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mental health / lifestyle

Talking To Your Partner or Friend About Mental Health

by BetterSleep
May 18 • 4 min read

If you’re struggling with your mental health, you don’t have to do it alone. It’s important to share what you’re going through with your partner or your closest friend, even if it feels challenging and overwhelming.

Sharing with someone you trust can give you some perspective while helping you get the support you need to overcome your challenges. Plus, this kind of sharing can bring you closer to the people you love.

Here’s how to talk to your partner or friend about mental health.

Schedule a Dedicated Moment For Your Conversation

It’s important that both you and your loved one are fully dedicated to having this conversation. Schedule some time with just the two of you, away from work or other distractions.

Pick a location that will make you both feel comfortable. If it helps, you can plan another activity to keep you both occupied at the same time, like taking a walk or getting some ice cream.

Think About What Type of Support You Need

How would you like your friend or partner to support you during your time of need? Consider the ways in which you’d like them to show up for you so you know what to ask for.

For instance, if you struggle with panic attacks, you may want to be left alone during your attacks — or you may prefer to have someone soothe you and keep you grounded.

This is about you! If you don’t know what you need from your loved ones yet, let them know that you’re still thinking about it.

Jot Down What You Want to Talk About

Are you afraid of blanking when it’s time to talk to your partner or friend? Consider jotting down the topics you want to cover in a notepad or your phone.

If you get nervous during the conversation, you can take out your notes and reorient yourself.

Keep in mind that not everyone will benefit from planning what they want to say in advance. Some people will have better results if they don’t overprepare for a conversation. The most important thing is to know yourself and do what feels right for you.

Remember That You Don’t Have to Answer Every Question

Once you open up to your loved ones, they may have several questions for you. But sharing your struggles doesn’t mean you have to open up about every detail. You’re allowed to uphold your boundaries, especially if certain topics risk hurting your mental health.

If you get asked a question that you don’t want to answer, respond by showing gratitude for their support and explaining that you’d prefer not to talk about that question. There’s no need to apologize for setting a boundary, both, “no” and, “I’m not comfortable talking about that,” are complete sentences.

Whether you’ve already shared with your loved ones or not, Try the BetterSleep App to access relaxing mediations, sleep sounds, and other tools to help you improve your sleep and care for your mental health.

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