My girlfriend is dealing with an immense amount of stress due to her parents constantly fighting and she often finds it difficult to cope with their issues. She has confided in me and told me that she finds it hard to stay positive when they argue and she sometimes feels so overwhelmed that she doesn't even know where to turn. She has tried talking to friends, family, and even her own therapist but nothing seems to be helping her feel better. I am at a loss as to what to do for her and I wish there was a way for me to help her cope with the stress that she is feeling.
It can be incredibly difficult trying to support someone in your life when they are struggling with the stress and pressure of other people's drama and chaos.
As tough as it may be, providing emotional support and compassion to your girlfriend during this difficult time can help her to process her feelings, allowing her to gain better balance and perspective in her life.
Start by expressing your love, understanding and support to your girlfriend and let her know that you're there for her and that you never want her to feel judged or criticized. Be mindful of any assertion of control or judgmental opinions, as this can reinforce her feelings of powerlessness and insecurity.
Encourage your girlfriend to practice self-care by taking part in activities that she enjoys—whether it's going for a walk, reading a book, or talking to a friend. Self-care activities help to take her mind off her current situation and give her a moment of peace, relaxation and joy. Show your girlfriend that you genuinely care for her by asking her how she's doing, seeing if there's anything she needs, offering to listen without judgement, or simply just being there with her. Listening to her is one of the best ways to show support, however you should never advise or dictate what she should do.
It may also help to suggest to your girlfriend other sources of help, including therapy, counselling, or support groups. It might be beneficial for her to have someone she trusts to talk to, who will provide an outside perspective and offer guidance, validation and possibly tools to help her cope.
Sometimes facing difficult situations is simply a matter of learning to approach them with a different attitude. Encourage your girlfriend to look at tough circumstances as an opportunity to understand the dynamics behind them and the patterns that play into them, instead of judging the people in her life involved. This can help her to cultivate greater self-awareness and develop more appropriate responses.
Remind your girlfriend that there are still things within her control, and you can support her in making decisions to empower herself even during extremely trying times.