I struggle with this. It seems simple, but really it's not.
Pete has been down lately with not working. We had to cancel plans for the 4th of July and he was really down, didn't want to go anywhere and kind of moped around the house. I intended to cheer him up. However, I couldn't spend much money and it had to be something that was at home.
My go to cheering up thing: food. So I took ribs out of the freezer, bought potatoes for a new recipe, got the new can of baked beans out and some crusty bread for garlic bread. Of course I got whole milk and cream for home made ice cream.
On the way home I realized what I had done. I had created this carb overloaded meal with a fat and sugar filled finish. This certainly isn't what either of us needs in our healthiness journey. But I did it anyway. And while I was making it I thought about why I had done it. What I came to realize is that I wanted to comfort Pete and for me, comfort includes indulgent foods. Now it's not necessarily a bad thing to indulge once and a while, in fact, I'd say it's healthy to do so. But for the right reasons. Wanting to comfort bad feelings away isn't the right reasons.
So even since the 4th I've been trying to figure out how to not spend much money and cheer Pete up. But I'm blank. He didn't want to go riding because the plans we had involved riding and he didn't want to waste money. It was too hot out to go somewhere with the dog for a walk or something else to get his mind off of it. He had been spending lots of time watching TV and on the internet searching for jobs so TV was out. A movie means spending money. As you can tell I'm still blank.
So how do you comfort someone/cheer them up without using food?