Christmas is almost here and you’ve forgotten to shop?
Or maybe you’re just struggling to know how to support your friend going through a battle with their health?
I know when I developed chronic health issues, the stuff that usually brought me joy (like cookies, Disney World tickets, or hot chocolate) all of a sudden were reminders of how ill I was feeling and how much I couldn’t do anymore.
I know my family and friends struggled to know how to support me in general, let alone knowing what to get me for birthdays and Christmases.
So, I made a list to help give you some ideas of both practical and fun gifts you can get for the person in your life struggling with chronic illness. These may not work for every single person, but hopefully they can give you some good ideas to love your person well. 🤍
1. A self care kit
Where there’s chronic illness, there’s usually STRESS (and stress kills!)
Make a simple self care kit filled with non-scented epsom salts, a dry brush, essential oils, a jade roller, and/or their favorite non-toxic face wash (here’s my favorite). This is both a de-stressing and healing gift idea!
2. Essential oils + a diffuser
Speaking of essential oils, these can be incredibly helpful tools to help with pain, stomach upset, and other symptoms without the side effects.
I use dōTERRA essential oils because I’ve tried 8 different oils brands and found them to be the cleanest and most effective oils. A more affordable option that doesn’t compromise quality is also Mountain Rose Herbs.
You can grab diffusers to use oils aromatically for pretty cheap on Amazon. Or if you want to really splurge, this is basically the diffuser of all of our dreams.
3. Nice slippers
Comfort is everything, especially if you’re going to and from the hospital.
4. A cozy robe
Does the person in your life have a surgery coming up? Chemotherapy? Are they recovering from something?
Robes are always the answer. It’s so nice to have some of the comforts from home with you to a scary place like a hospital. Gifting a plush robe is like sending your person a big hug, letting them know you’re there with them even when you can’t be.
5. A cozy blanket
For similar reasons, a cozy blanket will also do the trick.
6. Sit up pillow
There are a few reasons someone might need to sleep sitting up – acid reflux, surgery recovery, etc.
I’ve tried so many pillows to help me sleep elevated and by far the BEST one I’ve found is this one from Target. I actually ordered it for myself as I’m likely going to have surgery in the next few months and will need to sleep sitting up. I’ve been using it for my reflux and it’s a God send. It’s SO soft and cozy, yet firm at the same time.
7. Ice packs + heating pads
If someone in your life deals with chronic pain and doesn’t have a nice ice pack or heating pad, this is definitely something they’ll get a lot of use out of these.
These are my favorite ice gel packs (they’re so easy to grab and put on) and you can grab any heating pad from your local CVS. However, if they’re trying to be conscious of EMFs (Electromagnetic Fields) and are trying to reduce their exposure to these, this heating pad has been tested and has ZERO EMFs.
8. Bed tray
Some days are we’re-not-leaving-bed days and a bed tray is a great gift to help someone eat or work from bed – especially if they have had a procedure done on or around their abdomen. This tray is on my wishlist to help me work from home on my off days.
9. Sea bands
Nausea sucks. Sea bands stimulate the P6 accupressure point to help alleviate nausea which would be perfect for anyone with digestive issues, going through chemotherapy, etc.
10. A nice duffel bag
Being in labor isn’t the only time you’ll need to pack a hospital bag. People going through surgeries or frequent hospital visits often need to bring hospital or overnight bags with them.
I’ve had to bring a large purse to the hospital and it’s just not the same. A nice duffel bag designated for hospital visits is so nice to have to keep everything organized in. I have this one from Target that I love, but there’s tons out there. I recommend choosing one that already has a shape and doesn’t mold to whatever you stick in there.
11. Organifi superfood blend
For those with chronic nausea or digestive disorders, it can difficult to get nutrition in. That’s why I LOVE Organifi’s superfood powders. These saved me when I couldn’t eat for 4 weeks and has brought so much improvement in my symptoms.
I will forever sing their praises because of the quality of their ingredients, sourcing, effectiveness, and I’ve personally gotten to chat on the phone with them voicing all of my questions and concerns and they’ve been nothing short of amazing.
I’d recommend Organifi Gold to anyone who is ill because inflammation is the root of all disease (which Gold helps with). I know these can be pricey, but they’re SO worth it and you can use code STEPHW for 15% off your purchase!
Alternatively, if it’s simply not in your budget, sending some organic tea can be just as healing and comforting. I prefer Mountain Rose Herbs for organic teas.
Most people with chronic illness tend to give up coffee because the caffeine makes them feel too bad (jittery, nauseous, anxious).
I hadn’t drank coffee for 5 years until I tried Organo’s King coffee.
King Coffee contains rare organic Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) spores powder, used for thousands of years for its immune benefits. The Reishi in the coffee actually works to modulate the caffeine and impact of pH in the body. That means people that normal get jittery drinking coffee (or really any caffeinated beverage) can tolerate King Coffee pretty well.
I decided to try it out for myself and I can attest that I don’t get jittery at all and I absolutely LOVE being able to treat myself to coffee again!
If you’re ready to try King Coffee, you can purchase it here.
13. Squatty potty
This is a more personal gift, but if someone in your life has been open with you about struggling with constipation, this thing is a lifesaver.
It puts you in the correct position for fast and easy elimination and eliminates any colorectal “kinks” you might have while going #2. This helps a ton with constipation, straining while eliminating, hip tightness (it actually is like a stretch for your hips), + more. You can grab one here.
14. Favorite shows or movies
Any time I’m having a flare day, I don’t know why, but I usually want to watch Friends.
I think most people have different movies and shows they love that just comforts or distracts them during the times they aren’t feeling well. Things aren’t always on Disney Plus or Netflix, so a nice gift idea could be buying an entire series or movie for someone that they love.
15. Good books or adult coloring books
Some days when you aren’t feeling well, you may be in the mood for a good book, rather than TV.
Here are 27 fiction book ideas to help people get back into reading. You can also go to your local bookstore and ask if there are any new releases out that are good.
And if the person you’re getting a gift for isn’t a huge reader, adult coloring books are super relaxing and a nice way to help manage stress. If your gift recipient is a Disney fan, I’m a huge fan of this Thomas Kinkade coloring book.
16. Nintendo switch and/or video games
You don’t have to be a “gamer” to enjoy video games.
I love having my Nintendo Switch Lite on the days I am hanging out in bed and games like Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing, Super Mario 3D All-Stars, and Mario Kart have all helped me get through the day.
Some other games I’d recommend are Breath of the Wild, Skyrim, any of the LEGO games, Super Smash Bros., and Overcooked.
17. Recipe books
No matter what illness someone has, there is likely some sort of dietary guideline for that thing.
I know when I was diagnosed with leaky gut, I was told to eliminate gluten, dairy, and sugar from my diet. It was super overwhelming and I had no idea where to start or what to eat. I thought I’d basically be eating grass for the rest of my life, but there are so many good recipe books to help people reduce their inflammation, symptoms, and actually heal or reverse disease!
You can always search for whatever ailment your gift recipient has and then type in “recipe book” following that. For those that struggle with IBS or autoimmune disease, some of my favorite recipe books are Digest This, The Nutrient Dense Kitchen, and Autoimmune Wellness.
18. Thrive Market or Instacart membership
Speaking of food, grocery shopping can be a real battle when you are dealing with feeling ill all the time.
A truly life-changing gift idea could be a year membership to an online grocery service. These are two of my favorites:
- Thrive Market. For $60 a year, you could gift someone organic, healthy grocery items at a much more affordable price. Thrive Market has just about every diet option you can imagine and is a great option for those that don’t have health food stores local to them. And you can use this link to get 25% off your first order.
- Instacart Delivery. For $99 a year, you can gift someone UNLIMITED free grocery deliveries. Especially during COVID times where the immunocompromised don’t want to be out and about or on those pain or flare days, this is a real God send and a seriously thoughtful gift. You can use this link for $10 off your first order.
19. Favorite snacks
Food is a universal love language.
Even if someone has IBS or tummy problems, I feel like the thought still counts. Some of my favorite gut-friendly snacks are Thunderbird Bars, Rise Bars, The New Primal Meat Sticks, Simple Mills Crackers, Banana Plantain Chips, or Evolved Chocolate Cups if I’m wanting chocolate.
Everyone’s different, though, so find out what works for them and their diet.
20. Non-toxic cleaning products
Did you know the U.S. does not regulate which ingredients go into our cleaning and/or personal care products?
Most of your generic name brand cleaners lining the shelves are filled with carcinogens and other ingredients that are extremely harmful to our health.
It can be super overwhelming to find new products that work and are not harmful to our health. I’ve spent years making these swaps and by far, Branch Basics is THE best of the best when it comes to performance and purity. With a starter kit, you get everything you need for hand soap, a glass cleaner, laundry detergent, all-purpose spray, bathroom cleaner, and an oxygen boost for those tough stains.
My kit usually lasts me 4-6 months too, so it’s well worth the investment.
21. Cordless vacuum
Speaking of cleaning, a cordless vacuum is one of the best gifts you can get for someone with chronic illness or their spouse.
Cleaning can take up so much of our energy, especially lugging around a large vacuum we have to keep plugging in and out. A cordless vacuum makes it SO much easier to keep the house tidy because it’s so light and easy to pull out and vacuum.
If you don’t have $600 to spend on a vacuum, like me, this one is under $200 and actually works on our carpet and couches (and we have a dog that sheds A LOT). Would highly recommend this one!
22. Instant Pot
I LOVE anything that makes my life easier or reduces the time it takes me to do something.
The Instant Pot has a bit of a learning curve at first, but WOW it is life changing. This is the one I have and it really covers and a lot of ground. You can usually find really great deals on this around Black Friday or Amazon Prime Day too!
I know this is a high ticket item, but the Vitamix is 100% worth the money.
I use this 2-3x a day because my digestion is so horrid right now I have to blend and puree nearly everything I eat, but I also use it to juice, make smoothies, soups, and just about everything else. This blends better than any other blender I’ve ever used and it’s honestly the best investment I’ve made.
This is the one I use and love and it’s a little more affordable than the $500 – $600 listed on their site.
24. CBD Oil
CBD Oil has become increasingly popular over the last few years because of its ability to help reduce pain, anxiety, nausea, and increase sleep quality.
I have tried several brands out over the years and honestly NONE compares to Meet Ned. Their 100% Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil is incredibly pure, free of mold/mycotoxins, and works wonders to help me get a good night’s sleep. This stuff is EASILY worth the money + a real help to those suffering from chronic illness (p.s. if you’re new to CBD Oil, there is absolutely no THC in this, so you don’t get any sort of high at all upon use).
25. A devotional
It’s so hard to have a bad health day. When you’re in so much pain or maybe so nauseous you can’t move and the rest of the world keeps going, it’s hard to feel like you have a purpose.
It’s so important for me, personally, to have some time to connect with God each day. I don’t always have the mental capacity to do a longer bible study and sometimes just end up doing a YouVersion devotional on my bad days. It could be nice to have something like New Morning Mercies by Paul Trip Lee on those days or this book that talks about God’s heart for those suffering.
Or it could be a longer form study, but a devotional or bible study or some sort is crucial in any person’s life, but probably even more in someone going through so much suffering daily.
Some of my favorite studies I’ve done, personally, so far are:
- Open Your Bible by Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams
- The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer
- Missing Pieces by Jennifer Rothschild
- Believing God by Beth Moore
And I hear anything by Jen Wilkins is great too if you want to get even deeper into biblical literacy!
What would you add to this gift list? I love hearing from you. 🙂