What Can I do to Help?

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Have you ever heard the phrase, or uttered it yourself, “What can I do to help?” Or, “Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.” How many times have you taken people at their word? It’s hard to ask for your help! We feel guilty for taking up someone’s time or pulling them away from important things of their own. Or sometimes we even feel bad about ourselves, because we should be able to handle it on our own.

One thing we need to remember is: people wouldn’t ask if they did not want to help! And you should not feel bad about asking for help: everyone needs help from time to time. Especially when you are going through a challenging time in your life. Have you recently had a baby? Lost a loved one? Taken ill or received an injury? These are all times when it is OK, and even necessary, to call in the cavalry to take some of the pressure off you.

Keep reading for some helpful tips and favors you can ask of your friends OR you can do for someone else who is struggling with a major life change.

1. Bring a meal

The best thing you can ever bring someone, is a hot meal. The best meals come in a single pot or pan, are freezable, and make good leftovers. This ensures your friend or family member can enjoy your generosity long after you leave. Tip: Make sure to label your container if you need it back!

2. Buy groceries

Is your loved one able to make their own meals but they are too busy to go shopping? Stop by the store and pick up the essentials such as milk, bread, eggs, and other everyday staples.

If you are nervous about buying food directly, you can get them a gift card so they can shop online and have their preferred food delivered directly to their doorstep.

3. Do dishes

Oh, how I would love for someone to come in and do my dishes! If you are visiting a friend or family member in need and notice a dirty kitchen, pick up a towel and sponge and get to work! And for the other side of the fence, don’t be afraid to ask! Washing the dishes is a quick and inexpensive chore that won’t put a huge strain one anyone’s time or budget.

4. Do laundry

Laundry is never ending, so there is always some waiting for their turn. Throw in a load of laundry for your friend while you visit and switch it over before you leave. This can be a game-changer, especially for new mothers/fathers  who may be surprised at the number of outfits their little one owns, and has proceeded to spit-up on.

5. Address and stamp envelopes

In the event of a new life being, a life passing away, or even illness or injury, everyone loves to send cards. Help your friend respond to their well-wishers by addressing, stamping, and yes, even licking (yuck) envelopes.

Responding to get-well cards, congratulations cards, or condolence cards can be overwhelming, so help your friend with this important task.

6. Walk the dog

Pets are often the first to pick up on changing human emotions and events, and this can be upsetting for them. So conspire with your pet-loving friend to make sure their pets get all the attention they need! From going to the dog park to trailing some string for the kitty, make sure your friend’s four-legged companion doesn’t get forgotten in all the confusion.

7. Babysit children

Children are a blessing straight from the Angels, but sometimes parents need some time away to recharge or tackle large tasks and chores. Watch your friend’s little ones for an hour or two so their caregivers can take a well deserved nap, go to a doctor’s appointment, or even clean out the fridge. An afternoon at the zoo or other fun activity may just make both your days while giving your friend a well earned rest.

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