22 small gifts to help friends who are self-isolating or social distancing feel less lonely

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People are still social distancing and isolating thanks to the Delta variant and unvaccinated risks.
Isolation and loneliness are quite harmful for both your mental and physical health.
Sending your lonely loved ones a quarantine gift can go a long way to boosting their spirits.

While U.S. cities aren’t in lockdown as if October 2021, plenty of people are still self-isolating or social distancing to minimize the risks from either being unvaccinated or the uber-contagious Delta variant raging around the country. And as we all learned in 2020, having to skip weddings and birthdays or cancel trips home can feel downright lonely.

And while nothing can compare to the joy of spending quality time with friends and family, technology and smart marketing has made it easier than ever to stay in touch. Sometimes, small ways of saying, „Hello,” or „I’m thinking of you,” make all the difference for someone struggling with being less social or alone.

22 quarantine gift ideas for anyone struggling with social isolation:

A little personalized gift box

Greetabl Personalized Gift Box, from $13

We love Greetabl because of how customizable it is — everything from the box to the treat that’s inside of it can be perfectly catered to the recipient. From tasty treats like Sugarfina to cozy socks, Greetabl is an adorable and tailor-made way to put a smile on their face. 

A candle for wherever they’re missing

Homesick candle, $34

Whether they’re missing their home state, their annual family beach vacation, or their book club, Homesick has a candle to bring back the memories with just a match. In addition to the super personal and sentimental packaging, they will love the long burn and strong throw of these candles.

A virtual class for cooking, wine tasting, and other new skills

Cozymeal Online Cooking Classes, from $29

Airbnb Online Experiences, from $9

Online skills class from our favorite online learning startups

Just because you might not be able to see a person you love IRL doesn’t mean you can’t spend quality time together. You can take a virtual class together to learn a new skill or have a new experience. Brush up on your cooking skills with one of Cozymeal’s classes like Gnocchi 101, Essentials of Sushi Rolling, and Cooking with Wine via Zoom; go off the beaten path with cocktail mixing, magic lessons, even a virtual wildlife safari through Airbnb. If hard skills are more your thing, sign up to learn JavaScript or The Science of Well-being from one of our 10 favorite places to take online courses, from free Harvard classes to Google certificate programs.

A kids’ kit that’s both educational and fun

KiwiCo Crates, from $13.50/mo with code „GIFTING”

Perfect for the kid you love who loves to learn, KiwiCo builds age-appropriate educational kits for the mini-scientist, engineer, or creative genius. Crates can be sent every month, every three months, every six months, or annually. 

A self-care package

Uncommon Goods Self-Care Stocking Stuffer, $49

Spending a period of time alone is a great opportunity to do some self-reflection and self-nurturing. Although this gift pack was put together as a stocking stuffer, the little bundle makes for a great self-care gift for anyone, anytime — and under $50. Included are a few of Uncommon Goods best-selling items, including lavender shower steamers; calming hand soap; lavender therapy dough to help with anxiety; and a neat card deck of affirmations.

Anxiety-reducing meditation apps

Headspace: Free to download, subscription from $13

Calm: Free to download, subscription from $15

Meditation apps like Calm and Headspace can be used anytime, anywhere, to practice mindfulness and decrease anxiety. Both apps have tailored meditations for specific circumstances, whether it’s getting better sleep, starting your day, or meditations solely focused on exercise. While your loved ones can download Headspace or Calm for free, we’d recommend sending them the cost of the subscription on Venmo

A really comfy robe

Parachute Classic Turkish Cotton Robe, $99

If you’re spending copious amounts of time at home, you need to be comfortable while doing so. The Parachute Turkish Robe is our favorite bathrobe thanks to its fluffy, soft, not-too-heavy feel and high-quality cotton that justifies the price. And if $99 is a little too steep, check out the other bathrobes we love.

Flowers or plants to brighten their room and their day

Send a bouquet from our favorite flower delivery services

Shop plant delivery options at The Sill

Flowers are always a classic route to take when trying to make someone’s day, but houseplants make for an awesome surprise as well. Many of us are finding ourselves craving the outdoors more than ever, and a flower or plant delivery can help them stay connected to nature while also staying inside.

A meal kit from their favorite restaurant

Goldbelly Meal Kits, from $49

If they’re missing catching up with you at your go-to restaurant, bring the socially distanced equivalent to them with Goldbelly. The food delivery service ships meal kits from popular restaurants in major cities nationwide, so whether or not they’ve been spending the pandemic in their favorite city, they can still enjoy their favorite meal.

Goldbelly partners with iconic eateries around the country and delivers some of the best eats nationwide. Send them a box filled with food from a restaurant they love or one located in the city where they’ll have their wedding if you want to get sentimental.

A map of where they’re missing most

Mapiful Custom Map, from $59

Mapiful allows for custom creation of map posters and frames, so they can feel connected to a city that’s meaningful to them regardless of where they physically are. Mapiful’s prints range from the classic map poster to custom zodiac prints, and you can even send them a print with their favorite photo.

A postcard that shows how much you care

Friendship Maintenance: 30 Postcards to Say How Much You Freaking Care, $13

I’ve had this set of postcards for three years now, and it’s my go-to for birthdays, sending support, or simply saying hi. These personalized, witty postcards read with the same quirky yet humorous tone that my friends and I speak in, and something about snail mail feels a bit more special than the usual „checking in” text message. 

A video message they’ll never forget

Cameo video messages, from $15

From actors to professional athletes, Cameo is stacked with a selection of celebrities who will create custom videos for someone you care about. This unique concept is a fun and personalized way to check in on a friend, and it’s sure to be a day maker. 

A journal to make them a writer

300 Writing Prompts, $9

Nothing brings me more joy than writing, and with many guided writing journals out there, this is the one I turn back to every time. The prompts are the perfect balance between intellectually stimulating and just plain fun, and I often find my responses to be the coping mechanism I didn’t know I needed. I’m confident any writer will welcome this distraction from the inundation of screen time that’s encompassed recent days.

An embroidery kit to keep them busy

Beginner Embroidery Kit, $14

Embroidery is an excellent stress reliever and easy hobby to poke away at while you rewatch all of „Downton Abbey” on Netflix. This beginner kit provides all the tools anyone needs to get started. There are five designs to choose from and you can either send them materials for a single design or a pack of three. 

Comforting soup, delivered to their door

Spoonful of Comfort Soup, $80

If they’re self-isolating because they’ve caught COVID, they’re definitely going to appreciate this very tasty and comforting meal kit. Spoonful of Comfort was launched to easily send comfort food to sick loved ones (or anyone who needs a little TLC), and its basic soup packages include a 64-ounce jar of soup (4-6 servings) along with dinner rolls, cookies, and a ladle with a personalized note. You can choose from Chicken Noodle, Chicken and Wild Rice, Harvest Vegetable, and more.

A streaming service for the theater nerd in all of us

BroadwayHD subscription, from $9/mo

When Broadway went down for the pandemic, the world of digital theater exploded. If someone you know is really missing live performances, BroadwayHD is chock full of shows old and new. BroadwayHD categorizes its musicals and plays in a way that’s easily decipherable, making „Must See” and „Family Friendly” shows readily available. 

Matching picture frames that let you connect

Long Distance Friendship Frame, from $99

The only thing sweeter than sending someone a framed photo reminding them of the great times you’ve had together is this tech-savvy option, which lets you touch your frame when you’re missing your loved one, and their frame will light up, too — reminding them that they’re on your mind. 

An artist’s starter kit

Art 101 215-Piece Wood Art Set, $50

If they’ve gone through every Netflix show, every sourdough starter, and every puzzle they can get their hands on, set them up for a few more weeks of creative expression with this art kit. Packed with 215 materials ranging from crayons to watercolor paints, this art kit is appropriate for any age, and the organization is almost as pleasing to the eye as their upcoming creations will be. 

A letter board for inspirational messages

Felt Like Sharing Letter Board, $29

Nothing keeps you in a good headspace quite like motivational messages. This 10×10 letter board comes with 300 letters so they can write out pretty much anything that will keep them in a positive headspace. 

Landmass Scratch-Off Map Of The World, $20

If they’re going through withdrawal of international travel, help them revel in the good times — and start thinking about what trip to start planning next. This map lets you scratch off where in the world you’ve been already, and then showcase it on your wall.

A small, voice-activated assistant

Google Nest Mini, $45

When you’re sick, it’s nice to be able to just ask for music or answers to a question without any actual effort. And when you’re self-isolating, any amount of talking is welcome — even if it’s just to a digital assistant. The Google Nest Mini is an affordable smart speaker with Google Assistant built-in, so they can do everything from play their favorite Spotify playlist, to turn the TV volume down, to check their work calendar, all without lifting a finger. And right now, it’s only $25.

A head-to-toe self-care kit

Drunk Elephant The Littles Hair + Body Kit 2.0, $49

What else is there to do at home than some self-care? Cult-favorite beauty brand Drunk Elephant makes quality products that are both vegan and great for sensitive skin, and this super affordable kit includes seven mini bottles of fun products for your hair and body, plus a bonus comb and bag.

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