Affiliate Disclosure
Care Support
Quick Tips

7 Ways to Help Someone Going Through a Difficult Time

Written by CircleOf Staff
October 18, 2022
7 Ways to Help Someone Going Through a Difficult Time
How to support a friend going through a difficult time .Show up, be present & listenValidate what they feelKeep checking in, even it they are quietHug it out

Sometimes our caregiving friends and family don’t have the energy or words to ask for help, even when they need it most. Everyone goes through ups and downs in life where we need someone to lean on, but what is a good way to help a friend in need?

We’ve pulled together seven ways to support someone you care about who is having a hard time.

Be ‘there’ and listen to them

Show up.

In-person, on a call, in a text, or with a letter of encouragement. Do not ignore the situation if you care about them. If you don’t know what to say, don’t avoid them. Be present, stay attentive, and hear what they need to say. They often know what to do or have enough information, but they want someone to talk to and not feel alone.

Keep them company

Netflix marathon with delivery? Soup making to help them prep for the week?

I have a friend who lives 2,000 miles away who would schedule 1 hour a week to “watch” our favorite guilty pleasure on TV “together.” It meant the world and gave me something to look forward to. Sometimes we talked, and other times, we just watched the show. I am ever grateful for this act of companionship.

Make time, even if there isn’t much you can do to solve the problem. Offering to keep someone company or to hang out with them. Sometimes, silence is a good remedy, and knowing we are not alone is enough to help.

Validate their feelings

This is not about you.

It is about them and what they need to make sense of in their head, heart, and soul. Even if the situation is difficult to grasp or if you don’t agree with the person’s point of view or opinion. Let them lament, grrrr - rage, complain or cry. Don’t rush them or invalidate or minimize their concerns. Honestly, listening is a gift of all its own.

Validating someone’s feelings is a solid first step. Listen. Let them be honest when life is hard. Let them be sad and confused. This is trust. People need to know what they feel is real and that they can move through it. Life can be messy, but validation is a beautiful thing.

Please don’t make them ask for help.

It is easier to offer help than to ask for it. Say it out loud. You know it.

Many people prefer to avoid asking for help with meals, a ride, or free babysitting. It makes us feel vulnerable, scared, and like we don’t have a handle on our lives. We’d rather tough it out than ask for a hand.

Caregivers can feel like they are lost in the woods, and they don’t know the way out. Pay attention, offer to help, and try to be specific with what you can do. It’s OK. Just try.

Hug it out

Aside from help, words of comfort, and favors, a hug is a powerful gift. A hug can do the trick even when we have nothing to add and no advice to give.

Hug them if someone is comfortable and OK with touch (not everyone is). Your presence, acceptance, security, and breathing can help soothe the mind storm chaos and calm them so they can think.

Show them that you are thinking of them.

“I’m thinking of you” or “I’m praying for you.” – Those are powerful words.

When running your errands, grab a thoughtful plant, card, or treat for them and give it to them. If they appreciate prayer, tell them you are praying for them and with them to relieve their suffering.

We each respond to different types of support. Think about who you are helping and how best they can receive that support. Let them know that you think of them often and are there for them in their time of need.

Show you are there for them.

We always say this when people do not know what to say or do. Show up in some way.

Other ways to show support are with calls, texts, goofy memes, baking their favorite dish, or planning fun things together – taking a walk or watching a movie. Caregivers make lots of decisions for other people all the time. Plan something for them. It is a welcome surprise.

If they can’t leave the house, offer to cook for them or to clean their place. Whatta treat!

Do you recall the music from the TV hit show “Friends” by the Rembrandts? That song nails it for me. The song's gist is that this friend will be by your side as they've always been, no matter what. That is the heart of the care circle and why support matters.

“’ll Be There for You” is the Friends theme song. It was recorded by the American pop rock duo The Rembrandts.

Small acts of kindness make a big difference to someone in need.

Care is everything.

This is the heart of CircleOf. You build your trusted circle with friends on the caregiving team for you and others. This circle is your nexus, together in a secure and private circle in your hand.

Invite relatives, friends, paid caregivers, and others who help with the daily care of your loved one or supports YOU.

Click here to learn more about our company, our chosen partners, and our solutions.

Stay together, connected, and care together.

More on setting up a care team in this article.

Partners in this Article


Sending flowers can brighten anyone's day. At 1-800-Florals each florist-delivered gift is professionally designed and locally delivered, to ensure the highest level of quality and service.

Learn More
My Therabox

Great Gift Idea: Each box includes 1 research- inspired therapeutic activity to wire your brain for more joy + 7 full size treats to pamper your mind, body and soul. We aim to inspire more self-love & happiness through therapist curated products that reduce stress & enhance your life!

Learn More
Sleep & Beyond

Sleep & Beyond is one of the “Top Three Best Wool Bedding Brands” in the US. They specialize in certified organic and natural cotton and wool-filled bedding, such as comforters, pillows, sheets, mattress pads, toppers, protectors and more.

Learn More

Build Your Family Care Team Today!

It’s no secret that taking care of elderly family members can be a challenging task. Not only do you have to worry about their physical and emotional well-being, but you also have to manage your busy life simultaneously.

Build your own circle of care
Download the app and give it a try. It's free!

If you’re a family caregiver, CircleOf is the app for you. It allows you to organize and collaborate with family and friends, maintain regular communication so everyone is on the same page. Download CircleOf today to build your circle of care.

Explore resources that empower your care

Care starts with you. Create your circle.

Welcome Families
into Your ‘CircleOf’ Care