I think most of us would agree that possibly the hardest part about self isolation and shielding during this Covid-19 crisis is missing friends and family. Staying apart is worth it to keep loved ones safe. My heart goes out to everyone who has lost loved ones during this pandemic, it’s heartbreaking. I’m thinking of those with friends and family currently being treated for Coronavirus too, it’s especially hard when we can’t be with them. It makes us appreciate our loved ones more. Thankfully, with a little effort we can still stay close to the special people in our lives. Read on for six ways to feel close to loved ones even while we’re temporarily apart during this time:
So, the simplest and easiest way to keep close to friends and family (who are able to) is to pick up the phone and call them or if they’re more tech savvy to video call them. Usually, my method of preferred communication is text, messenger and email, but even I am appreciating hearing Granny’s voice on the phone and seeing Mum’s face on Facetime. I am so grateful for these technologies at this time. When the kids come downstairs at night upset as they’re missing their dad, with a few clicks they can be face to face with him virtually, and seeing his face and hearing his voice reassures them. We’ve also been using Zoom for bigger friends and family meetups.
2. Write a Letter
Readers know that I always love a handwritten letter. I’m grateful that I was part of the generation for whom letter writing was still important. I treasure my letters to and from my mum, dad, aunt, sisters, Dave and friends during my time at university. They’re so special to me. I love writing letters, but the kids do need some encouragment. However, the delight on their faces when we have letters delivered back in return makes it all worthwhile. We’re able to pass our letters on to Dave when he drops supplies off but if you’re unable to get to a postbox and have no-one to post for you, then an email would be appreciated too (and it’s a lot faster form of communication of course). I’ve seen friends who have created a Family Newspaper/Newsletter on Microsoft word Templates and sent it to their friends and family, which is a quicker way to update all your family.
3. Virtual Family Games Night
From the start of lockdown, Friday night became Family Games Night. It’s such a fun night, a time to get together and have fun. It’s also a great ice breaker if people feel nervous chatting on Facetime and Zoom. I used to dread video calls, but now love them! We did join in with a few “Official” and “Charity” quizzes at the beginning of lockdown but without fail the quiz that continues is the quick quiz that usually one of the kids (most often our “organiser” Rebecca) puts on for us. All you need is a quiz book, quiz questions or an online quiz, quiz master and willing people to take part! Sometimes we have general quiz questions and other times a theme, such as Disney and we all dress up too!
We’ve also played Facetime Bingo. Just add a Bingo caller app to your phone and print out or write out Bingo cards. While the kids are sleeping, we’ve also enjoyed playing Cards of Humanity online!
4. Gift Joy
To put a smile on our loved ones faces we’ve also been sending little gifts in the post and through our support network (Dave!). There are so many rainbow, hug and family gifts out there to send cheer. You can also make gifts for your loved ones. A homemade gift warms your heart twice, once when you make it and then when you gift it. Rebecca and I have ignited our love of cross stitch. There are plenty of apt free designs to make for friends, such as this Stay Safe Rainbow Cross Stitch Pattern from Lucie Heaton. Rebecca has also been busy baking cakes for family, each time the tin is returned, she bakes and fills it again. Bake brownies or cupcakes and you can spoil your whole family at once (in hindsight this is what we should have done as it’s taking us ages to get around everyone!).
We’ve also been lucky to receive gifts during this time ourselves. It really puts a smile on our faces and makes us feel warm, fuzzy, cared for and most of all, remembered, even while we’re hidden away shielding – thank you!
5. Watch-a-Long Together
Another great way to feel connected with loved ones far away is to watch a show or film together. It’s a nice relaxing way to bond with somone, even if you’re not feeling up to putting on a brave face and video calling or phoning loved ones (sometimes the tears come and it’s too hard to talk). Thank you to TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus for keeping us amused during this time!
6. Say it With Flowers
I appreciate flowers even more than usual during this time. I miss the joy of spotting wild flowers on woodland walks and of picking up a bouquet of flowers during my weekly shop for a treat to freshen up the home. After lockdown began, I did cry a tear when the last daffodils in my vases died, knowing these vases would be empty for a long time (apart from the paper craft flowers the kids soon filled them with- thank you!).
Moonpig has been invaluable during this time. We have used this service to send many birthday cards during this time. I’ve always used them for family and friends who live far away, but it’s the first time I’ve had to also use them to send closer family members, such as my niece a card. We’ve also been able to send flowers to Mum, on my late Dad’s birthday to show we were thinking of her. Days like that are the hardest to not be with family and to be able to give them a hug. I’ve also sent flowers to my sisters to show them I’m thinking of them. I love the Rainbow Chrysantheum and Scented Rainbow Lily bouquets, which are so apt during this time. The Luxury Mixed Peonies are beautiful.
I was lucky to receive a White Cascade Orchid plant from Moonpig, which was such a thoughtful choice as it means, I now have beautiful white orchid flowers to enjoy for the whole of lockdown and beyond, however long shielding lasts. A garden plant is also a thoughtful gift during this time, as people spend more time admiring their garden.
If you’d like to send flowers to your loved ones, Moonpig currently have a great offer where you can get 30% off your first order if you download the Moonpig App, using code APP30OFF .
Read more about the offer here:
We hope you’re safe and well. How have you been staying close to your loved ones during this time? We’d love to hear what you’ve been up to.