Coughs, sneezes or assigned to bed… if you live alone, it can be difficult to manage cooking or even making a drink; and if others depend on you, there’s the pressure to carry on, regardless of how ill you feel. Someone you know is going through a hard time with their health, so put aside time to help them in a practical way.

Green: Text or call someone you know who is unwell to see how they are doing.

Amber: Create a care package or ask someone if they’d like you to prepare a meal for them.

Red: Set aside some time for a hospital or care home visit, or relieve someone who cares for a relative full-time for a couple of hours.

“And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’” (Mark 2:1–5 ESV)

Years ago I read a book called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It completely opened my eyes to the different ways we all give and receive love. The five languages break down to quality time, gifts, acts of service, physical touch and words of affirmation. I am an acts of service girl; it’s the way I show love. I never hesitate to lend a helping hand to someone whether it’s by cooking a meal or cleaning their house or any kind of practical help. It definitely comes naturally to me. That being said, I’m not the best at receiving help because I’m such a doer.

But early in 2019, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and was told I’d have to undergo a gruelling amount of chemotherapy treatments spanning several months. With two children under five years old and my husband having to work, I immediately began to worry about how I’d cope and do the practical things I needed to do as a mum and wife, as well as focussing on getting better. It felt impossible and I really didn’t know how and where to reach out for help.

Amazingly, my friends and family rallied round me in a way I can only describe as incredible. They cooked meals, accompanied me to every single chemo session, cleaned my house, did my food shopping, looked after my boys, did school pick ups – I mean you name it, nothing was too difficult. Just like the friends of the paralytic man in Mark’s Gospel, they went out of their way to support me and my family. I can’t express just how much that helped me at a time I really could do very little for myself. I appreciated every text and phone call just checking in and making sure I was ok.

It doesn’t matter what it is; we all have the capacity to do something. It may seem so small to you, but to the recipient you’ve taken a load off their shoulders and reminded them they are not alone.

Yeni is happily married with two gorgeous sons who constantly keep her on her toes. She also moonlights as a project manager for British Telecom. Yeni loves creativity and aims to inject creativity and colour into everything she does. 

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