This guest post was graciously provided by Beverly Nelson. Visit her website at
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If someone you know or love has a hard time living their day-to-day life on their own, chances are someone else close to them has taken it upon themselves to be their caregiver or caretaker. Caregiving is a time-consuming endeavor where you have to be available at any time, day or night. The emotional stress of caregiving can also be difficult. Watching someone you love struggle with daily activities and declining health can take its toll.
This holiday season, treat a caregiver with a thoughtful gift that encourages them to take time for self-care. Self-care is any act done deliberately to help one’s health mentally, physically, and emotionally. These acts refuel us, and they are generally something that we enjoy. It can be as simple as drawing a hot bath or watching a favorite movie. However, self-care can also be the things we don’t necessarily enjoy, like taking time off to go to the dentist. Self-care is about preserving yourself and making your health a priority in a society where we are often pulled in so many different directions.
When it comes to self-care gift giving, it is best to focus on the “enjoyment” activities. While much of what we do for self-care involves things, the gift shouldn’t be about the item itself. It should be about the experience the item facilitates.
Here are some of our favorite ideas for self-caring gifts for the caretakers in your life:
A Blank Journal
The gift of a blank journal is the gift of self-expression. Taking the time out every day to write a little something is very cathartic, especially for someone going through a lot like a caregiver is. Journaling doesn’t have to be writing long-winded entries detailing every hour of every day. Micro-journaling is a new way to take up the hobby without having to put too much pressure on oneself to pump out perfect prose every evening.
Micro-journaling requires the journaler to do four simple things:
1. Write the date.
2. Make a list of 10 things about your day.
3. Identify one thing you are grateful for.
4. Go back to living your life!
It’s simple, elegant, and allows a person to express themselves and release their thoughts and feelings in a healthy way.
Food is a great gift. Everyone has to eat, but not everything we eat is going to be special. Dark chocolate is the perfect gift for everyone, even someone who “has everything,” and can buy themselves whatever they want, whenever they want. But of all the foods, why do we suggest dark chocolate as a self-caring gift?
Dark chocolate tastes decadent, so when we enjoy it, we are giving ourselves a treat and a break from the realities of the day. However, dark chocolate has a lot of health benefits, as well. It is full of minerals and antioxidants, and eating chocolate releases serotonin and endorphins into the brain, also known as the “feel good” chemicals in our body.
Adult Coloring Book and Crayons
Coloring helps promote mindfulness and reduces anxiety, so it has become very popular among stressed out grown-ups. The adult coloring book craze taps into our love of being creative as well as zoning out. Buzzfeed has a wonderful list of great coloring books for adults, but you can also find some that specifically cater to your caregiver’s interests.
If you are looking to buy a gift for a person who has taken on the role of caregiving for a senior or ailing family member, treat them to a gift that helps them be active in their own self-care. A blank journal gives them space to express themselves verbally and chronicle the things they are grateful for. Dark chocolate is the gift for those who seemingly have everything. It’s delicious and secretly good for the body, as well. Finally, adult coloring books are perfect for those who want an activity that promotes mindfulness and reduces anxiety. You can feel good giving any of these gifts to someone who works so hard–a nice little feel-good bonus for you, as well.