December 1 is National Women Supporting Women Day, and I truly believe that when women support each other, incredible things can happen. This is much easier said than done. Truly supporting the women around you requires energy and intentionality. It is fulfilling to pour into those around you and we wanted to give you four ways to support the women in your life:
- Listen – It is common to try and impart wisdom to others while they are sharing a story or difficulty with you. Instead, try to listen with an empathetic ear and practice active listening. Creating a safe place, without judgement, for other women to share joys and struggles is wildly important.
- Give back – Take an emotional inventory of who in your life may need a little extra support, kind words, or help completing a difficult task. Be intentional to look outside your regular schedule and rhythm to see areas or people that you can support. This is especially meaningful when a woman in your life is going through a difficult season.
- Don’t be a passive co-signer – While we always want to embody empathy and understanding, one of the best things we can do for women in our life is share difficult truths. If you can create this rapport with a friend, that extends both ways, you can truly strengthen each other. It is extremely important to take a loving approach when sharing difficult truths. It is also imperative to know if, and when, your friend is ready to hear a unique perspective.
- Surround yourself with strong women – We are only as strong as the community around us. It is important to surround yourself with women that have skills and traits that you may not have, but that you respect. I genuinely believe that iron sharpens iron.
At The Next Door, it is our mission to support women. This can look and feel differently for each individual client, but our goal is also to make them feel and know they are supported every day they are at TND and beyond. Here are a few areas that we purposefully try to support the women we serve:
- Show them they still have a voice – Often times when a woman first comes to TND, they may have lost their voice. We are intentional to provide each woman with as many choices as possible – allowing them the opportunity to choose what is best for them. Over time, we help equip them with skills needed to advocate for their care and be a part of creating their recovery plan.
- Re-find self-love – Many of the women we serve come to TND with some self-destructive tendencies that are believed to protect them from future pain. They may try to push away grace and compassion. We have seen the power of showing unwavering kindness and care. Over time this can help each woman realize how deserving they are of love – and that it starts by loving themselves.
- How to laugh and have fun – While we spend most of our time focusing on and discussing heavy topics, we also want our clients to see that not everything has to be serious. There must be balance. We also want to practice new ways to have fun in sobriety. Fun and substance use do not have to go together – there are a lot of fun activities to participate in while in recovery.
- How to walk alongside the newcomer – It is important to take what you have learned through your journey to recovery and model that to others. This can be extremely subtle, or more direct when appropriate, but it is important to help others around you. The truest form of supporting women is leading by example and reinvesting into others what has been given to you.