you go on a walk together to get some fresh air. Walking is a great stress reliever, and the exercise may release endorphins (feel-good neurotransmitters) in your friend’s brain. Plus, sometimes people find it easier to talk about difficult subjects when they’re not staring directly at the other person. Whether you engage in a meaningful conversation or simply listen to the birds, walking is always a good way to pass the time.
Give a “Thinking of You” Gift
Depending on the situation, you may wish to give your friend a gift to help cheer them up. If you can find something that fits their personality and interests, go for it. Otherwise, you usually can’t go wrong with flowers or chocolates. You could also give a gift card to one of their favorite places (a coffeeshop, a boutique, a movie theater, etc.), so that they have an excuse to get out of the house and do something they enjoy.
Engage Their Community
If you and your friend are both parts of a vibrant community (a club, a church, a retirement community, etc.), consider engaging other members of the community to help cheer your friend up. For example, you could schedule times for different people to visit your friend or ask everyone to send your friend a card. Just like George Bailey at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life, your friend will surely be delighted when they see how many friends were willing to help out.
If you’re wondering how to cheer someone up, we hope these ideas come in handy. Remember that when it comes down to it, the most important thing is to just be there.
Are you looking for a community that provides a positive, healthy atmosphere where you can live out your golden years? The Shores of Lake Phalen is an assisted living community in a quiet, peaceful environment in Maplewood, Minnesota. Surrounded by a gorgeous wooded setting between two lakes, our residence offers the accessibility of apartment-style housing with the atmosphere and elegance of a resort. We offer numerous health and safety amenities, fun events and activities, a friendly and accommodating staff, and so much more. Schedule a tour of the community to explore our spacious apartments, elegant dining room, and more. We look forward to hearing from you!