DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend of 10 years recently went through a nasty divorce after five years of marriage, and to save money, she ended up moving in with me temporarily. Ever since then, she has been pouring herself into work, working long hours without rest. I check in on her often to make sure she's all right, and while she claims that she is OK, I am starting to see some signs of emotional distress. I am worried that she might be depressed and trying to hide it through work. However, I am neither a mental health professional nor a divorcee.
I want to be there for my friend, and by that, I mean I want to do more than just offer general platitudes of encouragement. What can I do to support her through this? -- True Friends, Milwaukee
DEAR TRUE FRIENDS: Going through a divorce ranks as one of the highest stressors one can experience, so it makes sense that your friend is showing emotional wear and tear. One way you may be able to help her is to invite her to participate in social activities that may offset her workaholic tendencies. Simple things can make a difference, like taking a walk, going out to dinner with a small group, visiting a museum, going to the movies, even going for a beauty treatment.
You can also let your friend know that you are concerned about her and want to know how you can best be of help. Invite her to talk about what's going on and how she is feeling.