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Check in on your friends...

FYI - MentalHealthMonday Podcasts return in January 2020 - but until then, you'll have to deal with the written word! Gasp!


I find it weird that this week's blog was inspired by a freaking CHAINSMOKERS video. It reminded me the importance of checking in on friends. Even just a note or a text here or there. Checking in on friends is cool...as is shown with this new Chainsmokers / Kygo song "Family". Who knew the guys who recorded "Selfie" would one day have a song and video with such a powerful message:

I'm pretty sure we all have a friend who gets down every once in a while. Maybe we have someone in our life who recently went through a bad breakup, lost a job, lost a pet, lost a loved one, or just someone who suffers from depression. When was the last time you checked in on that friend? You're already glued to your phone and computer all day - you are literally connected in so many ways. This isn't 1992, you don't have to wait for your Dad to get off the internet so you can use the phone. There aren't many excuses to not be able to get in touch with someone.


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When you know someone is down or going through a rough patch, it's always safe to assume that you are the ONLY ONE to reach out.


Yes. I didn't mis type that. Always assume you are the ONLY PERSON who cares.


WHY?


Think of the last time you saw someone who was depressed and or lonely, someone you knew was going through some trying times. You may have thought to yourself "I don't want to burden them or run the risk of making them feel worse." Or maybe you thought "their post had lots of comments, I'm sure they're just fine..."


Wrong attitude to have, friend.


Now the person in a dark place who needs someone to reach out, doesn't have ANYONE reaching out to them, because all their "friends" all think that exact same thing. Now NOBODY reaches out, and the depression, the sadness, the loneliness spirals out of control...and the person feels even more alone, even more isolated. That can be a very dangerous and potentially life threatening situation to some people.


Don't hesitate. Reach out. Attempt to empathize, or at least sympathize with them and let them talk through their situation.


Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe MULTIPLE people have reached out to that person, and if that's the case - great! It's not like they're going to be ANGRY that you care about them...the bigger support system someone can have in a time of need, the better.


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This is especially crucial around the holidays. Think of a friend who can't go home to see their family because of distance or financial situations, or a someone who recently lost a family member who won't be around this year for the holidays. This is the one time of year when people are overly kind to one another, but it shouldn't take a holiday to make people care. We should care about each other 365 (next year, 366) days a year.


It only takes a moment to reach out to a friend who may be hurting, or lonely. To you, a minute might not mean much, but to that friend, it might mean the world.


What if nobody had reached out to Rory in the video above? What if they wrote him off as reckless and moved on to the next person to film their videos? What if they just decided he wasn't worth it - or they didn't have the time? Maybe Rory wouldn't be here...but he IS...because people reached out in his time of need.


Reach out to your friends and check in on them, especially the strong friends. Sometimes they are the ones who need to talk the most.


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In the chaos of your shopping lists, your Christmas parties and work gatherings, your Hallmark channel movie binge fests, and all the traditions that make this time of year so special...don't forget your friends...especially the ones you know need it most.


Be well and Happy Holidays! Talk to you next week...


Riggs


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