February is the month of love. We give flowers, chocolates and gifts on Valentine’s Day to win or keep the heart of a loved one. But what about someone who is depressed? How do you let the person know you love him/her when flowers and gifts won’t work?

Here’s a few gifts of love to give someone who is depressed:

  1. Hugs! Who doesn’t feel good from a hug? Okay, maybe some people complain when they’re touched or hugged. But a hug is a personalized touch that is not only intimate but gives comfort and warmth. It’s a reminder of what good human touch feels like to someone who is depressed.
  2. Massage. A massage feels good after a hard day of work. Imagine how good it feels to someone whose body is tense most of the time. A gentle massage will unkink those knotted muscles and loosen that forever tense shoulder and neck area. A massage allows the person’s body to relax, something that might not have happened in a long while. It can also brings back intimacy to a relationship. Use warm, fragrant oils to make the experience even better.
  3.  An aromatic bath or shower. Certain scents can relax the mind and restore balance to the body. There’s all sorts of bath beads, gels and foaming soaps in stores you can use. If you know your loved one has a favourite fragrance, try using that.
  4. Listen non-judgementally. Let your loved one talk. It can be as long or short as your loved one needs. Talking helps a depressed person. It can also reconnect you on an emotional level to each other. You might understand more of what your loved one is experiencing. In return, your loved one knows he/she has your support.
  5. What would you like to do? Ask your loved one if he/she wants to do anything. That anything might not be special or romantic. It might just be watching a television show with you or sharing a walk. Whatever it is, allow the person to decide what, when and how long the activity will be.
  6. Be patient. If certain behaviour or attitude makes you normally feel like pulling your hair or grinding your teeth, chill out! It won’t be easy but by changing your behaviour you’re mixing up the routine a bit. Instead of the usual outcome of everyone upset with each other, you might be in for a pleasant experience.
  7. I love you. Say it. Say it often. Even if your loved one scoffs or says you don’t really mean it. Not every positive thing you say has an immediate impact on someone who is depressed. Later, your loved one’s thoughts will return to the moment you said, “I love you.” That message will resonate with the soul long after they are spoken.
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