2020 has certainly been a year of great change. Whereas no one could deny it’s been an exceptionally difficult year, it’s also very much been a year of exceptional kindness, too. At the beginning of lockdown, the local news and social media feeds were flooded with good deeds – for example, neighbours collecting shopping, offering childcare and leaving gifts on doorsteps.
As we keep calm and carry on until Christmas, we can take the spirit of good deeds into the winter season and follow these top tips to spread some joy (but not some Covid)!
It’s a strange time right now, and a lot of people are struggling without their normal social routines. Not being able to see vulnerable family members, limiting your social circle to six people (from the 2nd onwards) and having to periodically isolate can play havoc with your mental health. You never know who would appreciate a check in.
Reach out today to three people you haven’t spoken to in a while – be that over text, email or social media. Remembering that other people are thinking about you and care about your well-being is the reassurance we all need right now.
Pictures are worth 1000 words
At the moment, not everyone can see their friends and family in person… but you know what they say: a picture is worth 1000 words!
Consider printing your favourite picture of the two of you, getting it framed and sending it over! You can create a printed collage, or even a mousemat or mug. Even just finding a picture on your laptop or phone, and creating and sending an attractive digital collage can really brighten someone’s day!
Delivery services have skyrocketed in popularity since March – and florists are no exception. What better way to show a friend or loved one that you are thinking about them then sending a bouquet of flowers!
Make sure to include a sweet note with your florals, remind the recipient that they are smashing life and that you love them.
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!
With the rise of video call technology, drop a surprise video call on your loved one to show them you care. Obviously, with working hours somewhat erratic for many people, you might not catch them, but a surprise call where your friends can see your face does wonders for loneliness.
Don’t forget that feeling like a priority in your life is excellent for the self-esteem. Give someone that ego boost today!
Do you have friends or family nearby? Why not pick up some chocolates, supermarket flowers or baked goods and drop them at the doorstep. Leave a cheeky message after you’ve gone telling them to check their doorstep – especially kind if they are having to isolate for any reason! This will also remove the pressure of an invite inside, or an awkward 2 meter-apart doorstep conversation, leaving them to enjoy their treats in peace!
And why stop with friends and family. Some cheeky goodies with a little note- a great way to get to know your neighbours!
On the run up to Christmas, it’s tempting to order everything from giants like Amazon and Ebay. It’s fast and often free delivery, and saves you braving the shops in this current climate. However, consider using local businesses instead. Small, independent businesses are struggling hugely right now, and when you buy from an independent it’s not jut adding another ten pounds to the Bezo fund, it means new shoes for the kids or an extra Christmas treat!
Scouring Facebook for local handmade businesses is a great shout- you can find what you need, and most will offer contact-free delivery!
Some of us have far more spare time now than we once did. Working from home eliminates the commute, and our limited social lives mean that there’s more time in the day. Why not make your own presents this festive season?
Nothing communicates love and care more than a present that has loved poured into it whilst being created. You could make your own candles, jewellery, knitwear, edible treats or decorations.
What do you and your loved one like to do together? Has this year put a spanner in the works? Can you recreate it in a thoughtful and fun way?
As an example, my friends and I love to go to the theatre, but can’t. So organise a zoom call to watch a musical on Netflix at the same time, create fancy novelty tickets and insist everyone dress up for a fun night ‘at the theatre.’
From December 2nd we will be able to meet outdoors, and we can take advantage of that. Grab your loved one, wrap up warm and go for a (socially distanced) winter walk. Take a thermos filled with your favourite hot beverage and go and explore.
So often, with balancing work, family and social commitments, we don’t see a lot of the place that we live. Here’s an opportunity to change that and find some hidden gems in your town / city.
Share the love
Now’s not the time to be shy with your affections. If you love someone, tell them! A random message out of the blue telling you that you’re loved, you’re awesome and people miss you is like a big hug with words.
If someone seems to be dealing with this year remarkably and is your inspiration – tell them. Now’s the time. Chances are they aren’t dealing quite as well as they seem to be – but a message letting them know they’re smashing it is a reminder and an affirmation of just how amazingly they are doing!