You and your roommate may be on the same page about shower curtain patterns and where to get the best Chinese takeout, but knowing what to say when they’re struggling with their mental health stuff doesn't always come easily. Whether you're super close or just two people that live together, these
texts to send a roommate with anxiety are both soothing and sweet.
“As emotions can be highly ‘contagious,’ one roommate’s anxiety can certainly have an impact on the other roommate,”
Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist and author of Joy from Fear , tells Bustle. “One of the best ways to support is to simply be present in a non-judgmental, supportive way.”
According to Dr. Manly, sharing a living space can make you feel like you and your roommates share emotions as well — and taking a deep breath and trying to support your roommate from a neutral place can help you both feel relaxed in your home. In addition to providing non-judgmental support, Dr. Manly suggests talking to your roommate about their triggers. If you know that they hate seeing dishes in the sink or get overwhelmed when you have house meetings late a night, making small adjustments to your living style may have big impacts.
“Some people find close contact helpful, whereas others need alone time when anxiety arises,” Dr. Manly says. “Learning someone’s need can go a long way.”
I know you have been really overwhelmed lately, please let me know if there is anything I can do to support you.
Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, and relationship coach, tells Bustle, it’s important to validate your roommate’s feelings, while letting them decide how they want you to support them. Rather than trying to fix all their problems or assuming what they need, letting them know your there lets them take the lead. I’m at the market, can I grab you anything?
When someone has anxiety, day-to-day tasks like shopping for groceries or toiletries can be extra difficult. Melamed notes that offering to grab an extra thing of toothpaste or a box of cereal can be supportive.
Hey I’m doing a guided meditation in the living room in a bit. Wanna join?
“Encourage them to engage in self-soothing behaviors such as exercise, meditation together or on their own,” Melamed says. “Set a good example by having good self-soothing habits.” Whether you ask them to make a warm meal with you, or encourage them to use your lavender bath salts, encourage your roommate to do some #selfcare.
*A Funny Meme* Jor-El Caraballo, LMHC and co-founder of Viva Wellness, adds that your roommate may want a little distraction or some humor when they’re feeling anxious. Sending a funny meme or inside joke can lighten the mood and make them feel better. Hey, I’m going to crash at Jenny’s for a few nights. I know you’ve been going through a lot and I want to give you some space to decompress.
As Melamed shares, when living with someone with anxiety, you may start to feel like their anxiety is taking over the space, or that you need to be on eggshells in your own home. While its important to be compassionate to your roommate, giving them space and setting some healthy boundaries can nip any potential resentment from happening.
Headed home with Thai food and Pinot Grigio. Can’t wait to watch bad movies all night.
If you and your roomie like to spend time together, Melamed says that picking up dinner or going out of your way to do an act of service for them can help them feel cared for. If you aren’t super besties, doing a little chore around the house like finally cleaning the refrigerator produce can show you care with your actions.
I’ll be home at 8 tonight if you want to process. Happy to listen.
If you’re close to your roommate, Melamed encourages you to actively listen without offering solutions or trying to process.
I’m in meetings for the rest of the day, but want to talk in person tonight?
While it’s nice to be there for your roommate, you don’t have to drop everything for them at a moment’s notice. If you’re slammed at work or school, let them know, and establish a time to support them later.
Remember to breathe and be nice to yourself today!
Dr. Manly suggests sending neutral, but encouraging messages can make your roommate feel super cared for.
Would you like alone time tonight or want to hang? Happy to do either!
Dr. Manly notes some people prefer to be alone when they’re feeling anxious yet some people appreciate company. Asking your roommate what feels better for them can help you both feel comfortable.
Hey, it sounds like you have a lot on your mind right now. Take a few deep breathes and make sure you’re drinking water and eating something yummy.
“If they start ruminating (the process of continually repeating thought that trigger the anxiety), gently point out to them that they are entering this spiral of thinking,” Melamed says. If your roommate is starting to spiral, let them know you care about them and encourage them to take it easy and take care of themselves.
I’m here for you!
Though it may sound obvious, Dr. Manly suggests simply letting your roommate know that you are there for them and will listen and support them.
I am sending you hugs and good vibes from afar.
If you and your roommate are touchy-feely, Dr. Manly suggests sending a virtual hug. If you’re not super keen on physical affection, sending them good vibes from afar is a sweet way to let them know you care.
You’re a rockstar and you mean so much to so many people.
In addition to being there, Dr. Manly notes that sending compliments or just kind words can make your roommate feel better.
How are you feeling today?
Caraballo notes that just asking how your roommate is and checking in with them can make them feel cared for as well.
I’m really proud of you. I know things are hard right now and you’re doing a great job.
“Some people really appreciate direct words of affirmation and validation,” Caraballo says. “Consider how that person normally responds to support and what has worked for them in the past.” If you know your roommate appreciates compliments, sending some encouraging words may make them feel supported.