Thanks to the pandemic, brunch with the girls, Sunday family fun day and road trips with friends were all put on hold. Where we used to hang out with our loved ones every week, months went by with our only connection being hours spent on Facetime, Zoom and Google Hangouts. 

Even as life returns to the new normal, the frequency of in-person meetings is still lower than it was before the pandemic — especially for those with risk factors. So how exactly can you show your loved ones you still care, without being there in person?

  1. Frequent check-ins

Human connection is a key part of every person’s life and we all crave it in one way or another. This was magnified in 2020 when we couldn’t meet physically but spent countless hours over the phone, catching up with our family and friends. Just because we are slowly returning to a state of normalcy, doesn’t mean that the frequent check-ins should stop. 

Make it a habit to check in on the people you care about at least once a week to find out how they are doing. To make it more interesting, switch it up with a virtual game night where the only agenda is having fun. 

  1. Ready-made meals

If your loved one is unwell, grieving, or has a busy schedule, then preparing a healthy home-cooked meal is likely to be the last thing on their mind. During such times, they are probably trying to get through the day with as little hassle as possible and throwing down in the kitchen is not a priority. 

To ease the burden, order them ready-made meals that can be defrosted and warmed up for dinner. It will free up their time to either attend to pressing matters or take a much-needed break. 

  1. Help around the house

One of the least pleasant parts about being an adult is house chores — it’s a tiring and time-consuming exercise that just never seems to end. How about making life easier for your elderly parents, a friend who has just had a baby, or a family member with too much on their plate?

Depending on what they need, you can book them a SweepSouth clean — a SweepStar will clean the house and do the laundry, or even look after the kids for a few hours. 

  1. Groceries

If you don’t live at home with your parents anymore, then there’s a fair chance you’ve been caught off-guard by the absence of a certain grocery item. You probably could have sworn that you saw it in the pantry or fridge with your own two eyes. 

Whenever you can, surprise a friend or family member with a set of groceries. You can use online retailers like Carrefour and Zucchini who deliver right to your doorstep. The great thing is you can throw in a few treats that you know they wouldn’t have bought for themselves. 

  1. Send some love

Everyone loves receiving an unexpected gift. Surprise your loved ones with a handmade scarf, wine or an outfit they’ve been eyeing. You can purchase the gift and send it via Uber Connect or Sendy. Alternatively, a service such as Purpink Gifts has a wide selection of items you can pick from which will be delivered at their convenience. 

Read the room

Now more than ever, it is important to “read the room” and ascertain what the person actually needs, lest you spend resources on something they have no use for. For example, they might enjoy cooking as a stress reliever and the ready-made meals would be a waste. Instead, it might be more beneficial to them to send someone to clean up after they’re done cooking. Be sure to really listen when your friends and family reach out for help so your kind gestures make a tangible difference in their lives.