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Ikigai Offline
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How could I help a relative? - May 14th 2017, 05:28 PM

Hey everybody,
I don't have a problem with my family, it's actually something very different - I'm concerned about my aunt. She lives abroad (England to be exact) only with her husband and a small child. She's a linguistic scientist and does a lot of work that require conducting research and spending plenty of time in front of the computer. She used to be chronically tired since I can remember as it's hard for her and her family to live off their wages. Her husband is working literally from dawn to dusk and she barely even sees him, but she managed to keep going somehow. However, after she gave birth to her only and long-awaited child it got much worse, both in terms of time and finances. We used to talk regularly via Skype but now she hardly has time to type a single e-mail. She's seriously overloaded with work and it's affecting her health - it's not hard to notice the impact of being constantly exhausted even on her physical appearance, leave alone her mental health.
I'm particularly preoccupied with what's going on because she's one of the strongest people I know, always kind and smiling and ready to lend a helping hand no matter how hard it would be. She won't admit the situation is difficult, but I can see that.
Naturally, I've already been wondering how I could help her. It's not easy since we live in different countries. She's recently carried out a research that I wanted to help her with in some way, but it turned out I didn't meet the requirements as I wasn't a native English speaker. It's hard for me to think of any possibilities to support her. Have you got any ideas? I would be so much grateful. She's very important to me.
Thanks in advance. Take care,
Sue


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Re: How could I help a relative? - May 14th 2017, 05:47 PM

Hey Sue, thanks for reaching out to us! I would start out by writing her an email with an update on your life. Then lead off from that with something like how you've been thinking of her and hope she's doing well. Don't come off as being all "Well, Aunt [name], I can see you're struggling and I want to help you," because I think she will just shut you out. I'm sure if you follow my advice but make it more you, she'll open up to you. She may not reply right away because, as you said, she's very busy. But she will reply, I'm sure.

Also, could you ask your parents if you can go to England for a visit? I don't know how often you go or when you were last there, but it wouldn't hurt to pay a visit. Of course, you need to talk to your aunt about this. I'm sure she would love to have you, and maybe you can relieve her of some stress by babysitting your cousin.
   
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Re: How could I help a relative? - May 15th 2017, 07:32 PM

Hey Sue,

It's nice to hear that you're so concerned about your aunt! You're a great niece for noticing how much stress she's under and wanting to do what you can to help, even from another country. Whether she says it or not, I'm sure it's greatly appreciated.

While you might not be able to help her with her financial situation or the lack of free time that she has, you can definitely reach out to her and remind her that you love and support her and that you are very proud to have her as your aunt. Perhaps you could give her a call or send her an email to let her know that you've been thinking about her, that you recognize how much time and effort she is putting in to making sure her family has a good life, and that you are inspired by her strength and determination. Getting that kind of acknowledgement can often give people the boost of energy and encouragement that they need to keep working towards their goals.

Perhaps you could also consider asking your parents if you would be able to visit your aunt for a few weeks this summer. I'm sure she would be happy to have some time to see you face to face. If you do get to go over there, keep in mind that she might not be able to spend a lot of quality time with you, as she is very busy. But, you could take the opportunity to help out in little ways, such as babysitting her child or doing some light housekeeping so she doesn't have to worry about it when she gets home from work. Small gestures like that tend to be greatly appreciated and would likely ease some of her stress after a long day.

If traveling to England isn't a possibility right now, you can also consider putting together a little self-care package and mailing it to her. You could include things like bath bombs or soaps, a book or movie you think she might like, some small snacks that she enjoys (make sure it isn't anything that will melt during shipping), and other little things that you know will brighten her day a little bit. If you take this route, you can also include a few handwritten cards or notes to remind her that you love her and that you believe in her and everything that she is doing.

Take care,
Sammi


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foreign hearts & exotic minds compelled her.
she had a gypsy soul
and a vibrant heart for the unknown.
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Ikigai Offline
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Re: How could I help a relative? - May 25th 2017, 06:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderlust. View Post
Hey Sue, thanks for reaching out to us! I would start out by writing her an email with an update on your life. Then lead off from that with something like how you've been thinking of her and hope she's doing well. Don't come off as being all "Well, Aunt [name], I can see you're struggling and I want to help you," because I think she will just shut you out. I'm sure if you follow my advice but make it more you, she'll open up to you. She may not reply right away because, as you said, she's very busy. But she will reply, I'm sure.

Also, could you ask your parents if you can go to England for a visit? I don't know how often you go or when you were last there, but it wouldn't hurt to pay a visit. Of course, you need to talk to your aunt about this. I'm sure she would love to have you, and maybe you can relieve her of some stress by babysitting your cousin.
Thank you for your reply. I'd already tried emailing her and she usually replies once and then stops which makes me kinda worried. But now it turned out I'll visit her in England in July probably, so I'm very happy about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metanoia. View Post
Hey Sue,

It's nice to hear that you're so concerned about your aunt! You're a great niece for noticing how much stress she's under and wanting to do what you can to help, even from another country. Whether she says it or not, I'm sure it's greatly appreciated.

While you might not be able to help her with her financial situation or the lack of free time that she has, you can definitely reach out to her and remind her that you love and support her and that you are very proud to have her as your aunt. Perhaps you could give her a call or send her an email to let her know that you've been thinking about her, that you recognize how much time and effort she is putting in to making sure her family has a good life, and that you are inspired by her strength and determination. Getting that kind of acknowledgement can often give people the boost of energy and encouragement that they need to keep working towards their goals.

Perhaps you could also consider asking your parents if you would be able to visit your aunt for a few weeks this summer. I'm sure she would be happy to have some time to see you face to face. If you do get to go over there, keep in mind that she might not be able to spend a lot of quality time with you, as she is very busy. But, you could take the opportunity to help out in little ways, such as babysitting her child or doing some light housekeeping so she doesn't have to worry about it when she gets home from work. Small gestures like that tend to be greatly appreciated and would likely ease some of her stress after a long day.

If traveling to England isn't a possibility right now, you can also consider putting together a little self-care package and mailing it to her. You could include things like bath bombs or soaps, a book or movie you think she might like, some small snacks that she enjoys (make sure it isn't anything that will melt during shipping), and other little things that you know will brighten her day a little bit. If you take this route, you can also include a few handwritten cards or notes to remind her that you love her and that you believe in her and everything that she is doing.

Take care,
Sammi
Hey Sammi, thanks for your reply. I really like your idea with the package. I'll definitely make some handwritten cards and some sweets and perhaps some other small gifts. ^^

Thank you both!
Take care,
Sue


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