Breast cancer can be scary for both the diagnosed and those closest to them. Here are five ways you can support a loved one battling breast cancer:
- Be actively available. Avoid phrases like “let me know how I can help.” Be active and specific in how you can help. For example, offer to bring over dinner one weekend. Being specific with a helpful action and time frame takes the onus off your loved one of coming up with ways YOU can help.
- Be flexible and understanding. As much as you may also be going through a tough spot, remember this is not about you. Be flexible with your loved one. Maybe they don’t want you to bring dinner over on the weekend, but would love to grab lunch. Or maybe they just want to take a nap and cancel plans all together. Be flexible and understanding that things will change.
- Find joy. Laughter is the best medicine! Reminisce on the silliest, wildest, most hilarious times you had together, and take time to make new memories that you can laugh about for years to come. See a funny movie, play silly games, and do something that feels totally and wholly silly.
- Don’t shy away from sadness. As much as finding joy is an important part of being a support system, so is allowing for sadness. You don’t have to offer solutions, or even have a conversation. Be comfortable sitting in sadness and being a shoulder to cry on. Allow your loved one to feel fully and without judgement.
- Remember to take care of yourself. Get sleep. Eat healthy. Go on walks. Being the best support for your loved one means you need to be well-rested and clear-headed yourself.