2020 gift ideas for those with chronic conditions
Happy Holidays, everyone! Unlike years past, many gift-givers this holiday season are looking to ditch the tradition of giving friends and family more ‘frivolous’ gifts that eventually turn from presents to paperweights. This year, many are looking to provide their loved ones with gifts that are useful and practical in daily life. Gone are gag gifts and novelty items; giving functional gifts has become our favorite way of showing loved ones that we care without filling their already-crowded quarantine spaces with more junk.
Functional gifts offer even more benefit to those with chronic conditions, who have often been spending much of the pandemic alone and isolated. With those loved ones in mind, here are some gift ideas for those with chronic conditions.
A fidget cube is a small, dice-sized tool originally designed to help those with autism and ADHD deal with sensory stimulation. For loved ones who struggle with anxiety or similar conditions, a fidget cube can be a small, fit-in-your-pocket companion that can be used to help alleviate some symptoms of anxiety. Fidget cubes aren’t a perfect treatment for anxiety, but if you have a loved one who often expresses their anxiety physically, a fidget cube may be the perfect assistant to help ease moments of day-to-day anxiety.
You can find the original Fidget Cube by Antsy Labs here.
Meal Box Subscription
Know a diabetic or a high-risk individual struggling with eating healthy during the pandemic? Well, a meal box subscription might be for them! There are many services that send pre-portioned, ready to cook meals right to your door, including HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Daily Harvest, and many more! Many meal box subscription services also offer specialized meal selections like gluten-free, diabetes-friendly, and meal packages for the inexperienced cook.
Though a full year of meals may be a tempting choice, start out with a single month or two to more easily gauge whether your choice of service is the right one. If your loved one is unwilling or unable to cook the meals–or even if they aren’t a huge fan of the meals on offer–don’t be afraid to try a different service, or perhaps a monthly box that focuses on different needs, like Blueland’s eco-friendly cleaning supply box.
Many chronic conditions can cause loved ones to experience excessive fatigue, meaning they often spend multiple sections of their day in bed. If your loved one is a smart phone, laptop, or tablet user, they may have found difficulty dealing with the tangle of wires and the uncomfortableness of being unable to lay on their side due to their earbuds.
Sleep headphones are designed to mimic a soft headband and wrap around the user’s head so that they can lay on their side and shift freely should they fall asleep. Sleep headphones come in wired and wireless varieties, so either preference can be met depending on the device.
SleepPhones and the HoomBand are two popular kinds of sleep headphones.
Essential Oil Diffuser
Aromatherapy has gained quite a bit of popularity as a health trend in recent months, and while there has yet to be unanimous clinical agreement on the depth of its benefits, some studies have found that aromatherapy can decrease anxiety, aid sleep, and, in some cases, ease pain.
For a loved one struggling with a chronic condition(s), an essential oil diffuser can be an excellent way to utilize various scents and oils in managing their symptoms. Also, as we enter the winter months of the pandemic, adding a little brightness in the form of some pleasant scents will never go unappreciated!
As always, do your research before gifting essential oils to your loved ones. Not all oils are safe for diffusing, so make sure that any scents you include are from reputable makers and are safe for inhalation.
For a run-down on essential oil diffusers, check out Allure’s 21 of the Best Essential Oil Diffusers to Make Your Home Smell Amazing or The Best Essential Oil Diffusers from the New York Times.
Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a condition brought on by the loss of natural daylight in the fall and winter. SAD is considered a form of depression, but one does not need to have any other form of depression to experience its symptoms. For those experiencing SAD, especially those already dealing with other chronic conditions, living through this seasonal low can cause fatigue, restlessness, hopelessness, irritability, and suicidal thoughts.
One way to combat SAD is with a sun lamp, a portable lamp that mimics natural daylight in the home. This treatment is known as light therapy, and has been used to assist those dealing with SAD, sleep disorders, and even dementia. Exposure to a sun lamp is believed to cause the body and brain to produce serotonin, a neurochemical that plays a key part in mood and emotion. As we look ahead to a winter in quarantine, a sun lamp may be the perfect gift to help your loved one stay in good spirits while we are unable to be with each other in person.
For suggestions on the best sun lamps, check out Health.com’s 10 Top-Rated Light Therapy Boxes To Use While You’re Stuck Inside All Day and New York Magazine’s The Best SAD Lamps, According to Experts.