World leaders, scientists and frontline medical personnel have been hard at work distributing and administering COVID-19 vaccines over the past three months. Now, more than 30% of Americans have received at least one dose, so odds are you know someone who’s recently received their shots. By now, they might even be complaining of soreness, fatigue or fever.
Luckily, these side effects are normal and should only last a few days as their bodies build immunity. Still, feeling crumby is never fun, even when there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thus, if you’re looking to cheer up your friend or family member while they recover, the following ideas will help you offer support and encouragement.
Give Them a Call
If your family member or friend is feeling a little under the weather, give them a call to cheer them up. Share a bit of juicy gossip, talk about the Netflix show they’re binging and ask for an update on their symptoms.
While most people will bounce back and recover from the vaccine within a few days, others may battle fatigue or soreness for more than a week. If they still feel awful after a few days of checking in, encourage them to call their doctor.
Send a Note
Sure, your friend should recover quickly, but it’s always nice to receive a get-well card when you’re sick. Send a note with a funny message, quote or a Bible verse to put a smile on their face and hope in their heart. Hand deliver the note, send it through the mail or drop it in their mailbox with a cookie or some other treat to brighten their day.
Watch the Kids
Does your recent vaccine recipient have children? Offer to watch them for a few hours — or a few days. They’ll be happy to get out of the house and mom and dad will be forever thankful for the chance to recover in a calm and quiet home. Meanwhile, you can explore the zoo, a local park, build a fort in your backyard with their little ones.
Put Together a Gift Basket
Help your friend relax with a personalized gift basket. Include a bath bomb, lotion, eye mask, Ibuprofen and other similar items. Then, think about their interests. Do they love sports? Consider adding something relevant to the basket. Would they rather watch sitcoms while they recover? Include some snack mix, popcorn or candy bars.
Bring Them Food
Sometimes, the vaccine will make the recipient’s arm hurt or cause their muscles to ache. In this case, they probably won’t want to do much mixing, scooping or whisking. Keep them out of the kitchen and on the road to healing by bringing them a meal or two. Consider making comfort foods that freeze and reheat well.
Drop Off Flowers
Practically everyone loves receiving flowers, especially if they’ll be stuck in bed for a few days. Bring a bright splash of color and a fresh scent into their home with a bouquet of flowers. If they’re plant people you might gift them a succulent or houseplant instead.
Offer to Mow Their Yard
Spring is here, which means mowing season is right around the corner. If you notice their yard is in need of a trim — or their garden needs tending to — offer to help. Fertilize their garden, plant some bulbs, water the flowers and cut the grass. This way they’ll have one less thing to worry about while they take some time off from completing their to-do list.
Do Some Chores
You might also offer to help them around the house and complete a few chores. Do their laundry, make a grocery run, clean the kitchen or simply stop by and take the dog for a walk. These small acts of kindness will make a huge difference in their lives and give their mind a chance to rest, too.
Drop off magazines, your favorite book or a funny movie to help your loved one pass the time. Odds are they’ll be more than a little bored if they’re stuck at home in bed all day. Alternatively, you can gift them a subscription to their favorite channel or a video game they’ve had their eye on for a while.
Stay With Them
If you’ve received your vaccine or deem it safe enough to stay with your loved one, offer to keep them company in person. Cook, clean and cheer them up by taking care of them and nursing them back to health. Just remember to respect their boundaries and try not to take it personally if they say no.
The last thing your loved one probably wants to hear is news about the vaccine or your questions about its effectiveness or safety. After all, the dose is already in their body, so there’s no sense in needlessly frightening them or making them question their decision. Stay positive, be supportive and practice kindness.