My sister and I have a bit of a running joke about my freezing cold Sydney share house.
She lives around the corner from me, so often on icy nights I will show up on her doorstep to bask right in front of her radiator for about an hour (or until I feel sufficiently defrosted) before heading back home with a renewed sense of warmth.
Each time she'd remind me that I need to buy a heater of my own so I can save these trips. But I enjoyed our little impromptu, heated catch-ups. Plus, well, I'm stubborn and money conscious.
Then another Sydney lockdown just so happened to kick in during peak winter, so our visits were on hold. Even my four clothing layers (plus my beloved Oodie) weren't doing the trick.
That was until one particularly frozen, locked down night when I received a tracking order that let me know a radiator was on the way.
There's something so special about random acts of kindness.
When I tell you this ~warmed~ my heart for the whole week, I really mean it.
So, to get some inspiration on how to best brighten her day, I asked the team at Mamamia: what are some ways you've spread your love, support and good vibes, and have shown up for your loved ones lately (when some of us can't get there physically)?
Here's what they told me.
My partner of 9 years is currently training to join the police force in Goulburn. It's a four-month stint, so a significantly larger amount of time apart than we're ever done before! (That was... 3 days).
For him, it's been a pretty physically intense adjustment and emotionally tough time to navigate, without the constant of coming home each day to reset.
Plus, he had a birthday while he's been there, which isn't ideal when there's no loved one's able to be physically there to make you feel celebrated.
To show support from afar, we're having daily FaceTimes at a routine time so it's like a planned checkpoint in both of our days.
I sent him a box of all his favourite foods so he has more comforts of home with him. He also loves a crime podcast, so I keep finding him any interesting episodes I can link him that I think he'd like (True Crime Conversations is a real winner of course).
After the lovely gesture from my sister (hello new radiator!), I wanted to surprise her with something to brighten her day.
So I popped on to Daily Blooms (they have so many different combinations of flower bouquets and care packages to pick from literally tailored to any occasion) and had a looksy for which package would best suit my sister.
My pick from bouquets (and it was a tough one) was the gorgeous Pixie. How beautiful is this colour combination?! I used the code MAMAMIA too for 10% off!
And you can get them sent with a vase too! Total gift goals.
Their site also has a little rundown for each bunch that help you match the vibe or reason for sending each one, and this one was perfect. It read: "All moments to elicit joy; just like our Pixie bouquet."
They deliver across Australia which is awesome, so I've made a mental note of that for future for my interstate loves. As my sister is just in Sydney down the road from me, I loved that they have next day delivery, so I knew as early as tomorrow this bunch would be lighting up her apartment.
As for care packages too for my loved ones further away, my go-to from Daily Blooms is often BFF Gift Pack which is filled with face masks, chocolate and a luxurious hand treatment. They're the perfect lockdown essentials, but even outside of pandemic-related things, they're such a wholesome way to say to a loved one from afar: I'm thinking of you, I'm celebrating you and sending you support for any milestone or bump in the road you're currently going through.
My nieces and nephews are in the UK, and we haven't been able to visit them in recent years as we usually might. So I signed them up to a few magazines like National Geographic, as well as sending activity-based toys periodically.
This way we can connect with them from afar, and they get to enjoy a surprise in the post (which is exciting for everyone. Hey look! It's not another bill!).
During the first Melbourne lockdown, I sent a Decorate Your Own Donut box kit to a few friends with kids.
Apparently one arrived just as one kid was having a meltdown (and my mum friend told me she was edging near it too), so the delivery timing was impeccable.
It's actually something my closest group did for me recently, to show that they're thinking of me when we can't all get together right now.
My friends just had a giant tub of cookies delivered to my house following my surgery.
The message read: "Surgery calls for sugary sweets, namely, giant-a** cookies."
I. Am. Blessed.
My great grandpa is turning 100 soon and I can't get to Queensland at the moment.
I don’t know if I’ll be allowed to go to visit him when his big day comes, so to send him my love for his milestone birthday, I’ve digitised all his favourite old photos and am making him a photo book with his memories from the 1920s to now.
As so many of our relatives are all over Australia and beyond, and sometimes struggle to all be in the one place for celebrations, my mum and I have arranged a birthday card drive to get him 100 birthday cards for his 100th birthday too from all his distant relatives who can't be there for his big day.
My best friend in South Australia used to work in the travel industry, so her professional life bit the dust in 2020. Also with the SA border being closed so regularly to us, I wasn't able to go see her for a long time.
So I sent her a care package with a ton of stuff like a pair of socks with words of ~inspiration~ plus a super cute calendar for 2021, and a candle that says: "Daily reminder that you are powerful beyond measure" just to ensure she remembers I'm supporting her when I can't physically be there to visit.
I needed to be her hype girl even from afar, so that's what this care package represents.
In 2020, my best friend moved from London to Geneva, alone, to start her dream job.
This was huge for her as she's so career-driven, and while all her friends were getting married and having kids, she made this huge career move, only to be plunged straight into lockdown as soon as she got there; working from home, and not meeting anyone new in a foreign country.
Then at Christmas she flew back home to see family, only to be put straight into the strictest form of lockdown there too.
She couldn't even see her two brothers, let alone any of her friends, just her parents who she was staying with.
I really felt like she just kept getting the tough end of the stick no matter what. So I sent her a plant, chocolates and champagne to enjoy over Christmas with her mum, and she told me how grateful she was.
My Nana just went into an aged care home, and she's unable to walk anymore, so my Aunty gave her an old iPhone so we're able to FaceTime her.
We aren't always able to head down the coast to visit her as much as we'd like to, so knowing we can still be in touch and see each other for family catch-ups is really lovely.
My best friend lives on her own, and I was a bit worried about her mental health and separation from family, friends and work during the pandemic restrictions.
So I had a nice wooden fridge magnet made for her that said: "Thinking of you, love from [my two girls] Summer & Sailor" that she could look at every time she went to the kitchen, as a little reminder that we love her.
It came with a really sweet poem that basically said that no matter how far away, we think about you every day.
She just loved it.
How have you shown up for loved ones from afar? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.
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Feature Image: Instagram/@dailybloomsau