*This is a collaborative post
Socialising is highly important for your mental health. It is said that friendships can become your chosen family. This could not be truer, as the emotional support you give and receive among friends is undoubtedly special and of immense importance. Your friends and family, your loved ones, are important in a person’s life.
Knowing you can rely on each other, share the good moments and be there for the not-so-good ones as well means a lot for individuals. With them in your life, you can overcome struggles and challenges more easily, given that you know you are not alone in the safe space you have created together.
Indeed, maintaining relationships takes hard work. This doesn’t mean that you have to see it as a task, but truth be told, both you and your loved ones have a responsibility with each other to be supportive and have a good influence on each other. Whether romantic, platonic, between friends or between family members, any type of relationship must be maintained and taken care of with a lot of affection and sensibility. This includes taking the time to check in with each other, whether this means going out for a coffee, giving them a call or sending a text message. Actions are vital, and this is how you show a friend you care and are thinking about them.
It is understandable that sometimes, especially during adulthood, it can be challenging to fit your social life into a busy schedule. Synchronising this with your friends can be very difficult. But no matter how hectic your life is, it is crucial to find the time for your loved ones, for your relationships’ sake.
Plus, this is highly beneficial for both you and your friends. Having and maintaining friendships and strong relationships can enrich your life and improve your mental health. They can increase your sense of belonging. But how can you maintain them? By showing your loved ones you appreciate them.
Sometimes people overlook the importance of showing appreciation. And because of this, they may not realise this lies in the smallest actions and details. Here are a few examples:
Saying ‘thank you’ means a lot
Two words, eight letters that mean a lot when expressed genuinely and from the heart. This is the simplest and easiest way to show someone you appreciate them and are thankful for something they have done, said or if they have given you something. This makes you feel good, but also your loved one. It lets them know you are grateful, appreciative.
Expressing gratitude proved appreciation. In relationships, this is highly essential as it supports strong relationships and strengthens their foundation. Therefore, saying “thank you” should never be underestimated or overlooked. It may be a simple verbal affirmation, but it goes a long way and has a tremendous positive impact on the relationship. Plus, studies have shown that being thankful improves the quality of life, generating feelings of joy and happiness.
Listen and give your undivided attention
It almost goes without saying that the “secret” of solid and powerful relationships between friends, family members or romantic partners is open and honest communication. Without it, many things and feelings go unsaid, which brings misunderstandings, uncertainty and a lack of clarity. Therefore, it is crucial to support communication, as it is also a way of directly expressing your appreciation.
But open communication goes hand in hand with listening. It is vital to give your loved ones your undivided attention, whether they need to vent during difficult times or are happy about something. Listening empathically, actively, and without judgement is essential as it shows them you genuinely pay attention and care for them.
Show them you know them
Sometimes words are necessary, and they can be incredibly powerful. Whether your friend is going through a rough patch and they need you to be there for them, or you are sharing happy moments together, saying kind things, giving advice and being empathic is crucial.
But there are times when actions speak louder than words. Showing them how much you care for and love them by offering your emotional support is essential. However, you can also show your loved ones you genuinely know their likes by offering them gifts they will love and appreciate.
For instance, if a friend of yours is a beauty guru and is always looking at the latest skincare and makeup products, a beauty advent calendar would be an excellent gift idea. If a family member or friend wishes to see their favourite band live, you could surprise them with concert tickets. All these actions prove you know them well, and they are important to you.
Try your creativity and create something for them
Whether you are an artist or not, creating something for a friend or family member will show your loved ones how much you appreciate them. Taking the time to do this, especially if you aren’t an experienced artist, is an act of affection and gratitude, and they will surely cherish it.
And if you are not ready to create something handmade just yet, don’t worry! You can always personalise something you know they desire. For example, when holidays are approaching, you could give them an advent calendar and customise the 24 small gifts, or personalise the card with a specific drawing or message. For instance, you could write a letter that says how much they mean to you. This is a personal and unique present, specially created for them.
Be open and express your feelings
It is of the utmost importance to tell your loved ones you appreciate them, are grateful, and are thankful for them. Expressing these feelings is of the utmost importance. As mentioned earlier, it is essential to say “thank you”. The same goes for being open and not being afraid to express your feelings to them.
Indeed, it can be a bit scary, and some people feel uncomfortable doing this. In this case, you could start by writing them, as in the example mentioned earlier – through a heartfelt letter. There is no denying they will feel utterly happy to hear – or read this – as it is proof you appreciate them a great deal.