You probably know loved ones — from family to friends and co-workers — who are stressed out of their minds right now.
Lifeline has had the most number of calls in its history during this lockdown.
This week brought us R U Okay Day?, causing many to argue if it’s valuable for those with serious mental health struggles, whether it really is enough when so many of us have gone without financial, housing or student support.
But with that said, we can all take something from the message, checking up on those who might be doing it tough and starting a conversation.
We’re all depending on each other for strength during this time. You can be a source of encouragement with the simple butprofound act of gifting.
While presents aren’t going to solve everything, it’s a way to show the people in your life that they’re not alone while they’re in isolation.
The perfect gift, even an ordinary but thoughtful one, could make a difference.
You can send pick-me-up packages to your mates and make their day a little brighter. A moment of joy from a personalised care package can communicate your love and care in a time when it’s desperately needed.
To that end, we’ve curated a list of goodies that you can send while following social distancing measures, whether your mates are cooped up in Melbourne, Sydney, or anywhere else in Australia and New Zealand.
For the friend with a sweet tooth
Let’s start with something simple — chocolate. You’d have to be the Grinch if you don’t enjoy a bit of choccy now and then.
You can pick out trusted classic chocolate bars and call it a day!
Of course, aside from the pure chocolate goodies, you can hunt down some chocolatey snacks like Tim Tams, chocolate drinks, and other scrumptious assortments.
For a bit of balance, you can also add in other sweets that your mate loves. Although we don’t want a sugar overload, a small dose of chocolate has been linked with the production of serotonin, the brain’s happiness chemical.
For those in need of some self-care
The health-nuts in your life might not be too keen on sweetness and snacking. For these people, send a carefully selected hamper their way.
What do you think will help them unwind? Bath salts can be a relaxing, even luxurious way of self-pampering.You can then complete the spa session with facials masks, hand cream, and other skincare essentials.
If you want to go all out, you can add in some champers or quality red wine. Scented candles, incense, or essential oils can also help your mate feel spoiled.
Self-care may seem like a trivial activity right now, but it’s the kind of thing stressed-out people need to get a moment of peace.
For the caffeine lover
Now, caffeine may seem like a counterintuitive chemical for putting a loved one at ease, but some find a cuppa comforting.
If your friend values a warm drink in hand, you can fill your isolation care package with different kinds of teas and coffee beans. A pack of teabags or coffee pods can warm both the stomach and the heart.
Another alternative is a tea or coffee set for your mate. It’ll be a unique experience to steep tea using loose leaves and a strainer. Likewise, for coffee, a newbie may come to enjoy the meditative ritual of brewing coffee beans.
A tea set simply needs loose leaf and a steeper, while a coffee set will need beans, a small manual grinder, and a brewing tool such as a French press or a pour-over. If you want to go the extra mile, add in a digital weighing scale for accurate measurements.
For the film auteur
With the ubiquitous nature of streaming sites, catching up on movies and TV shows has become a regular pastime since Covid struck.
You may not be with your mates physically, but you can still connect by sending your movie buff a snack package full of popcorn or chips. Your group of friends can then stream and watch at the same time and chat using Teleparty or Vemos.
It may not be the same as being together for a binge, yet a digital get-together is better than nothing.
For the hygiene-focused friend at home
Some see chores as a hassle but keeping the home spick and span may be therapeutic for others. You can pull together a hygiene kit for mates like this — hand sanitiser, tissues, wipes, soap and face masks will all go down a treat.
Of course, you can have the kit personalised with a unique bag, a holder for hand sanitiser, or a beautifully designed face mask.
Why not use the name of your pal to accessorise the items too? With this touch, every time your bud goes out and pops on their mask, they’ll remember how cared for they are.
For the shopaholic
Even with the world at a standstill, online shopping has only grown stronger. If a mate of yours loves to shop til they drop, a gift card (or several) can be an excellent gift.
An online shopping spree can have the same endorphin boost on a person as cleaning, drinking a hot drink, or smelling scented candles. It’s because shopping provides a hit of dopamine, a natural and mood lifting hormone.
Create a personalised gift hamper
Of course, you know your mates best. You know exactly what to put into a gift box to cheer them up.
There’s a lot of items to choose from here. With the ease of door-to-door delivery, you can quickly send your own care package to family and friends within a day or two.
You can also message or call anyone who may be having a hard time nowadays. And it will mean so much to them.
Heartfelt gifts for the lockdown blues
Whether you use snail mail or same-day delivery, receiving a gift from a friend can bridge any physical distance. It shows how love and care will carry on despite locked doors and cities.
With these little tokens of encouragement, you’ll be one step closer to putting a smile on their face.