I will preface this blog by saying I do not like shopping (much to the chagrin of my 13 year old daughter, who loves it.) But, I do enjoy giving gifts to show appreciation or to celebrate. Since it seems to be the gift-giving time of year, I thought I would provide some healthy gift ideas, some of which are free or cost very little. Gifts don’t always have to be “things”. Sometimes the gift of time can be one of the best! Hopefully this list of healthy gift ideas that Lee and I came up with might be of some help. It became so long that we decided to make a three-part series.
One of the best ways to improve health and improve quality of life is to reduce stress. Some days are certainly better (or worse) than others, but taking active steps to mitigate stress is really important for good health. For some reason, we don’t always make time for or prioritize stress-relief. See if any of these things might be something for that special person to help them take care of themselves and relieve some stress.
- Diffuser and candles: Our daily environment is very important to our overall health. Creating a calming mood can help support a more relaxed feel. A diffuser or candles might be a nice way to help with this.
- Essential oils: Essential oils can help boost mood, energy, and help with relaxation. Some of these can be used directly on the skin or placed in a diffuser too.
- Yoga: Yoga can help relieve tension. Giving a video or online membership that even a beginner could try out in the comfort of their own home might help them out. For someone who already does yoga, supplies like mats, blocks, and stretching straps might be nice items to support their practice.
- Journal: Carving out just a little bit of quiet time each day is vital. A journal for reflection could be nice or a bath bomb to use for a relaxing time out.
- Planner or Calendar: Getting organized will help reduce stress and a good-old-fashion planner is a great tool to do this. Something with uplifting or motivational messaging would be even better!
- A good book: Rest comes in many forms and involves more than just sleep. A quality blanket to use for those cold winter months would be a welcome treat. A good book to curl up with goes well with it. Something funny, uplifting, or motivation would provide a great message.
- Apps: Supporting good sleep will help with stress as well. A gift card to an app store to download some relaxing music or a meditation app could be useful. A white noise machine would also help create a nice sleep environment.
- Massage: A massage is certainly something we would all probably love, but may not want to spend the money on. A gift certificate would be a welcome gift for just about anyone!
- Music membership: An online music membership could help either with that relaxing, atmosphere music or mood boosting music too!
Have Some Fun
As I have been reading more and more about the impact of phones and technology, I am reminded that isolation is not good for our health. So, why not give the gift of fun and spend some time together?
- Lessons: Gift the gift of a lesson, or better yet, take it together. From dancing to tennis to skiing – try something new and have some laughs while you do it. One of the BEST things I have ever done was take surfing lessons. It was awesome ….and way outside of my comfort zone!
- Explore new activities: Recreational passes are inexpensive and allow access to some amazing natural resources. From camping to hiking and biking, this could open up a world of opportunity. There are seasonal activities to consider based on where you live; Access to water, beaches and trails in the warm months and things like skiing and snowshoeing in the winter could provide so many (near free) chances to spend time together and encourage you to get outside.
- Live music or comedy tickets: This may sound a little out there but it can be some of the best memories that you can make with someone you want to spend more time with. What could be better for your health than to take some time out of your busy schedule and go laugh for an hour? Live music or performances can also be very enriching, uplifting and inspiring.
- Travel: This doesn’t have to be a retreat to India for two weeks. This can be as simple as a half-day trip to a new recreational area. It could also be to a friends get-away, a health expo, 5K race, or even a sporting event.
Hopefully this list of healthy gift ideas can help get you started. Check back for the next two parts of our healthy gift ideas series where we will covering ways to support healthy eating and physical activity.
Note: The Environmental Working Group is a great resource for safer, healthier brands of products.