A slightly different gift guide today! I was asked to trial some products which really lent themselves to Spoonies (Meaning the chronically ill – See Spoon Theory) this Christmas so I decided to build a whole gift guide around them and make it a self care gift guide. That doesn’t mean that this guide is only for the chronically ill, though, this is a list of gift ideas for anyone in your life who needs to rest, to take it easy. Maybe it is someone who’s ill, or maybe someone who works too hard or just doesn’t know when to look after themselves – This Christmas you can give them some products to help them take the hint, to get them to slow down and put themself first.
I’ve split the guide, loosely, in to categories – I’ve got creams and other things which should help more physically, things to boost the mood, then comfort items and, finally, entertainment. So if you’re here for just one of those categories you’ll see them as you keep scrolling.
If you are a Spoonie then make sure you share this with your friends and family so they have some hints and tips for what to get you this year – Some of these are a bit obvious, but, not all of them are. I had a good time trying to think of things that could really help people this Christmas.
As with my previous gift guide I’ll mark any products that were sent to me with a *, anything else I bought myself. And if you’re looking for a more standard Gift Guide then check out my previous post which contains a huge range of ideas for lots of types of people.
Lips are one of those areas which tend to really suffer when someone is run down and that’s why I recommend lip balm as a great gift for spoonies or for people who’re stressed and over worked. I have a lot of lip balms which I love but I’ve recently bought this Soap and Glory ‘Melty Talented’ balm (£5) and it’s become something I really enjoy. It’s a solid balm, with a beautiful coconut/nutty smell and it’s sold as a bit of an all-rounder. I often find that balms that promise to do everything don’t do anything particularly well but this one is an exception to that. At bed time I like to apply this to my lips, and the skin around my lips, and I wake up with them super moisturised (though it doesn’t taste too nice so don’t lick your lips!). But as well as that it’s great for tired hands, overworked elbows and dry sore knees and I think it’s a great gift for someone in need of a little pampering and self care.
Suu Balm* (£14.99) is an itch relieving cream which, also, moisturises the skin. Although this doesn’t seem like an obvious Christmas gift, if you know someone who suffers from irritated skin (which is common in a lot of Chronic health conditions) then it could be something that would really help. The cream has a natural menthol element which cools the area, making it less itchy, and the moisturising element helps to keep the skin healthier in general. It aims to stop the ‘itch-scratch’ cycle and, I have to say, it’s helped me so far. I don’t know exactly how it works but when I have an itchy area I apply the cream and it makes it much easier to not scratch (maybe the cooling distracts the brain from the itch feeling in the same way that you can tap the area rather than scratching) and it really does moisturise very effectively too.
Boswellia & Commiphora* cream is something I hadn’t heard of until I was asked to try it out. It is made from Frankincense and Myrrh, which is why it has a rather apt link to Christmas, but both of them are also said to help reduce inflammation. I’ve tried this out a few times and I find that it’s really pleasant to use on my muscles; it has a cooling effect, and also slightly warming at the same time. It’s not going to heal someone with a chronic illness but I do feel like it offers a bit of relief when muscles are particularly tight and, as such, it would be great for a healthy person who wanted to relax too. The cream also includes ingredients like arnica and vitamin E which are great additions to any body care product. I had guessed that something moisturising was in there, even before checking the ingredients, simply because the skin feels lovely and soft after using it – I really like this cream and for £9.95 it’s worth giving a go if you have muscles that need some tlc.
Another unusual option, we have Boost Oxygen* (£17.99) which is a product which could be enjoyed by a whole range of gift recipients. This company offers to help with altitude, sports, hangovers, health and beauty which is quite the impressive list. It is, essentially, a portable oxygen tank so you can understand how it could help in such a variety of scenarios as clearer oxygen has so many potential benefits to the whole body. I don’t know how accurate all of the claims are but it feels like one of those things that really is worth a try. I was sent the Pink Grapefruit one which is infused with essential oils which are meant to be uplifting and give energy which is why I think it could be great for someone who’s run down or ill. I’ve only tried it a couple of times, thus far, but it’s a really interesting concept and if you’re buying for someone who has everything they probably don’t already have this! So far I’ve found it to be really refreshing and quite pleasant to use and I’m looking forward to using it some more.
Hot drinks seem to be a bit of a universal sign for self care, or for something you can do for someone who needs extra care. There’s just something about how comforting and cosy a warm drink makes you when you’re ill, or run down, it seems to make this a bit of a leveller. I picked these Rainbow striped mugs (one on the left is £4.96, on the right £7.14), from my collection, because if you have someone who’s life feels dark due to ill health, stress or just having a hard time and what better way than to add a bit of colour and light back in to their days than something as bright and beautiful as these – These are hand painted and are both from BabaMe.
If the Spoonie in your life has a pain related condition then staying warm is likely to be very helpful during winter, and if they have a mental health related issue then a blanket for sofa days would be very useful. That said, even the healthy who are over worked, or stressed, or just enjoy some self care time, love a nice blanket day. I picked up two of these beautiful throws from Primark (the other is dusky pink) for only £4 each. So getting a loved one a blanket does not need to be a pricey affair, I couldn’t believe how affordable these were so it doesn’t feel so bad that I bought two haha.
Continuing the need for warmth I also picked up some of these Cosy Socks from Primark – I knew I needed some for this post so I let Ethan pick them, he went for these grey ones which feel like you’re wearing a cloud on your feet. They were £1.80 for two pairs so these are another bargain buy for prompting your loved one to perform some self care.
As if we hadn’t covered warming things enough, here’s one last one in the form of a Warmies plush* (£12.95). These are one of the cuddlies that you can pop in the microwave to turn in to a squishy hot water bottle and I love them. I used to have one, many years ago, but not sure where he’s gone. When I was asked to try one of these out for Christmas I really wanted the fox but it was out of stock, and then I saw the penguin with the hat and fell in love. Isn’t it just the cutest! These are, honestly, the nicest thing on a cold winter night, for anyone, and if you are buying for a Spoonie this year then this sort of thing could do wonders for muscle cramps, aches and all sorts of discomfort. Well worth checking out.
I may be a bit biased but I think books are a great gift for anyone, but more so when you are buying for someone who needs some quieter, relaxation time in their lives. For me some quite book time is the ultimate in self care. I feel like books are the sort of escapism that you can take anywhere (be that lunch break at work or hospital visits) and you can just take half an hour to read, relax and recharge. If you’re on a budget you can get books so affordably, or if you don’t know what to buy someone you could get them a Waterstones or an Amazon voucher so they can pick for themselves. If you have a big budget then a Kindle is an amazing gift, my eldest has one now and he’s devouring books.
I’ve included a subscription to Netflix, or some other television service, because if you’re buying for someone who’s ill they may really struggle to keep their mind busy when they’re stuck at home. For anyone else it’s a suitable gift because it’s a great way to have a bit of escapism from an otherwise stressful life. It’s not a lot a month so you could, maybe, sub them for 3-6 months and then they’ll see if it’s the service for them and they can carry on if they enjoy it. The price is about to go to £7.99 for the most basic plan so you can vary how many months you get someone dependent on your budget for them.
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