As the old adage goes, no man is an island. You cannot survive on your own. You need extra hands to help you make it through the toughest of times and the most difficult of challenges. Aside from your family, your friends can also give you the much needed support you need.
This is why friendship can be life-saving if you feel well and if you are sick, the same friendship is often put to test.
When a person is sick, they often need social support that comes from a network of family, peers and friends that they can lean on during taxing times. Social support has two different types and these are instrumental and emotional.
Emotional social support is the kind of support where you listen or offer a shoulder to cry on. Instrumental social support, on the other hand, includes gestures such as cleaning, cooking, helping with childcare and others. Social support offers benefits that have already been proven through research studies when it comes to handling stress in general and to be more specific, when faced with different stressors such as illness.
If you are wondering how friends impact the recovery process of a sick patient, this is simply through the social support they give. Friends, especially old ones, can provide things that are unique and can never be found anywhere else.
A perfect example of this is none other than a good and hearty laugh. Think of those many funny times you shared with your friends. Humor has now become a critical tool for mental health improvement. Similar to social promise, research also backs its promise.
Thanks to social media, it has become easier, simpler and faster to send some silly photos and reminders of memories. You can even send more tangible items via mail, especially stuff that can create a good laugh. And when friends have a good relationship with the family of a sick patient, it creates a welcomed cohesiveness to make everything less difficult for everyone involved.
The last and definitely not the least, when you are a friend to a sick patient, you might have intimate connection and knowledge. Sometimes, this alone can bring relief and help with the recovery process. As a friend, you probably know what is the hardest for your sick friend and you can be that one person who can bring up some difficult topics that other people might not be able to mention comfortably. Since you might have already seen your friend at their worst state, your mere presence in times of their sickness can be a very welcoming and comforting assurance.
Friends are the people who can teach you how to go with the flow as far as offering social support is concerned. Perhaps the thing that is most special about being a good old friend is that you will know what all of these mean. So, the next time a friend gets sick, don’t think twice to offer a friendly support and lead them to their way to recovery and healing.