DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend of 10 years recently went through a nasty divorce after five years of marriage, and to save money, she ended up moving in with me temporarily. Ever since then, she has been pouring herself into work, working long hours without rest. I check in on her often to make sure she’s all right, and while she claims that she is OK, I am starting to see some signs of emotional distress. I am worried that she might be depressed and trying to hide it through work. However, I am neither a mental health professional nor a divorcee.

I want to be there for my friend, and by that, I mean I want to do more than just offer general platitudes of encouragement. What can I do to support her through this? – True Friends, Milwaukee

DEAR TRUE FRIENDS: Going through a divorce ranks as one of the highest stressors one can experience, so it makes sense that your friend is showing emotional wear and tear. One way you may be able to help her is to invite her to participate in social activities that may offset her workaholic tendencies. Simple things can make a difference, like taking a walk, going out to dinner with a small group, visiting a museum, going to the movies, even going for a beauty treatment.

You can also let your friend know that you are concerned about her and want to know how you can best be of help. Invite her to talk about what’s going on and how she is feeling.

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DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m a freelancer for creative work. I’ve been working different jobs for years, but I decided to strike out on my own after being laid off a few times. This will be my second year working independently, and the spring, summer and fall seasons have seen me my up to my neck in work at times. However, I am experiencing a serious slowdown this winter. Although I have spoken to other freelancers and found out the winter slowdown is normal, it still doesn’t stop me from worrying about my finances. It also does not help with the winter blues that come around every year. Do you have any advice for getting through this slump with my emotions – and pockets – intact? – All About the Benjamins, Detroit

DEAR ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS: As an entrepreneur myself, I can tell you that different seasons bring different harvests of income. This means that you need to be like a squirrel. When you are making money, stash as much of it away as you can so that you have a reserve for the lean times. This is much easier to say than do, by the way. But if you can create the discipline to save for that rainy day, it will become easier to be a freelancer. Also, during the slow periods, keep pitching for new business. A friend told me years ago that you always want to have outstanding invoices, because that means that you always have money promised.

— Lifestylist and author Harriette Cole is president and creative director of Harriette Cole Media. You can send questions to [email protected] or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.