Here we will go over 5 ways to offer comfort to a loved one when they are in pain.
Whether physical pain or emotional, it can be hard to see your loved one suffering. Naturally, you may want to offer comfort and support in any way possible. But what are the best ways to do so?
Let’s jump right in.
1) Be Present
Often the best way to offer comfort to someone is by being present.
When a loved one is going through a hard time, it is easy for us to say “I am here if you need anything”. However, others rarely take you up on that offer because it feels like a generic cut-and-paste response.
Being present means showing up, going to their house, keeping them company, or giving them a phone call instead of a quick message. Whether your loved one wants your presence or not, your actions will mean a lot to them.
Additionally, try to be present throughout all their pain, not only in the beginning, because their need for support extends beyond the immediate hardship.
2) Be a Good Listener
When lending your ear to someone in pain, try to just simply listen and withhold the urge to give your opinion or try to relate.
Although you may want to offer your opinion, your loved one more than likely wants to vent, and when in pain, a full conversation can be overwhelming. This is especially true when your opinions regard their mental or physical health as they may bring on extra stress.
Additionally, showing that you can relate may sound like a good idea however, this can make your loved one feel as if you are minimizing their pain.
Instead, let your friend vent about whatever is on their mind. Your open ears show them that you care about their feelings no matter how emotional they may become.
3) Be Optimistic and Encourage Their Strength
No matter how bad a situation looks from the outside, there will always be a positive side, and sometimes you have to help your loved one see it.
Offering comfort is meant to make someone feel better, not worse, so hold back any grimacing face you may instinctually want to give when seeing an injury or hearing details. Also, shed light on the positive aspects of your loved one’s situation and express the encouragement of their staying strong because they more than likely feel pretty weak and vulnerable at this time.
When your friend is feeling particularly negative about their circumstances, try to make them laugh. Laughter truly is the best medicine a person can take advantage of.
When we laugh, our brain releases “feel good” hormones called endorphins. These hormones are released to help the nervous system cope with stress and sadness and are natural pain relievers.
4) Offer To Help
Offer your loved one help with physical tasks that may be too difficult to complete during their time of agony.
When someone is hurting, daily tasks can be hard to complete physically and emotionally. You can offer help by:
- Cleaning up their home
- Making important phone calls
- Scheduling doctors appointments
- Preparing meals and snacks
- Assisting with their hygiene like brushing hair and choosing outfits.
Your loved one’s inability to continue their routine may add an extra layer of stress that hinders the healing process. Nobody wants to sit in clutter, feel unhygienic, or have a ton of tasks on their mind. So, by helping with everyday chores and errands, you offer physical and emotional comfort.
5) Bring Them Care Packages
If you want to offer comfort to your loved one but don’t have time to physically comfort them you can help by bringing or sending care packages.
Care packages can include items like:
- Games or books
- Aromatherapy candles
- Healthy snacks
- Cozy socks
- Coffee or tea
- Craft materials
- Skincare items
- A stress ball
Your care package should include items that make life easier or more comfortable so avoid sending items that require maintenance like live plants or can make healing difficult like wine.
Wine is a popular care package item that seems like a good idea but, when a person is vulnerable, you don’t want to encourage the use of addictive substances other than their prescribed medications. If you want to offer physical relief, you can find non-intoxicating items like CBD gummies or topicals at Veriheal.com.
Additionally, providing prepackaged or cooked meals is a great way to make your loved one’s life a bit easier. Consider options that are easy to reheat like casseroles, lasagna, chili, and soup.