- Ask Them What They Need: As the supportive family member or loved one of someone with anxiety, it is easy to think that you know what they need and have all the answers. Through their treatment and recovery process, they are learning to identify their own needs and create a system of recovery which works for them. You help them develop their independence and build their life skills by encouraging them to identify and ask for their own needs.
- Act With Compassion: You’ve been prone to reacting to stress, having some fear, and even experiencing a little anxiety of your own. Mental illness isn’t always easy to cope with. Remember to remain compassionate and empathetic toward their recovery and their struggle. They’re doing the best they can to learn how to apply a new set of skills to their life and manage their anxiety in a healthy way.
- Be Mindful: You don’t have to anticipate or beat them to their anxiety. Being mindful can help you notice when something seems off or when there are subtle warning signs of their anxiety coming into full throttle. Listen to what they’re saying, pay attention to how they’re acting, and stay tuned into your own reactions.
- Have Your Own Toolbox: When they run out of ideas to support themselves, they’re going to ask for help. In a difficult moment, they might not remember that they can reach out and ask for help. Be there to support them with your own toolbox of ideas, activities, and practices for working through anxiety. You don’t have to “fix” the situation, but you can offer a new solution.
- Detach With Love: Their anxiety has nothing to do with you. If they are having an anxious moment at an inopportune time, it’s important to remain calm and support them. Detach from their behaviors with love and stay focused on the person you adore. They are not their anxiety. They are living with anxiety.
- Stay Positive: Being an anchor to reality is important for navigating the choppy and unruly waters of anxiety. Don’t fall into the fear and ruminating thoughts about impending doom. Stay focused on the positive and the present in order to guide your loved one there.
- Live Authentically: The best thing you can teach them is to be themselves. You don’t have to be anyone other than who you are. Continue to be your loving and supportive self who is rooting for your loved one to overcome their difficulties and learn to live in peace.
Do you feel you need more support with your anxiety before going back to independent living after treatment? There’s no shame in that. LEAD Recovery Center offers extended care treatment programs to help you gain the confidence you need to live autonomously in recovery. Life is an adventure! Continue your adventure in recovery with us by calling 1-800-380-0012.