Not being able to share a hug with a friend, celebrate birthdays in person, comfort a family member in need or say goodbye to a loved one are some of the significant moments we are currently missing, yet there are ways we can still show and send love to family and friends while we stay at home.

Whether it’s by phone, Facebook, Instagram, Zoom, Teams or Hangout, we are adapting quickly to different ways of connecting with those we love, and Central Geelong businesses are being innovative as they too adapt their businesses to help their customers continue to show their love and care for family and friends.

Sending flowers and food gifts is just one way to bring a smile and help to those we love or those who are feeling lonely or afraid. Smellies Flowers offer veggie seedling gift boxes which can be pre ordered for your loved one. Central Geelong florists including Smellies, A Natural Bunch, Townhouse Living, Lustre Blooms and Cyril Cooke Florists have a wide range of flowers, bouquets, indoor plants and gift options available to order online and have delivered direct to the home of family and friends. Include a letter or card expressing in words how much they mean to you.

Get creative and draw sweet messages or pictures. This is a great way for grandchildren to send love to their grandparents and a wonderful way to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Use up those good art and craft supplies or restock your supplies online from local art and craft suppliers like Cavalier, Geelong Art Supplies,Artworx,Kaisercraft, Riot Art & Craft and Lincraft.

It would be wonderful to put together an essential box full of fresh fruit and vegetables from your own garden however if that’s not an option contact The Fresh Food Merchant or Organic Larder and order a box and include bread, eggs, pasta, gourmet snacks or even wine. Place your order online or give them a call and they both will have it delivered direct to your loved one.

While you might not be able to put your baking and cooking skills to work and whip up a tray of lasagne, a cake or a spicy curry to leave at their front door – you can get a Central Geelong business to do this for you. There’s a fantastic selection of Central Geelong businesses selling pre-made meals including Caruggi, Workers BBQ,Little Green Corner, Black Bull, Cravings Café, Café Go and more. Help a loved one by ordering a pre-made family meal and have it delivered to their door.

Send something sweet to lift spirits. Send a Baked by Us treat box or a pack of 6 cupcakes. Augustus Gelatery and Miss Gina Gelato offer home delivery services and Twisted Dessert Bar have created two special dessert packs that can be delivered. If you had the same treat delivered to your house, you can make a Zoom call together and devour it at the same time! You could also do the same with a special bottle of wine from Cellar Door or Union Street Wine.

If you are looking at other ways than food or flowers to bring comfort, you could sort through your photos and print your favourites memories and have them delivered to their door. Visit Geelong Camera House online, select print shop to make your order and they offer to personally deliver or post your memories for free.

While a physical hug is not an option right now, a heat pack to cuddle, a knitted scarf or a pair of slippers to warm up the toes as we head in to winter might be appreciated too. 

If you want to help your loved ones relax, or they are in need of a little self-care, Invoque offer online orders for Skin Treatment boxes while Serenity Skin & Body Care offer virtual skin consults with expert therapists who will diagnose their skin and recommend personalised home solutions.

You could sign up together for some yoga and relaxation classes online with Upstate Studios, Wonder Yoga or Good Folk Yoga who are all streaming yoga classes.

It’s very important to look after your mental health and Beyond Blue (beyondblue.org.au) and Lifeline (lifeline.org.au/crisis-chat) have resources and supports available for you and your loved ones. There’s also a range of specialist health providers in Central Geelong who can offer expert counselling and support if needed including Emerge Clinical Psychology Services or Transcendent Psychology to name a few with all appointments offered virtually via telehealth.  

We are in this together as a community. Stay safe, stay home as advised, be kind to each other and remember to look out for family, friend, neighbours and those in our community doing it extra hard either alone or experiencing grief. 

For a list of Central Geelong businesses doing things differently and who are here to help you and your family and friends stay connected and cared for, visit centralgeelong.com.au.