Where can I start? 2020 has already been such a hard year for many people because of the Coronavirus crisis, and some budgets are tight because of financial restrictions and furlough. Appreciating others is so important, all the time, but now all the more so.
If you are reading this, I hope you, your family and your friends are all home and keeping well.
With social distancing and lock down measures in place to keep people safe from the virus, we should all be encouraging one another and helping others as much as we possibly can.
Helping other people – friends, family or strangers does not have to break the bank, however. Budgeting is also very important at these times of instability.
Here are some brilliant ways to lighten the lives of other people. I beg you to try just one and see what effect it has:
It may sound obvious, but talking is key. Times are uncertain, and many people are feeling lonely because they cannot do their day to day activities and interact with their friends or family.
According to Mind charity having somebody listen and show that they care can help sufferers of anxiety significantly. Give your friends or elderly relatives a ring – appreciating what they have in you might just change their day into a better one.
There are so so many online activities that you can partake in with others either virtually or those in your household, I have listed a few below which you might like to try:
1. The Self Isolation Pub Quiz/Bingo by Gil Kolirin is on every night at 9PM via facebook. Why don’t you challenge your loved ones to the ultimate lock-in quiz?
2. Date Night! You can’t go to a restaurant, but why not let the restaurant come to you instead? Check out these amazing date night recipes which will undoubtedly impress the other half on a budget.
3. Have a Netflix Party – The Netflix Party app is a new way to watch Netflix with your friends online. It’s available on Google Chrome for desktop and laptops and being used by over 1M users!
4. Karaoke Night – Are you missing a good laugh with your pals? Airconsole is an innovative app allowing you and others to have the ultimate karaoke battle from the comfort of your home!
5. Get an online penpal – This one is more for those wanting to reach out to those that might be lonely at this time. Did you know that you can sign up to be a penpal online using Penpal World where you could be connected with others from all over the world.
Send your friends and family gifts
If you haven’t seen friends and family for a while, it might be a nice time to send them a little reminder that you are thinking about them.
Doing this does not have to involve major amounts of money, in fact, there are some things you can send to others in the post for a small amount, and some are free!
I am really appreciating the range of postcards out there – and the number of them which are free!
MyPostcard are giving £3 in credit to every new user that signs up. This credit will allow you to send a free postcard (normally £2.50) or a cheaper standard greetings card (normally £3.99).
FreePrints are offering one standard postcard for free every month. For this, you just pay the small delivery fee of 76p. You can customise the postcard with images, or use one of the preexisting templates.
LALALAB will credit new users £5 which can be used towards cards or prints which can be sent to anywhere across the UK. They were also offering a free card with no postage, although this offer may expire at any time. Use my code PG9JSW4B to enjoy the £5.
Fizzer is a postcard app that will give you two credits for every one that you purchase. Credits are normally £2.29. (At the time of writing this post, you can right now purchase credits for for £1.79). 1 credit would get you a postcard, 2 would get you a greetings card & 10+ will allow you to purchase a set of cards. Try it now and use my code CHARL128554 for your two free credits, meaning two lovely postcards to send to your loved ones. They also give free credits out on Sundays. Postage is free.
Perhaps you have heard of the idea of gifting it forward. During these hard times, KindSpring are advocating the idea of appreciating others by paying random acts of kindness forward. This means that you are challenged to do a random act of kindness for anybody, whether that be somebody you know or not, and leaving them a not to “pay it forward”. They then encourage people to share these acts of kindness to spread love and good feeling. Give it a go, and what’s better, it’s totally free.
Finally, there’s a more environmentally friendly way of sending a card, too. Perhaps you are trying to avoid key workers like postmen and women from doing pointless trips – well, Oxfam have a solution. How about sending an e-card with a purpose – joint with a £10 donation to support the coronavirus efforts? Sounds a cracking idea to me, and a small price to pay as you won’t be paying any postage!
2. Send some flowers
You may think this is an expensive way of telling somebody you are thinking about them, but rest assured, it can be done in a budget friendly manner, too.
Bloom & Wild flowers are truly amazing, and they aren’t super pricey either! I have a £10 off link that will allow you to get your first purchase at a slightly lower price. The cheapest I have got flowers from is £3, which isn’t too shabby for a large bouquet delivered to their door! You can often stack their codes too, so if you use my £10 credit, and find a £5 off voucher then you might be able to get £15 off.
Freddies Flowers are also gorgeous, but this one is a subscription service, so you need to be careful to cancel if you don’t want the ongoing deliveries each week to cancel after the first delivery. It could set you back a fair amount if you purchased these flowers each week, as a bunch is £26. However, you can get your first flowers at a reduced cost, and my code will also get you free flowers if you are the first of 4 people each month to use my code. Try CharleF41 for your freebie or reduction.
3. Subscription Boxes
More in the same vane, subscription boxes are such a nice way to show somebody that you are thinking about them, because they can be tailored to that person’s preferences.
See below my list of boxes for all different types of people:
For the beauty queens – Birchbox is commonly referenced as the UK’s no 1 beauty box, and they are offering £5 the first box. Perfect to send to your pals.
For the baker – Bakedin are currently offering 25% of your first order, this can be used on the store or the subscription boxes. Perfect for friends and family to make some lock down bakes.
For the crafty one – Craftiosity offer craft kit boxes for £24.95 which double up as a lovely gift.
For the children – Get a half priced Toucan Box for those children you love. Boxes start from £5.95 per month.
For the big foodie – HelloFresh will help those that cannot get out to the shops to make some amazing recipes.
and for more casual recipe making – Simply Cook have brilliant start up packs to help others with their favourite recipes.
For the pub lovers . I needed more space for these ones! –
Wine – Savage wine dote themselves as the UK’s favourite monthly wine subscription box.
Beer – Beer 52 is a great subscription for your beer loving friends or family members. They are also offering a half price case of 8 beers right now.
Gin – Craft Gin Club brings a full size bottle of gin, plus tonics, savoury treats & a cocktail of the month recipe. Perfect for your gin-loving mum, no?
For the snack lover – Graze offer a wide selection of snacks delivered straight to yours or your friends’ doors.
5. Gift a freebie – use my dedicated blog post Freebies, Freebies, Freebies
Volunteer your services
Brightening somebody’s day is not always just about friends and family -it’s also about community, neighbours and complete strangers.
Since the outbreak of the virus, more and more people are volunteering their services to help others, here are just a few things that you might wish to try:
1. Joining a local volunteer group. No link for this one – as the best way is to look at your local council or facebook pages which will offer multiple ways to help with the volunteering efforts.
2. Make PPE for key workers – If you love upcycling, there are many key workers in need of necessary PPE which will keep them safe. Pinterest can help with the inspiration, and I’ve seen on my local facebook pages many people volunteering materials to those crafty enough to be able to make PPE items such as masks.
3. Do some gardening for your neighbours – An easy one, but if you’re mowing your lawn, why not help with next door’s?
4. Dog walking / Borrow My Doggy – Dog walking is ultimately enjoyable, a free activity to get fit, and could help out those in need at the same time. The ultimate combination. You might also wish to try out Borrow My Doggy, which ranges from dog walking, to overnight stays- Woof!
If you decide to try out any of my suggestions, remember that we must always be socially distancing to keep yourself and others safe.
Keep smiling and to pass the joy onto others that might need it the most.