It's a pseudoscientific fact that the third Monday of January is the most depressing day of the year. There's no real science in this, of course, because most days are depressing for somebody who is genuinely depressed. Still, it's a good day to think about your struggling friends, and use Blue Monday as an excuse to do something to help them out.

Blue Monday on Female First

Blue Monday on Female First

Here are seven things you can do to look after someone with depression:

1. Send them a hilarious meme

People with mental health issues such as depression often find it difficult to talk about their feelings, or even hold a conversation. But that doesn't mean they want to be left alone. If your friend has been on the quiet side recently, just message them something you know will make them laugh. It's the best way to open up a conversation, and even if they see it and don't reply there's a chance they got a bit of joy from it anyway.

2. Arrange a date with them

Everyone likes to have something to look forward to, and while people with depression find it difficult to be excited by anything, that doesn't mean you should stop trying. Get them to agree to a solid date and take them somewhere within their comfort zone. Remember, a lot of people also struggle with anxiety and don't necessarily find the idea of adventure thrilling.

3. Take them out for a walk

It's easy to stay indoors for an entire week with the curtains closed when you have depression, and if you suspect a friend isn't getting out then a great thing you can do is take them out. Even if it's just to get groceries, they'll at least get some fresh air.

4. Brush their hair

Or do their make-up. Paint their nails. Help them shave. Personal grooming can go out of the window when you have depression and offering to help with anything like that will make them feel a hundred times better. Be sensitive though; suggesting that they need this help might affect their self-esteem, moreover if they are clearly uncomfortable with the idea of you doing this then leave it at that.

5. Cook for them

Tasks like cooking a healthy meal can seem enormous when a person barely has the energy to get out of bed. Thus, many depressed people will live off the meagerest of diets. If you know someone like that, inviting them over for dinner on Blue Monday might be just what they need.

6. Help them with cleaning

We all have to clean our houses, but for someone with depression that can be one of the most daunting aspects of life. Offering up your cleaning services will not only halve the amount of cleaning that needs to be done, but it will give them someone to talk to - a distraction from the task at hand.

7. Be patient

It's not always easy to be friends with someone with a mental illness, but the very best thing you can do is be there for them. Don't force them to talk about their feelings when they don't want to, and don't turn them away when they need you most. Sometimes that means opening your door at 3am, sometimes it just means picking up the phone.

by for

Tagged in