5 ways to support a Friend after Surgery

5 ways to support a Friend after Surgery

Be there for a Friend after Surgery

Be there for a Friend after Surgery

Recovery IS a process and it takes time. Sometimes that’s hard to accept after surgery.

We’re all about being supportive friends here at Girlfriendology. We’ve shared how to be there for a friend who lost a parent, or pet, or job. But what happens when a friend has surgery? How can we be a better girlfriend to a friend after surgery? Here’s some girlfriend advice on:

5 ways to support a Friend after Surgery

  1. Make Time to Be There – On the day of the surgery, make yourself available to take her to surgery, if she needs you. You also want to be there after the surgery so that when she gets rolled into the room, she sees a familiar face. Just taking the time to be there for her throughout the process can mean so much to her. Even if it’s just to give her a ride home and tuck her in bed before the pain killers kick in, make yourself available to her. She’ll really appreciate it!
  1. Create a ‘Get Well Gift Basket – A gift basket that has the items she’ll need after surgery can mean so much to her! While each surgery is different and requires different recovery methods, there are items that are perfect for each gift basket. Books, magazines, puzzle books, adult coloring books, and other things to keep the brain occupied are always a good choice. You might also want to include items that will help her feel pampered, such as lotion, fuzzy socks, nail polish, etc.
  1. Stop by Just to Clean – No one feels like keeping things clean after surgery. Stopping by on your way home from work to throw some dishes in the dishwasher and change the bedding can mean so much to your friend.  It’s these little things that tell her how much you care. She’ll also be able to rest better not worrying about the house being a mess. (Also, change the cat box or walk the dog – don’t forget her pets!)
  1. Have Girls’ Night In – Girls’ night doesn’t have to end because she’s stuck at home. In fact, stopping by with some good movies can be a great way to get her mind off the fact that she’s stuck in bed recovering. Who cares if she falls asleep during the best part?! All that matters is that she’s able to take her mind off the recovery and hopefully enjoy some laughs with you and her BFFs. (And for ideas – here’s our popular list of 100+ Chick Flicks!)
  1. Take Her to Follow-up Appointments – Depending on the type of surgery, there’s a good chance your girlfriend will want someone to be with her for any follow-up appointments. Even if you’re just there to hold her hand during the scary conversations she has with her doctor, it can mean so much. It also helps to have a sounding board after the visits to determine where she needs to go from there.

Friendship is about being there when someone needs you most. The recovery period after a surgery can be so difficult. It’s emotional, painful, and can be really hard on someone. Take the time to step up for your friend so that she has someone in her corner during this difficult time.

It’s totally true: Recover IS a process. It takes time. It takes patience. And it definitely takes FRIENDS. Be a better friend! Be there for your girlfriend after surgery!

More girlfriend advice for tough situations …

That’s why we’re here – to inspire you to BE A BETTER FRIEND – even, and especially, when life hands you or a girlfriend tough situations.

COMFORTING GIFTS FOR FRIENDS: HEALING BASKETS provides gifts to comfort and support the broken hearted. From sympathy, and loss to cancer, get well, divorce and caregiving. These gifts encourage, comfort and inspire.

What other tough situations would you like us to cover on Girlfriendology? PLEASE SHARE below!

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  • Girlfriend Trip Beach Recommendations
  • Money-saving Tips & Sites
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How to Support a Friend Who Has Lost a Spouse

How to Support a Friend Who Has Lost a Spouse

Grief, friendship and losing a spouse, husbandFriendship, Grief and how to be there when a Friend has lost a Spouse

Grief is personal and sometimes looks as different on each person experiencing loss as the person herself. When the man she loved is gone forever, your friendship may be the only thing keeping your girlfriend going day after day. There is not a college degree or course that fully prepares us for how grief takes over. Here are a few insights of how to support a friend who has lost a spouse – to be a friend when a girlfriend has lost her husband or partner.

Stages of Grief Is Not a Checklist – You have probably heard that grief has stages, but these stages are not a checklist that once done, it’s done. Rather, grief meanders through emotions and sometimes grips us when we think we have moved beyond that phase. Usually, the early stages include mostly shock or disbelief. Even when a spouse has suffered a long illness or has lived a long and fulfilling life, she still won’t be ready for his life to be over. Eventually, she will go through some heavy-duty emotions including depression, anger, fear, and guilt. She will probably feel isolated and completely alone at times.

After the Flowers Fade – Initially, friends and family gather. There is a funeral or a memorial service, flowers and food provided by well-meaning supporters. The widow most likely won’t feel the complete sting of her loss during this initial onslaught of attention and affection. In fact, she may feel a boost of love while she puts her new reality on hold for the sake of the crowds. It’s after the gatherings are over and the crowds thin that the true need for a supportive friend will kick in.

Remember Special Occasions – After the crowds of friends and family have dwindled, that is the time to show up at her door with a meal, send a special note or arrange to go out to a movie or dinner together. Be sure to also remember her especially during the first year on every special occasion, like his birthday, their anniversary, possibly Father’s Day, Christmas or Hannukah, and New Year’s Eve.

Be on Call – It’s not just special occasions and holidays that will bring to mind memories that bring on the tears. Sometimes, a memory will hit her out of the blue and unexpected. A smell of his aftershave, a weekend spent alone, or even an unsuspecting comment will send her into an emotional flood. It’s these moments that she will need you most, but how are you to know when she is most in need of a friend? The best thing to do is to check in on her often and ask how she’s feeling. Then, offer what you can to help.

Just be There – Don’t try to make things right. Don’t try to find the right words to say. Certainly, don’t offer advice. There are no right words. She sometimes will just need someone to be there, to listen and maybe offer a hug or shoulder to cry on without judgment, advice, or the need to even speak.

Talk about Him – Allow her the freedom to remember, and don’t be afraid to laugh with her without judgment or shock at the things that may make her crack a smile when she remembers him. When you bring him up in conversation, use his name.

Help with Duties He Used to Perform – You obviously can’t step into the shoes of her husband entirely, but you can offer to assist her to events where her husband would normally attend by her side, like weddings or other functions. Additionally, some of the biggest struggles with pain occur when daily life goes on, and things that he used to do begins to need attention. For instance, if he used to change the oil in the car, pay the bills or care for the lawn, when it comes time for these chores to get done, she may have great difficulty finding the strength to do them herself, not because she is incapable of doing them but because they remind her of him. Ask what he used to handle in their relationship, and make arrangements for these tasks to be done for her.

Pay Close Attention to Signs of Depression or Suicide – Sometimes the pain of the grief feels overwhelming and too much to bear. When this happens, a healthy grieving process can go downhill fast. Look for signs of depression and get help if she begins to appear overly hopeless, lethargic, or talks about suicide.

A Few Don’ts About Grief – While knowing what to do is helpful, there are some things that are more hurtful than helpful for your grieving friend:

  • Don’t set a time limit on her grief.
  • Don’t assume you know how she feels.
  • Don’t compare grief to yours or others. Everyone grieves differently.
  • Don’t rush her to resolve her grief too soon. While some women adjust faster than others to their new normal, she will never simply get over it. Even those who move forward with life in a healthy emotional manner will experience an occasional setback.
  • Don’t give unsolicited advice.
  • Don’t chatter on about your own experiences.
  • Don’t assume you know how she feels
  • Don’t ever say, “I know how you feel.”
  • Don’t use any statement that begins with “you should” or impose flippant remarks, such as “Look at what you have to be thankful for”, “Be strong”, “You’ll get remarried someday”, “It’s part of God’s plan”, “He’s in a better place”, “Now that this is behind you, get on with your life.”
  • Don’t try to fix it! Grief is not a problem that needs to be fixed, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve.

While you can’t put your own life on hold completely, be ready to offer a listening ear even in the middle of the night or inopportune, inconvenient times.

If you are still at a loss as to how to comfort and offer support, ask her what she needs, and take the initiative to offer what you are able to do. Does she need help with funeral arrangements? Does she need someone to stay with her in her home for awhile? Does she need help with the housework, laundry or dishes? Does she need someone to watch her kids so she can be by herself? Does she need help going through his things for closure? Does she need help organizing insurance papers or paying medical bills? Does she need help with her pets? Does she need someone to drive her to where she needs to go? Does she need to go out to lunch or to a movie? Does she need someone to share a movie or a game night at her house? Does she need everybody to just leave her alone for awhile? Or, does she need a hug or someone to just physically be there? Does she need someone to shop for groceries or run errands? Do what you can. Just be there for your friend – as you know she would do for you! Now is a great time to be the supportive, caring friend she needs!

 

More from our ‘How to be a Better Friend – especially in Difficult Time / Situations’ series:

That’s why we’re here – to inspire you to BE A BETTER FRIEND – even, and especially, when life hands you or a girlfriend tough situations.

COMFORTING GIFTS FOR FRIENDS: HEALING BASKETS provides gifts to comfort and support the broken hearted. From sympathy, and loss to cancer, get well, divorce and caregiving. These gifts encourage, comfort and inspire.

What other tough situations would you like us to cover on Girlfriendology? PLEASE SHARE below!

A Free Resource Library of Great Girlfriend Advice?!

  • Celebration Ideas & checklists
  • Friendly Financial Advice
  • Tempting Travel tips
  • FREE eBooks
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  • Quotes to share with Friends 
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<------- What's NEW in the Free Resource Library?

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  • Girlfriend Trip Beach Recommendations
  • Money-saving Tips & Sites
  • & more!! 
5 Ways to Make New Friends (for you and your kids) | Back to School Tips

5 Ways to Make New Friends (for you and your kids) | Back to School Tips

back to school friendship quote

Whether you’re celebrating or regretting it, the kids are headed off to school soon and it can be a tough time for kids and moms to make new friends. We’re all about women’s friendship but we’re also about ‘girlfriend advice,’ so here’s …

5 Ways to Make New Friends for you and your kids – for Back to School:

1. Say HI – It seems so simple but sometimes a “HI” is a great ice-breaker with someone knew who might be afraid to say HI themselves. “Hi – I’m Anne.” “Hey – Do you know what time the bus is supposed to be here?” “Hola – como estas?” Practice with your kids on how to be friendly and start up a conversation with a new schoolmate or mom.

2. Find things in common – Often we connect over commonalities. It could be other kids who went to the beach this summer to those who love chemistry, to those who want to join the chess club or go out for football. Among women, it could be those who also bring a dog to soccer games or volunteer to bring treats because they also love to bake. Use that

3. Looks for Friendship Diversity – We don’t have to have EVERYTHING in common. It’s nice for women (and children) to have friends from other cultures, who look/worship/dress/vote/talk differently and friends who we can learn so much from! Welcome other types of women into your circle of friends – those who are older, younger, live in a different neighborhood, have more kids than you or no children at all. Make them feel welcome. And, by doing so, inspire your children to being open to a diverse world of potential friends!

3. Listening – It’s the little thing that makes such a huge impact on friendships! When we’re nervous, like starting a new grade or walking into a music parents meeting full of strangers, some of us get chatty. Moms and kids often ramble when we’re not sure what else to do. Sit back and listen. Be the attentive, caring, interested listener. You may learn some things and make a new friend.

5. Look for Others who Need a Friend – You and your kids aren’t the only ones who need a friend when we’re often with new people during Back to School. Look around for others who might be standing by themselves and introduce yourself. Pay attention to who might be new – they definitely need a friend. Even if you or your child are shy, have something to say to make them (and you) feel at ease – like, “Are you new too?” “I have a rule that no one stands alone.”

So, now you’re ready for school to start and for those friendships we make with other moms (and new friends our kids make). How do you make new friends? What girlfriend advice do you recommend for Back to School?

More for Back to School Girlfriend Advice:

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QUOTE: Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day.  It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken.  ~Bill Dodds

 

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12 Fun Activities for Teen Girls and Friends

12 Fun Activities for Teen Girls and Friends

12 Fun Activities for Teen Girls and FriendsIsn’t it great that girlfriends help us through all phases of our lives? From pre-school playmates to life-long cherished friends, we all NEED girlfriends. And, there are tons of benefits of having girlfriends and great ways to spend time together.

Preparing for a presentation to 150 Girl Scouts next week, I found the following WikiHow info on fun activities for teen girlfriends. (But even we grown up girlfriends can get some ideas!) And here’s  5 Tips for Being a Better Teenage Friend.
Ever had a friend over and were super bored? Were you in need of some ideas? Now, before you invite your friends over make sure you’ve got a list of things to do so you will NEVER ever be bored again!

Here’s 12 Fun Activities for Teen Girls

1. Do some cooking. Invite the girls over for the afternoon and cook! Provide all the ingredients before hand, or if you want to do it differently go to the supermarket beforehand with your gals and shop together for ingredients. Before your friends arrive at your house set out all the pots and pans and such that you will need and turn the oven to the right temperature, if needed, for the recipe. When everyone gets there, blast some fun music and assign everyone to a certain task such as ‘Elizabeth does the chopping’, ‘Susan’ cleans the veggies, ‘Anna’ boils the rice, etc. Talk and have a good time! (Here’s some Cookbooks for Kids to get them started!) ** Please note – this doesn’t mean that boys can’t cook too or that girls should just do the cooking, it’s just a way teen girls to hang out, have fun, and be creative together.

2. Browse the shops! Everybody loves shopping, right? But not everybody has the money all the time to do so. Browsing is just as fun. Grab a group of two – four girls and head to the mall or another large store nearby. Walk around any store that you find interesting. Try going to a clothing store and grab an outfit to try on. If you like the outfit, go into the changing rooms together and take a picture of it. Make it extra fun by picking out outfits for each other!

Recommended Resources for Activities for Kids

101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever!

101 Kids Activities

Friendship Jewelry Party

Friendship Jewelry Party

Teen Activities Kit

Teen Activities Kit

Just Dance activities for teens3. Dance the night away! Invite four – six friends over and head down to an open room and blast some music! Put on some Just Dance on the wii or your own fun music and dance the night away! Seriously, it is so much fun to dance and act crazy. Videotape it so you can watch later on to see how crazy we were dancing.

4. Make a slip ‘n’ slide and slip and slide. If the weather is hot and humid outside, what better way to have fun than to get wet? Invite your friends over for a watery day. Make a slip ‘n’ slide by putting a plastic tarp on a hill. Make sure you pin it into place so it doesn’t blow away! Then get the hose and pour nonstop water onto it while your girls and you slide down. Have a friendly water balloon fight afterward and dry off with towels, lemonade, and, yum!, brownies.

5. Get moving. Have a group of nine friends head to the park with you for some softball! Play fair! Or you could have relay races! Biking is another good activity to do with a group of two or three friends. Or rent a double-bike and go biking with your BFF.

6. Take pictures of your day and evening. Invite over three friends and take tons of pictures of you girls together. Then make a scrapbook! Fun! (Here’s a fun Hello Kitty Scrapbook kit!)

7. Practice being a fashion model. Dress up in really fun clothes and do each other’s make-up. You will look really crazy when it’s all done. Then set up a long blanket and walk down the “red carpet” and afterward drink champagne (sparkling cider) and veggies and dip. (And, everyone is coloring these days! Check out this Teen Fashion Design Chic Coloring Book!)

8. Do karaoke! Have a karaoke night with your BFF’s. Sing your lungs out and have them videotape it. Make up crazy dance moves and just act goofy. It’s really fun, seriously.

9. Pamper your pet. This may sound weird, but having doggie spa night is actually fun. Invite your BFF and her dog over and do a spa night for your two dogs. But, you do need an easy-going dog to do this. Paint their nails, put their hair up in pigtails, and dress them up in scarves, hats, sunglasses, etc. Or just do a photo shoot with the pets and share with your friends.

10. Have a night of bracelet making kits for teen girls and bowling. You don’t have to be good to have fun at bowling. Bring a bracelet making set and a group of friends to the bowling alley and bowl. While the others are bowling everyone else makes friendship bracelets and so on! It’s really fun.

11. Whatever you do, have fun with it. Smile, laugh (after all, laughing is the best medicine), and make the most of everything.

12. Make your own facial scrub. Mix sea salt and sugar together with enough olive oil to make a paste thick enough for you to scoop it, but thin enough for you to easily spread over the face and neck. Gently exfoliate the skin with the salt-sugar-oil mixture for up to one minute. Rinse off with warm water.

  • Apply a warm wet towel over the face and neck area to open up the pores. Let set for up to 30 seconds, or for as long as it is comfortable.
  • Mash a banana or avocado. Apply this mask to the face and neck, and let set for 15 minutes. Wipe off, then rinse the face with warm water.
  • Repeat Step Two, applying a warm wet towel over the face and neck area.
  • Create a paste with the baking soda, lemon juice and warm water. As in Step One, it should be thick enough for you to scoop it, but thin enough for you to easily spread over the face and neck. Gently cleanse the face for up to one minute. Rinse with warm water.
  • Close the pores by splashing the face and neck area with cold water.

How to Have Fun with Your Friends (Teen Girls) – wikiHow with our additional notes and ideas.

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What fun activities for teen girls do you, your friends, your daughters, and their girlfriends enjoy? Grown up girlfriends or teen BFFs, share your ideas for wonderful ways to spend time together with your friends!

 

 

More for Teens and Moms:

AND GIRLFRIEND ADVICE FOR GROWN-UP GIRLFRIENDS:

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The ABC’s of Female Friendship (and why YOU need to be a better friend)

The ABC’s of Female Friendship (and why YOU need to be a better friend)

What fundamentals of friendship apply to girlfriends and our friendship relationships? And why do we need to know them or even attempt to be a better friend?

ABCs of Female FriendshipWe’ll start with the “and WHY?” part of the equation. Girlfriendology started in 2006 when two of my girlfriends were dealing with cancer. I thought there should be a site, a community of women, who valued their female friends, who shared girlfriend advice and who inspired each other to be better friends. Soon after the launch, I found a book ‘The Tending Instinct: How Nurturing is Essential to Who We Are and How We Live‘ by Shelley E. Taylor. This book confirmed that female friendship makes women healthier, happier, less stressed and live longer. (If Oprah sold a pill that did that, everyone would buy it, right?!) I wanted to be a better friend to my girlfriends and loved that that was actually good for us!

In sharing this message, women have asked: Why don’t I have friends? How can I have better friendships? The answers are the same: To have a friend, be a friend. And, even more than that: Be a Better Friend. Here are the ABC’s of Female Friendship to help you do that:

A – Authentic – Be genuine, honest, yourself. Real friends want to be around YOU as you are – not someone you feel like they’ll like better. Be you. And accept your friends, with their flaws and silly ideas. They’ll accept you back.

B – Believe – There’s nothing better than a true friend who believes in you. NOTHING. With that faith, trust and support, you can do anything. Let your friends know that you believe in them. Show them. Support their dreams and celebrate their successes. They’ll do the same for you. That’s a powerful connection and blessing of true friends.

C – Caring – We’re put here for each other. To help ‘carry each others’ burden.’ To help each other, be a good listener, be a better friend. What if we care enough about women to give them the benefit of the doubt? We care enough to give them grace, a second chance, a hand when they need it.

Those are just some basics. Lessons of female friendship from years of blogging about it, observing women’s friendships, women telling me about their girlfriends and how very much they mean to them.

What are the basics of female friendship for you? What are the key elements that make a BFF? Share below. Share with your girlfriends. Just practice being a better friend. Remember, you’ll be healthier, happier, less stressed and live longer. And you’ll laugh and care more. Life is good … with girlfriends!

For more inspiration on being a better friend, check out:

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How to celebrate International Friendship Day

How to celebrate International Friendship Day

True Friendship quote, Friendship Day IdeasHappy International Friendship Day! How are you celebrating YOUR Friends? (Don’t worry – we’ve got ideas to inspire you!)

According to Wikipedia

… the tradition of dedicating a day in honor of friends to have originated in the U.S. in 1935, but it actually dates from 1919. The exchange of Friendship Day gifts like flowers, cards and wrist bands is a popular tradition of this occasion.

Friendship Day celebrations occur on different dates in different countries … On 27 April 2011 the General Assembly of the United Nations declared 30 July as official International Friendship Day. However, some countries, celebrate Friendship Day on the first Sunday of August.

TRUE FRIENDSHIP. As Thomas Aquinas quoted:

There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.

Friendships deserve to be celebrated and especially the true friendships (aka: great girlfriends!) who are there for us throughout our good and bad times in life.

See our BEST FRIENDS DAY INFOGRAPHIC!

Friendship day is the perfect day (excuse, reason) to celebrate the wonderful women in our lives! But how does a busy woman make time to celebrate those friendships that make women healthier, happier, less stressed, live longer, and feel more beautiful? We’ve got some ideas …

  1. Make a List: To get started, make a list of the true friends in your life. Who has been there for you when life has been tough? Who makes you smile, laugh or get through a tough day? Who has been there for you for years or just come into your life but shows true friendship potential? Write down the women who you consider your true friends.
  2. Make these True Friends feel special – as special as their friendship is to you! For each girlfriend on your list, think about how to express your friendship appreciation. Pick up the phone and call her. Tell her how much her friendship means to you. Make special plans – like to meet for dinner, drinks, a long walk. Spend time together – that’s a great gift of friendship!
  3. Express your Friendship in a Card – Sometimes it is hard to say things out loud that you want to express. We tend to feel embarrassed to express how much their friendship means to us. Sometimes we just can’t find the words, right?

This year I decided to send eCards to my BFFs. (I’ll let these cool eCards help me express my friendship is a thoughtful and sometimes silly way!) We’re excited to be working with American Greetings to help our girlfriends build into their friendships and express their girlfriend gratitude for Friendship Day – and every day of the year!

I didn’t realize that American Greetings has been a creator and manufacturer of innovative social expression products that assist consumers in enhancing their relationships to create happiness, laughter, and love – for more than 100 years! They offer greeting cards you can personalize and email, print from home and even post to Facebook. All digital and printable greeting cards are customizable and even free with your no-risk trial! (You won’t believe the hilarious cards that can talk and say what you write!)

So, I jumped on the American Greetings eCard site and started sending cards to my best girlfriends! Show here are a few examples …American Greetings friendship ecards, friendship day

For Friendship Day, I picked 10 girlfriends and sent them each an eCard with a message just for them. It was a great way to express my appreciation for them and their wonderful friendship.

For each of my girlfriends, I selected a card that reminded me of them or that I thought they would enjoy. There are beautiful cards with flowers, thoughtful cards with cute furry animals, silly cards with talking puppies, cards that express about every type of friendship and personality!

It’s very easy to select, personalize and send a card – and you get a copy of it in your email. You can add a gift to it too!

This has been a great way to express my appreciation for girlfriends! And, since I’m on vacation and not online as much this week, it was an easy and quick way to tell them how much their friendship means to me!

Thanks to American Greetings for these Girlfriendology Friendship E-cards!  We’re happy to share this great resource for women to express their friendship on Friendship Day and every day!

So, this year for Friendship Day, show and tell your friends how much they mean to you – with an eCard from American Greetings!

A Free Resource Library of Great Girlfriend Advice?!

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  • FREE eBooks
  • Coloring book pages
  • Quotes to share with Friends 
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  • Holiday Gifts - Christmas Gifts, Mother's Day Gifts, Valentine's Day Gifts
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<------- What's NEW in the Free Resource Library?

  • 150 Friendship Quotes
  • 3 FREE eBooks - including Resumes & Cover Letters
  • 2 Inspirational Quote Coloring Book Pages
  • JUST ADDED: Tips to make Grocery Shopping Easier
  • Girlfriend Trip Beach Recommendations
  • Money-saving Tips & Sites
  • & more!!