During these difficult times, it is important to take a look around and give a helping hand to those who are struggling with different kinds of hardships. You might see your neighbour get sick, a family member lose a job, or someone you know become depressed because of the discouraging situation we’re all facing now. While it’s not always easy to be physically there for the people you care about in times of trouble, you can always help lighten their burden by showing your sympathy.

When someone you know is ill, there are many ways to show them that you care, and that you want them to get better. Although you might not always be able to provide the proper care and treatment they need, simple things like a phone call and a few words of encouragement would bring positive impact towards their health. Your words might not guarantee that they heal soon or even at all, but knowing that you care about them would surely lighten their heavy heart.

Here are some simple yet supportive things that you can say to show your sympathy to an ill friend:

  • “I heard you’re not feeling well. I’m so worried. Is there anything I can do?”
  • “Heard you were feeling under the weather. I’m here if you want to talk about it.”
  • “How are you feeling, if you don’t mind me asking?”
  • “If there is anything you need help with, just let me know.”
  • “I’m so sorry you have to go through this. What can I do to make you feel better?”
  • “I’ll be praying for you. May God bless you with a speedy recovery.”
  • “You’re in my thoughts and prayers.”
  • “I have faith that you’ll be better really soon.”
  •  “You’ve got this. Just focus on getting better.”
  • “How are you holding up? Tell me what’s helpful and what’s not.”

Sometimes saying “Let me know if you need anything” sounds too generic and your friend might feel some burden in asking you to do certain things. So, if you can be more specific with what you are offering, they would more likely feel encouraged to ask for something they really need. While you might not be able to visit them in person, you can still do these sweet little things.

  • “Hey, I’m ordering something on GoFood. Do you want pizza or noodles?”
  • “I’m free this Saturday. I can help you with the monthly report you’ve been wanting to finish. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.”
  • “I’ve just downloaded this really cool novel. I’ll send it to you if you want to read it.”
  • “Here’s a yoga video that helped me a lot when I had an upset stomach. Try it out and let me know how it works!”
  • “Hi, remember the supplements you told me you’ve been looking for? I found one at K-24 near my house today. I’ve sent it to your place just now. Get well soon!”

When you don’t really know what to say in a certain condition, it really is alright to just be there for your friend and listen to whatever they’d like to say, even if it’s just an online presence. Listen carefully and actively. Avoid any form of judgmental comments like “Why didn’t you listen to my advice weeks ago?” or “I’ve told you not to go there but you’re just too stubborn.” Being judged is the last thing they want and you won’t make them feel any better by doing so. Try these sympathetic responses.

  • “It must have been hard for you. Hang in there, buddy.”
  • “It must have been difficult. I admire your endurance.”
  • “I really admire how you are handling this. I know it’s difficult.”
  • “I know you’re sad for not being able to do things normally. Just get some rest. Think of this as the universe telling you to watch more TV.”
  • “I can imagine how it feels to be constantly worried. Don’t be. I’m praying with you.”
  • “Don’t feel bad for cancelling our plans. I totally understand.”

The nicest thing that you can do for a friend is to be a real one. Tell them how much you miss and love them, share funny stories or exciting moments you have just had with them. Hearing a heartfelt expression of how they are missed and listening to their friends’ stories will definitely make their day.

  • “I miss hanging out with you.”
  • “I miss our gossip time.”
  • “I hate it when my favorite people get hurt.”
  • “Would you like to hear what happened to me yesterday?”
  • “Dina and Lisa said hi. They miss you too.”

Things you say to your friend might just be words, but the gesture will remain cherished. One of the greatest gifts you can give someone is your time. The fact that you take time to think about them, call or text to check in on them, and pray for them will never be worthless. So keep being kind, what goes around comes around.

What would you say to an ill friend? Share your experience with us in the comment section!


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