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Four Tips to Checking In on Strong Friends

Key advice for supporting those who seem to have it all together.

Listen up, friends.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

You know the mamas in your lives that seemingly have it all together?  The mamas that make it to yoga class or show up with treats on their kid’s birthday or are chauffeuring everyone to practice or lessons or one of the other 80 billion things that require their attention?

You know, the strong ones that never ask for help?

Yeah, those mamas. 

Reach out and check on them. 

I know, I know.  You probably think that they’re too busy to respond or you’re being a bit too extra, but I want you to know that you’re not. 

Because more times than not, in this world of “I’m fine,” your friend is just waiting for someone to genuinely ask and genuinely want a sincere answer.

Because I have a confession.

I feel like I’ve been running a marathon with no end in sight.

There’s always something more to do, someone else’s hand to hold, someplace where I’m needed.

Don’t get me wrong; I love it. I love that I’m a source of strength for others, in motherhood and in life.  I love that they trust me enough to hold space for them without judgment. I love that I’m able to shine and people are able to just be and grow within that light. 

But somewhere along the way I forgot to stop running.  Or maybe I forgot to hand off the baton because this was never my marathon to run.

It’s okay to not be okay.

And because I need to practice what I preach in Growing Wild and that is waking to up what’s going on in and around me.  And what’s going on is I’m sinking in deep.  Depression is not lost on me, as I’ve suffered in silence before, but not anymore. 

Living in the tundra of Northern Minnesota, Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder is legit and I believe I have it.

All of a sudden I’m finding myself tired.  Lost.  Sad.  Lonely.  Depressed.

Add in the additional pressure our minds go with all the woulda coulda shoulda’s.  That thought process becomes a toxic circle of shame and self-loathing and vile.

I reached out to my two closest friends.  Shame and anxiety made me delete the text three times, but I sent it.  And you know what?  I’m glad I did, because I’m not the only one who is feeling these wintery blues, all of us at varying degrees.  Together we made a plan to check in and continue to show up for one another.  Here are four ways you can continue to check in and show up for your strong friends:

  1. Reach out.  Text them.  Call them.  Show up at her door in your jammies after her kids are in bed and just talk.  Let her lead the way.  Don’t try to fix or offer advice, just listen and let her let go.  Because really, that’s all she needs.
  2. Ask how you can support her.  Maybe all she needs is a sitter on Tuesday nights to go to yoga.  Or maybe it’s really hard to gather enough strength to make supper on some nights and freezer meals would be a lifesaver.  Or maybe it’s just checking in more regularly.  Whatever it is, support her.
  3. Sprinkle love throughout the weeks ahead.  See a funny meme?  Share it.  Did a song come on that reminded you of your friendship?  Tell her why.  Finish a great TV series?  Recommend it.  Write her a note.  Drop by with a coffee.  Invite her and the kids over for supper one night.  Little things go a long way.
  4. Keep showing up.  As a mama, I know firsthand how busy our lives can be, but truly, keep showing up for that friend.  It’s in these times of hardship that showcases your true strength.  She is strong and radiant and will get through this rough patch soon enough, but until she has, keep showing up. 

Check in on your strong friends.

Be that light for them.  Hold their hand for a little while.  Let them rest.

They’re strong because they’ve had to be, not because they wanted to be.

And more than likely, they’re just waiting for someone to take the baton.

Kathryn Vigness is a speaker, author, and life coach. She is living proof that life gives us what we always need, not always we’ve envisioned. Keep up with Kathryn on Instagram or find her at kathrynvigness.com.

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