Written by Sharrie Thompson, RN, CCA and Raachel Carroll, NTP
...And You Want to Encourage Them But Have No Idea How
Someone on your gift list is seeking better health, and you have no gift ideas! Gift baskets won't work; folks striving for better wellness don't eat sugary-goodies or use scented lotions. Themed fuzzy socks are an option, but you did that last year!
Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash
So, now what? Below are some ideas for that wellness-minded individual based on our own wellness-lifestyles, training, certifications, and research.
(This article contains affiliate links for which we receive payment when you order)
Houseplants reduce stress and purify the air:
Face it, we're in the throes of Covid-19, and everyone is stressed! A study measured participant's pulse rates after 3-minutes of looking at or talking to their small desk plant. The participant's pulse rate lowered significantly, indicating a stress reduction! Houseplants used in the study were:
Here are some other low-maintenance houseplants that can brighten up any home:
Keep in mind: if the giftee is a pet parent, some plants may be toxic to critters. Checking for pet-friendliness before buying is wise.
A healthier immune system:
The body's lymphatic system provides essential immune functions by moving fighter cells and trash removers through the body. One hitch: the system has no pump and requires movement of our skeletal muscles to operate. As sedentary as some of us can be, it usually needs a bit of help.
A massage can help to stimulate the movement of lymphatic fluid manually, and it feels good! So give your friend a massage gift certificate.
Dry skin brushing moves lymph fluid, aiding in detoxifying the body, and has the bonuses of exfoliating skin, increasing circulation, and unclogging pores per the Cleveland Health Clinic. Treat yourself to a dry skin brush when you pick one up for your friend! You won’t regret it!
Yoga classes are a gentle way to promote lymph movement and reduce stress! During Covid, many classes are offered by zoom. Arrange a class for your health-conscious buddy; maybe you can join virtually too!
Gifts to help improve sleep and energy:
“The worst health stressor,” per Judy Hinojosa, NMD, “is not sleeping.” The blue lights used in technology screens can reduce melatonin's natural production (a sleep hormone) and inappropriately trigger the brain into thinking its day-time (time to be active). Blue light screens close to bedtime can create an inability to fall asleep.
To counter this phenomenon, consider blue light blocking glasses for the friend who absolutely cannot avoid their screens the recommended 1-3 hours before bed. Maybe an old-fashioned alarm clock that doesn't tick loudly, so setting alarms doesn't have to involve a screen.
Kitchen supplies for your ‘always-cooking-something’ friend:
Nonstick and aluminum cookware are attractive due to price & convenience, but it's not ideal for the wellness-minded person. Nonstick coating flakes off into the food, and the safety of aluminum cookware discussion continues.
You'll find heavy stainless steel and cast iron pots, pans, and skillets in a health-conscious kitchen. Chainmail scrubbers for easy cleaning of these materials make good stand-alone or accompanying gifts!
Stainless steel cooking utensils and glass cutting boards are preferable for meats and fish since they aren't porous and don't trap raw food particles that can lead to bacteria growth, even after washing.
Food storage is best when made of a non-porous material that won't leach chemicals into your foods. We suggest clear glass storage containers and clear glass jars with lids. Just be sure to choose clear, newer-made glass containers. Vintage glass and colored glass have a reported problem with lead.
A juicer is an excellent gift for a nutrition-focused friend! Juicing is an easy and tasty way to support the lucky recipient in their search for optimal nutrition. Juicing allows the consumption of nutrients in larger quantities, and it's pretty fun trying out new recipes. A juicing recipe book for home remedies is good too!
Slow-cookers are a life-saver, whether you're wellness-focused or not. Everyone should have at least one slow-cooker. Slow-cookers make the busy person's life easier: put good quality meat with some veggies into the slow-cooker and let it cook all day on low—easy way to eat well with little effort. A slow-cooker cookbook is also an inspiring gift!
Trendy insulated lunch boxes liven up meals:
Does your friend bring their lunch to work or (pre-COVID) to social gatherings because they eat a specific diet style or don't want ingredients commonly used in restaurants? Fun bento-style lunch boxes make the practice more fun, and, as individuals who eat mostly brought-from-home food, we can attest that you can never have too many lunch boxes.
The gift of clean water:
Your giftee may not drink tap water because of contaminants. They may also be hesitant about the quality of water in the plastic bottles available for purchase. Since it takes about 5-6 bottles to maintain adequate hydration, the environmental and budget impact of buying bottles may be of concern for your friend, as well. Gift them a water filter and resolve their worry! When purchasing, look for filters that remove heavy metals, chlorine, and bacteria from regular tap water. The more a filter removes, the better but, removal of any contaminant is better than nothing!
Countertop water filtration systems remove undesirable contaminants from the tap water and allow your buddy to fill their water bottle before leaving the house. You can find a countertop style pretty much anywhere, and there are even whole home filter systems! If you're looking for extensive filtration, we, personally, use the Berkey System . Berkey filters are our countertop choice, and they offer a sports-style water bottle with an attached straw filter that we love as it allows safe refilling from the tap while on-the-go.
Glass to-go water bottles and stainless steel to-go mugs:
Hydration is essential for wellness, and many carry water bottles wherever they go. However, buying one for your wellness-minded friend can be a little tricky when it comes to the water containers themselves.
Clear glass bottles are always a good idea. Worried about the bottle getting accidentally broken? Glass bottles with silicone sleeves help protect from short drops. You can even find some bottles that have ounces marked on the side for that friend who has a daily hydration goal!
Stainless steel to-go mugs for warm drinks are an extraordinary gift for anyone, especially for your friend that prefers warm beverages sourced from home. The stainless steel mugs won't leach chemicals into the drinks and often come double-insulated for the longevity of drink warmth and protection of the hand holding the warm drink. These mugs aren't non-porous with a smooth lining, so they won't hold onto drink particles and grow bacteria. Most are also dishwasher safe for convenience!
If you like to make gifts, here’s a couple you might consider:
A rice-filled heating pad offers heat when you're cold and comfort when you're achy. Here’s an easy, no-sew one we found on the internet. You can also buy microwavable heating pads if you're not into DIY projects. Huggaroo is our favorite brand. They offer an unscented option, and their heating pads are larger than what you can usually buy elsewhere.
Relaxed muscles and better sleep; yes, please!! Grab some Epsom salt that is free of scents and additives and a clean 8-ounce clear glass jar with a lid, and make your friend an Epsom bath salt soak! Add two teaspoons of Castile baby soap, two teaspoons of organic olive or almond oil, and ten drops of your choice of essential oil(s) to the jar.. Here's the essential oils, organic line, of course, we use if you don't have a preferred brand.
Below are a few essential oils free of contraindications, as noted in Dr. Scott A Johnson's 2015 book Evidence-Based Essential Oil Therapy:
Gifting people who have a lifestyle different from your own (or are trying to change and aren't sure how) may not be easy, but we hope we've offered some helpful insight. Happy gifting!
Sharrie Thompson, RN, CCA: seeing clients for stress reduction and wellness lifestyle https://www.facebook.com/itsonlynaturalpaducah
Raachel Carroll, NTP: seeing clients who desire to use food for better health and seeking a wellness lifestyle https://www.facebook.com/Well-Rounded-Wellness-110042257559616