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How to feel connected and support your friends in lockdown

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Megan Murray
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Want to be there for your friends in lockdown, but not sure how? Here are some simple ideas to brighten the day of someone you love and feel more connected to them.

One of the hardest things about lockdown is missing the people we love, and not being physically there for them when they’re struggling.

It’s a difficult time for everyone. Staying inside for weeks on end is hard; from a decrease in mood and affecting our mental health to feeling lethargic from a lack of exercise, it’s normal that anyone wouldn’t be feeling quite themselves. But if your friend has been through something recently or are missing out on a celebration in lockdown, you might want to reach out and do something special.

If you’re unsure of how to support a friend in lockdown, here are some ideas that might work for a range of situations.

  • Struggling with loneliness

    If a friend is isolating alone, you might be conscious that they’re feeling lonely at the moment. 

    If you want to make an effort to reach out, you could start by checking in with them more often than usual. 

    If you use WhatsApp with them, you could try pinning their conversation to the top as a little reminder to keep them in your thoughts, whether that be to drop them a message to ask how they’re feeling or schedule a video call.

    If they’ve been alone for weeks, everyday can feel the same, so it’s a nice idea to brighten their day by sending something in the post, too. In fact, Papier has reported that we’re sending more cards than Mother’s Day or Valentine’s at the moment, and they have a beautiful selection to show your friend they care.

    It could also be helpful to direct your friend to some articles that could help. Reading about someone else’s experience, for example, or understanding the different types of loneliness and practical advice on what to do could be the support they need.

  • Going through a break-up

    Lockdown has been a difficult time for couples. Although dating apps across the board have reported that new relationships are flourishing thanks to singles spending longer getting to know people digitally, what if your friend is already in a relationship that’s got especially rocky since quarantine?

    There could be lots of reasons for this. Whether a couple has been separated in lockdown, isolating with their families and haven’t been able to see each other which has caused a strain, or if only seeing each other for six weeks has become too intense – it’s not surprising that our friends in relationships might need some extra love right now.

    So, what can you do? If we weren’t quarantining right now, a go-to move to cheering up a friend with relationship troubles is to take them out for a cocktail to talk it over - and you can still do that, virtually.

    Arrange a time with your friend in the evening when you’ll both be free to have a proper chat. If you’re able to, it could be a nice idea to get a bottle of wine delivered to her house in time, either with a wine delivery service or simply on an app like Deliveroo or Uber Eats, which many off licenses and wine shops are now using. Treat it like a best friend date night and share some drinks and a few hours together so you can talk it over properly and help them not to feel alone in the problem. 

  • Worried about their job

    At this time of economic crisis, sadly a lot of people are worrying about their job security for the future, have already been furloughed or even lost their current work. This is obviously an incredibly sensitive issue, so as well as lending a listening ear, it might be good to offer some practical advice.

    There are plenty of articles you can share that have helpful tips and steps to take to look for another job. From hearing from someone who lost their job over night, advice on how to budget through lockdown and recruiter’s top tips for industries still hiring.

  • Missing a celebration

    Lots of special occasions have happened in lockdown that sadly we haven’t been able to celebrate properly, such as birthdays, pregnancy announcements and anniversaries. 

    It’s really sad that in times when we would have usually lifted our friends up, we haven’t been physically there for them. 

    If you fancy treating them to a present to say ‘yay’ on their special day, here’s some ideas that work particularly well through the post.

  • A customised box

    If presents are in order, we are especially big fans of Bookblock which is a curated postal service allowing you to build a celebration box for whatever the occasion.

    Choose your box’s packaging (there’s lots of pretty patterns and pastels on offer) and then browse the large range of presents to go inside. You can pick as many as you like to control what you spend and some of the options include stationery, luxury chocolate, tote bags, beauty products and gourmet food stuffs – all of which have been picked because of their quality and aesthetic. 

    Shop curated box, price varies, at Bookblock 

  • Flowers

    You just can’t go wrong with flowers and as we’re in our homes more than ever right now, we’ve never appreciated a good bunch, either. 

    Bloom & Wild is one of our favourite flower delivery services thanks to their great deals, quality bouquets and good customer service.

    Shop letterbox bouquets from £23, Bloom & Wild

  • Balloons

    You may not be able to go to their party, but you can bring the party to them – and what says HAPPY BIRTHDAY like opening a box of balloons? It’s over-the-top which is why we like it, plus it’s great fodder for the ‘gram. 

    We like the Little Big Balloon Company’s confetti-filled singular balloons which can be customised with a personal message (from £24.99), and Pink Biscuits on Not on the Highstreet for their option to send a whole box of themed balloons. Pick from pastel, bright or metallic colours (from £48). 

Images: Getty / courtesy of brands

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.