Today is a little something different for us. Last week, I woke up really sad one morning—missing my friends and family so much.
As a reminder, we were traveling when this whole social distancing thing started, so we now haven’t seen most of our friends and family since Feb 15 or before. But even if you’ve seen your people more recently, you might be feeling down, or lonely, or just in need of some connection.
Back to that sad morning. I decided, instead of just feeling crappy, I would do what I could to connect with them, help them know we were thinking of them, and send a little love their way.
I ended up hoping online and sending some gifts through Amazon. And while they were small and inexpensive, they totally brightened their days!
Today, I thought I’d share some of the ideas I had, that you might want to do, too. The best part? It doesn’t just bring a smile to the friend, family member, or stranger you do something nice for—it will make you feel better, too.
Obviously, you can (should) also donate to numerous organizations that are doing great work during this stressful time, or your local food bank. That’s a list for another day!
So read on for 7 ways to spread the love and show your loved ones you’re thinking of them.
Send a Letter or Postcard
We all love to get mail, don’t we? And for some of us, heading to the mailbox is the only time we’re getting out of the house much right now. Brighten someones day by hand writing a letter or postcard and popping it in the mailbox. It can be a picture you drew, a silly joke, or just a note so they know you were thinking of them.
I especially love this idea for grandparents or aunts and uncles who may be missing your kiddos right now.
If you want to go digital, snap a couple of silly photos and use TouchNote to send a photo postcard with a cute note on the back. We send these postcards a lot when we travel, but none of us are doing that for a while, so send a shot from the couch! Get $10 off with our code: DARCIYNV
Schedule a Facetime Date
I’ve done a few video call happy hours with my friends, and it’s been such a good way to feel connected to someone other than Dustin (no offense). Plus, some of the friends I’m chatting with are friends in other states that I don’t get to see much, so it’s been nice to reconnect with them as well.
If your friends aren’t doing this yet, it’s probably not because they don’t want —don’t be afraid to take the initiative and suggest a video chat to your friends, family members, or a group of buds.
We use Google Hangouts or video call right from our phone, but you can also use Facebook Messenger for groups up to 8 people.
Decorate with Love or Gratitude
I’ve seen a few lovely examples of this on Instagram, and I love how people are spreading the love to their neighbors and neighborhood with rainbows, hearts, and sweet signs.
I’m paying attention to Angela and Lindsay right now, too, since they’re working on some DIY thank you signs for those on the front lines.
Lilly Pulitzer even sent out some coloring pages to hang in your window to spread a little sunshine. (I did color one and it was really good fun.)
Even if you, like us, don’t have a lot of neighbors or street traffic that would see your display, you could do something nice for the delivery workers that are dropping things off for you so you can stay home.
Have Food Sent to a Friend
We’re all trying to avoid going to the grocery store too much, and we also want to support small businesses. One of my favorite ways to do both is to order food deliveries.
I’ve used Goldbelly to have specialty food delivered to us and also to surprise family members with special treats.
You can choose from a variety of specialty options—New York bagels, seafood from the coasts, famously delicious desserts—from small shops across the country. Pick a dinner package or have some cookies sent to a loved one—just don’t forget to order some for yourself, too.
Again, it’s always fun to get mail, but mail you can eat is even better!
Offer to Help Neighbors or Family Members
I know everyone is saying this right now, but it’s been so nice to see so many examples online of people picking up groceries for their elderly neighbors.
Just remember, someone doesn’t have to be old or immunocompromised to appreciate a kind gesture or to need a little help. I know I feel lucky that Dustin has run to the store a couple of times when I just haven’t been up to it—if not for him, I’m not even sure I’d be eating some days.
Heading to the grocery store? Text a nearby family member or neighbor to see if they need anything.
Even if they don’t have a request, it’s a nice reminder that we’re all in this together.
Think of the Front Line Workers in Your Life
Have a nurse or doctor in your life? Check in with them and see how they’re doing. You might consider having your kids make them a card, sending flowers, or dropping off some nice hand cream on their doorstep.
From what I’ve seen, they’re going through hell, so any appreciation goes a long way at this point—especially while the rest of us sit at home, it’s a good idea to remind them that they’re appreciated. I’ve even seen that beauty brands are giving out free product to our front line workers, which is so inspiring.
Even essential workers like grocery store employees are putting their health at risk to ensure that the rest of us can keep moving forward. If you know someone who is still working right now (and not from the couch), just check in to let them know we’re thinking of them and we’re grateful.
Send a Care Package or Small Gift
While essential workers need it more than the rest of us, we’re all feeling the stress right now. Make someone’s day by sending them a small gift or care package in the mail.
(Do I need to say it again? Everyone likes getting mail!)
We sent this book to some of our dear friends to read to their baby. I saw Jessica Hische speak and she was so inspiring to me, so I’ve given her book as a gift a few times. Plus, I feel like a little bravery is needed right now.
I also sent some color wonder coloring pages to my niece, also on Amazon. (Keep in mind that Amazon delivery is somewhat delayed right now as they’re focusing on crucial deliveries, so check the estimated delivery date before ordering.)
Remember, you don’t have to order from Amazon—if you can, try to support small businesses right now, too.
Be thoughtful and you can find an inexpensive little something that will totally brighten someone’s day and remind them that they’re loved—and that’s the most important thing right now, right?
Tell me what you’re doing to brighten someone’s day during this tough time—even if it’s your own! Maybe I’ll add even more ideas to this list, too!