Everyone needs to hear that they’re doing the right thing or are doing a good job every once in a while. If your friend doesn’t cut themselves any slack, and only aims for perfection, provide them with verbal or written reassurance that they are doing enough. The end goal is for your friend to begin using the reassurance that you give them as personal mantras that will get them through the day. Reassuring your friend will improve their self-esteem and can help improve their focus regarding what they need to improve upon. Be honest with them—don’t reassure them on bad habits or something they haven’t started working on. Improvement deserves to be recognized, but you shouldn’t applaud stagnation.
Do Relaxing Activities Together
Different people relax in unique ways. You may not share the same relaxation techniques as your friend, but if what they’re doing isn’t working, it might be time for a change. Invite your friend to a workout or yoga session that you go to regularly. Your idea of relaxing and resetting for a new day might be breakfast and coffee before work or dinner after work. If you’re feeling daring, you can try something new together. To avoid sounding pretentious, make sure not to phrase your invitation strictly as a way to get your friend to relax. Put the importance upon how much you’d like to spend more time together and have fun instead.
The case may be that your friend has never tried to do any at-home relaxation before. If you have certain relaxation methods that you love, gift similar materials that you use to your friend to try out. Give them a bottle of your favorite bubble bath, a playlist that you use for meditation, or your favorite kind of tea. Some of their interests or favorite home accessories may translate well into relaxing gifts, such as a classical vinyl record for the avid record collector or a relaxing scented candle for the avid candle collector. You can even purchase a gift card for your favorite spa location that you can use as a getaway together or separately.
Let Your Friend Know You Care
The most useful way to help a friend learn how to relax is to simply and honestly let them know that you are there for them. Strong platonic relationships are important for everyone’s happiness and well-being. Don’t be afraid to show how much you love your friend with your whole heart—you can get through any hardship together.