Sunday 24 June 2018

The Best Friend Care Package

There's been times recently that I've needed my friends and there's been times that they've needed me.

It got me thinking about how much I care about them and how much I appreciate them and I wanted to come up with a little list of ways you can look out for your friends and just generally make them feel better. 

I'll be honest, I don't have many friends. Sometimes I feel like I should have more because I guess I'm a bit of a loner and when I see girls posting about their group nights out with the ladies I can't help but feel a pang of jealousy.

I'd love to have a group of gal friends but then I remember that I hate going out and maybe just the select few that I already have and barely see is enough.

Friendship is important. It's someone to make memories with. Someone to vent to when you're angry. Someone to give you wanted (and sometimes unwanted) advice. It's someone to share things with, both physically and mentally. It's someone to look after and someone who looks after you. It's the person who is always there. It's the person that doesn't judge you. It's someone to keep secrets with and someone to gossip with. 

We should appreciate our friends. Life gets in the way and as we grow older, sometimes we grow apart. It doesn't mean we ever stopped caring and 9 times out of 10 your friend will be understanding of the fact that jobs and boyfriends and just life in general can get in the way. It doesn't mean they aren't important. We're all just growing up and doing our own things. 

Here are a few ways you can show and remind your friend that you care about them and will always be there for them.

Tell them.

First off, simply tell them. I went through something quite big recently and didn't talk to many people about it. I had one very close friend that I confided in and she is still telling me weeks later that she is always here for me and I can go and stay at hers whenever I need to. She has no idea how much that means to me and how much I needed to just hear that. I'm hoping she will read this and just know it's about her because we aren't the soppy type but I love her so bloody much. 

Visit them.

The same friend I was just referring to also came to visit me. We didn't really talk much about the situation, we just spent time together, sometimes in silence, but a comfortable one. We get to see each other maybe once a year and we both truly wish we could see each other more often and we absolutely must make more of an effort to. It was like the old days, albeit a lot has changed since then, but there's nothing like the comfort of having your life long best friend by your side. Reunited.

Just having her there made me feel safe and not alone. I really missed her the second she left but I'm grateful just to have seen her for a few days and plan to go and see her around Christmas time. (If that's alright kid?)

Stand up for them.

I have another bestie that recently had some man drama. Won't go into details as it is neither mine or your business but she needed a friend and I wanted to be there for her. I gave her my advice and my views on the situation. I think it's good to give friends advice but be careful between giving helpful insights and stating unwanted opinions. 
After some drama I had, some people gave me their very strong opinions and it wasn't helpful at all.
I wanted to let her know that I can see her frustration but also wanted to be the voice of reason too. I tried to see things clearly and told her my thoughts but also reminded her that I will always support her decisions whatever her choices. 
I was keen to let her know that she shouldn't be messed around and I reminded her of her worth. I will always stick up for my friends when they need me to, and I hope I helped her feel better, even if just for a few minutes. 

It's also a really comforting feeling when you yourself know you aren't in the right but your friend will stand up for you no matter what, even if they know you're wrong. Me and one of my friends would never EVER judge one another even if we did something terrible and I confide in her with ANYTHING. You need friends like that.

Treat them.

If you're out for lunch or shopping and your friend is having a bit of a hard time maybe treating them to their favourite frappuccino or a top they've been lusting after will help, even if just a little. Usually when I have people come visit, I'll try and hand over anything I have going spare from my blogging goodies. I'm very fortunate to have large supplies of things from my career and I'm just one tiny little woman so I don't always need them all. If I've finished up reviewing something or I have a few duplicates going I'll pass them onto my friends because it always puts a smile on their face. Sometimes they might have a little hint and ask about a product I'm trying and I will always tell them to feel free to try anything they like while they stay and sometimes they will just outright ask for it (here's looking at you Jade) 'Stace, give me some of this shampoo'

Nice little gestures.

Sometimes it's the teeny things that make the biggest impact. I have a friend who I used to work with and she would always bring in sweets and treats with her to work and not once did I ever ask her to share them with me. She would just buy me things to eat throughout my shift and I'll never forget that. It wasn't the idea of someone buying me stuff that I loved, you can't buy friendship. It was the massive smile on her face as she walked in, and the amount we would belly laugh at what such fat pigs we were, the customers would literally point and say 'HOW DO YOU EAT SO MUCH FOOD!' and it's memories I'll always cherish. Oh how we laughed. 

A phone call.

I don't know why but I always found phone calls much more personal than texts. You can say all the same things but there is nothing like hearing your besties voice. Me and one of my friends drifted over the years and every so often we would maybe message each other on social media or send a quick text but one day we arranged to call and the second I heard her, I just burst into tears. I hadn't realised how much I had missed her until we spoke properly on the phone. I think when things are really shit and you need a very long catch up because it's too long to explain over a text, a phone call can be the best thing. And don't you just find that you laugh so so much more on phone calls than compared to a text? Just me?

Be the impartial friend.

Be the friend who is there to take their mind off everything. If your friend needs perking up, don't address the issue, just take them out, make them laugh, watch their favourite film with them, set them up on a date, anything that will take their mind off life for a while. Sometimes you really need that friend too.

Be the shoulder to cry on.

Know when you're friend needs to let it all out. If they are crying out for help, you know it's getting too much. I'm not the best advice giver myself, I never know what to say but I am a good listener and sometimes that's all they need. Other times you might find yourself giving off whole speeches jam-packed with words of wisdom because you know you need to be strong for them while they can't be and that's okay too. Just be there for them. 

Check on them.

Always check on your friends. In fact, check on anyone you think could need it. I have a friend who I wouldn't say is my best friend but a good one regardless and he messaged me the other day and his exact words were 'Are you ok? Are you still working too much? I'm worried you're down'
Just three simple things that made me feel so so cared about. I hadn't even give him any reason to think that but he just knew. I had been having a hard time but I hadn't even told anybody. To know that he had been thinking about me surprised me but made me feel loved and so it was nice. We've arranged to meet up soon to get me out the house and to help him with a little project and that gives us both something to look forward to. 

It's scary what can come of not checking on your friends and it may not always be obvious when someone needs help because it's easy to hide behind a smile but just try your best. All you can do is try.

Make them food.

Everyone loves food! If you've done some baking at home, don't let it go to waste, take it to work with you or to your friends house. Every time I walk into work the chefs have some sort of snack for me because they know food is the way to my heart. I probably don't give it back to them as much as I should but they know I love them for it. I'm just a little chocolate gremlin.

Do something!

Go out! Have a girls date or a bros night. Go for coffee, go clubbing, hit the shops. Cinema, picnic, walk, gym, movie night, sleepover, swimming, a holiday. Just make plans and do it. Sometimes making plans can be exhausting and the run up to it can put you off and I am the worst for cancelling last minute but when I do make the effort to go I never ever regret it because I always have the best time. Don't spend your day in bed. Go out. Not only to make yourself feel better but maybe your friend suggested these plans because they need you. 

Send something.

If you live far away or even if just round the corner, surprise your friend with a little something. A handwritten letter, a handmade gift, a postcard. Just something to let them know that they are on your mind. It's those little things they will never forget and will love you for. My ex boyfriends mum used to send me cards when she thought I might need some love and I'll always love her for that. It never went unnoticed or unappreciated. 

I hope this has helped spark some ideas for how to look after your buddy, whether you think they need it or not. They might seem like they are happy as ever but it's always the right time to do something nice for them. 

All my love, 


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