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4 Ways To Cheer Up A Loved One During This Dark Winter

This won’t come as much of a surprise to most of you, but we’re going through a particularly dark winter this year. We have a surge in coronavirus cases, a drop in economic activity and job growth, a very divided and politicized culture….and of course the usual cold temperatures of the winter season.

When you add it all together, you get a lot of isolated, scared people out there who could use some cheering up. This post is for those of you who abide by the philosophy that the best way to feel better is to help someone else; the best way to receive love is to give love. 

With the holiday season right around the corner and the majority of us unable to travel to see family this year, this is a good time to think about ‘gifting’ your way into someone’s life.

Gift sets in 2020

Gift sets have evolved far beyond the wine and fruit baskets of the past. The rise of e-commerce has created a whole new cottage industry of boutique gifts, including gourmet foods and confections. If the person you’re looking to cheer up is your wife, mother, sister, or lady friend, you’ll be happy to know that gift sets for women are now diverse and customizable. 

Gift sets allow you to package together a number of smaller gifts to make sure there’s always something to like inside. You can put together spa assortments, care packages, and even special, work-from-home quarantine gifts. 

Streaming service subscriptions

These days, the vast majority of us are stuck inside. Thankfully, modern video streaming services offer us thousands of movies and TV shows to binge on. If you know someone who is struggling with the isolation of the pandemic and loves to discover new series, you might consider buying them a subscription to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO, Disney+, or any other platform. 

Base it on what kind of content they like. If they are massive Star Wars fans, Disney+ is probably a good option. Or, maybe they’re obsessed with older HBO shows like The Sopranos and Six Feet Under

Netflix and Amazon Prime are pretty good catch-all services that have a lot of everything, from octopus documentaries to original films. 

Help someone rediscover books

Remember books? You know, those bound reams of paper with words in them? Many of us used to read once upon a time, but now there’s so much streaming content to watch (see previous tip), it’s easy to forget about your old friend The Book. 

This entry is particularly relevant to kids, who are growing up with less of an emphasis on reading books. They have plenty of digital devices, phones, and computers to play around with videos and social media, but fewer kids are curling up with a good book these days. 

If you have a younger family member or friend, this could be an excellent time to send them some titles. If they like Game of Thrones, turn them on to old sci fi-fantasy books, like Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonheart series. Or if they’re Star Wars fanatics, they may be intrigued to know that there are hundreds of Star Wars novels that explore the franchise’s titular characters and ‘expanded universe’ backstories.  

There are more books in the world than any one person could ever read. This may be the perfect winter to get back in touch with the original viral content. 

Write letters

Writing letters almost feels like an activity from a different epoch of time. Some people still regularly write letters but most interpersonal communication these days comes through email, social media, and text. That still counts as the written word, but it lacks some of the emotion somehow. It isn’t just law firms such as that write letters, you make them personal especially during long term relationships.

This dark winter may be a great time to pick a few close friends and write a few letters. You’d be surprised, but people really like receiving letters. It shows that someone is thinking about you and putting effort into maintaining your relationship.