Whether suffering from the stressors of day-to-day life or recovering from surgery, there’s nothing more comforting than a big dose of TLC from a loved one. If you have a family member or friend who’s going through a rough patch, think about surprising them with a therapeutic gift that helps them heal quicker. Gifts like the ones below can help speed up recovery time, provide joy and distract your loved one from the pain or discomfort of their situation.
From sending a heartwarming, personalized care package to treating your loved one to a day at the spa, we have all the best therapeutic gift ideas.
- A Grab Bag of Bath Supplies — It’s just like Sylvia Plath said: “There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” A long soak in a hot bath is one of the original cure-alls, helping relieve muscle and joint aches, improve sleep and even reduce blood pressure. Help your loved one settle into this amazing form of therapy with some bathtime enhancers, such as candles, bath bombs and bubble bath.
- An All-Out Spa Day — A spa day is the ultimate self-care present for someone under a lot of stress. Give the gift of a few luxurious treatments that may help your recipient feel better faster. Massages, facials and mani-pedi packages are always welcome. Some spas also have hot tubs, saunas or steam rooms to help loosen muscles and encourage relaxation.
- A Stuffed Animal Care Package — You probably know that it’s comforting to give your dog or elephant stuffed animal a big hug from time to time, but did you know it may actually have therapeutic benefits? Psychologists say that stuffed animals aren’t just toys — they’re nurturing therapy tools that can help release the calming hormone oxytocin. You can send a stuffed animal from afar to help support a loved one going through a challenging time.
- Thoughtfully Chosen Books — Books can serve as a welcome distraction from pain and discomfort as well as the anxiety and depression that comes with it. The key is to make sure you spend time choosing the right books for your recipient. If your goal is to provide a distraction, go for something in the fantasy or humor categories. If it’s emotional support you seek, choose from the many self-help best-sellers on the shelves.
- A Reusable Hot-Cold Compress — When recovering from surgery, an illness or simply a stressful week of work, a hot-cold compress can help ease the pain. These handy little packs contain internal beads which can be warmed up or frozen to hold the ideal temperature for a prolonged period of time. The great news is that they come in tons of soft, cuddly shapes such as stuffed animals. If you’re handy with a sewing machine (or have an old sock on hand), you can even make your own using rice.
- Time with a Pet — Giving an animal as a gift without a person’s consent is never a good idea, but there’s no harm in providing your loved one with some temporary pet time. Animals are becoming an increasingly popular tool in therapy to help encourage calm and combat depression and anxiety, so this may be a great way to provide support. Consider taking your loved one to a local animal shelter or cat café for some much-needed pet time!
- A Massager — These days, there are some impressive, professional-grade home massage tools that can help you work out serious muscle stiffness and tension without the need to see a massage therapist. Tools like the Theragun are excellent for people who struggle with chronic back, neck and shoulder pain, but there are tons of great products on the market that will do the trick.
- A Home-Cooked Meal — Never underestimate the power of a warm plate of food! Cooking your loved one their favorite food can help show how much you care and can provide comfort and joy. Consider baking some homemade cookies or cupcakes or whipping up a batch of comforting soup or ramen.
- Comfy Slippers and a Robe — Help your recipient sink into a state of relaxation and self-care with a pair of luxurious slippers and a matching bathrobe. Getting into comfortable clothes is a great way to help de-stress after a long week. It can also help your recipient get better sleep.
- A Weighted Blanket — Weighted blankets are becoming a popular tool to help treat anxiety while increasing comfort and security. In fact, The Sleep Foundation says they may help ease symptoms and boost sleep quality for people with anxiety, insomnia or autism. As we all know, recovery isn’t possible without a good night’s rest, so anything you can do to encourage quality sleep is a therapeutic win.
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- A Movie Night Basket — Encourage your recipient to enjoy a fun night in with the help of a well-stocked movie night basket hand-curated by you. Include popcorn, candy, homemade sweets and the movie of your choice. You may also consider including a gift card to a streaming service such as Apple, Google Play or Amazon so your recipient can rent a movie of their choice. What could be more therapeutic than a cozy movie night in?
- A Humidifier — It sounds like a boring present, but a humidifier will be a welcome gift by anyone looking to heighten their self-care routine. Infusing the air with humidity can help prevent dry skin, eyes and noses, making it especially comforting during the cold winter months or when recovering from an illness.
Ultimately, the best thing you can do for a loved one recovering from a surgery, illness or stress is to offer to help in any way you can. Doing something as simple as walking the dog or watering the plants can help encourage a happier, quicker recovery. Of course, it never hurts to show up with a gift in hand, especially if it’s one that will make them feel better!