Gifts for #TakingThePause
Welcome to my first ever Caregiver Gift Guide. We all want to share a little extra holiday love with the Caregivers in our lives; after all, they are navigating life in a way they never thought they would. They juggle life’s regular tasks, all the other duties as assigned, and don’t have a lot of time or resources left over for themselves.
This gift guide is geared toward redefining self care and the art of taking the pause. Because self care doesn’t have to be a big, grand gesture. It can be a moment… a pause… to Replenish, Reflect, and Receive.
I chose these items because they are things that helped me survive during my darkest Caregiving moments, things I wish I had, and things I currently use for my own self care. I’m providing links for easy shopping access (’cause I hate searching for stuff). In some cases I may get a little referral somethin’-somethin’ if you use my link, and if I can hook you up with a coupon, I will (and have noted it below).
Food – My love language. Gifts that help fill the belly also fill the heart. Sweets are lovely, but I love giving healthier options like Harry and David pears (honestly I’m obsessed with them). If Instacart existed when I was up to my armpits in “other duties as assigned” it would have been my very best friend – I may have even ASKED for it! Other services like DoorDash are super handy for nights when you’re too tired to function and take-out is a necessity. Finally, Blue Apron holds a special place in my heart because selecting and preparing the meals was one of the first semi-normal things Jerry and I did together after his transplant. I’ve tried some of the other meal delivery kits and Blue Apron remains my favorite.
DoorDash (may receive $10 off each of your first three orders with this link):
InstaCart (may receive $10 off your first order with this link):
Water – I searched high and low for a water bottle that didn’t leak. My sister found the Brita for me seven years ago and it’s hands down still my most favorite water bottle. 1) The Premium Filter Water Bottle doesn’t leak (you have to be mindful because some Brita bottles DO leak…); 2) It has a filter so you can fill it up at a drinking fountain or restroom sink and the filter will help… well… filter the water.
Brita Premium Filter Water Bottle
There is something extra soothing about a tea ritual. Selecting the tea, heating a kettle of water on the stove, watching the leaves and florals blossom with aroma. Taking that first sip. Exhaling. My niece Cary is the owner of Go Wild Herbal based in Pendleton, Oregon. Most products contain herbs that she grows or forages herself. I currently have bottles of her arnica oil, her hot flash tincture (yep, I said it – HOT FLASHES), and her Nourishing Blend loose leaf tea.
Sometimes the pause we need is to simply quiet our minds. A moment to disconnect and ground within ourselves. My friend Jebbie just released a fun series of breathing meditations (and her brother provided the tunes). Her “Making A Pizza” meditation is one of my faves.
iTunes: Mellow Meditations by Jebbie
Currently, on those nights when I have to get up to pee at 2:00am and I just cannot get back to sleep, I turn to Kathryn Nicolai and her podcast “Nothing Much Happens.” My only complaint? I can’t stay awake long enough to hear the whole story…
Apple Podcasts: Nothing Much Happens; bedtime stories to help you sleep
Then there’s the original life saver. The oldie but goodie. When things got bad (like in a throat tightening, crying, anxiety that made me want to crawl out of my skin, how-am-I-ever-going-to-survive-this kind of bad), I turned to Dr. Emmet Miller. Dr. Miller’s guided meditations feel more like self-hypnosis to me and I’m a big fan.
Emmett Miller, MD, Self Healing Programs
Coloring books aren’t just for kids anymore. I have a whole collection of adult coloring books I use for active meditation. For me there’s something delightfully naughty about combining a childhood activity with something improper, like coloring in an Fbomb adorned with butterflies. These are a few of my favorites:
Jenny Lawson’s “You Are Here: An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds”
Cheer the F*ck Up: Positive Sh*t to color your mood happy (swear word coloring books)
Kim Eldredge’s: Symmetry Art: An Adult Coloring Book. 30 designs in radial symmetry
And don’t forget the markers…
The ones I’m using right now are Vitoler water-based liquid markers in 34 colors.
Sometimes taking the pause is having a space that’s just your own, even if it’s only for your own thoughts. Pretty journals can be a very appreciated gift. I have an array of journals in various sizes, with different patterns, some with lines and some without. I don’t have a favorite, so I’m offering an easy Amazon shopping link:
Often, one of the personality traits of an amazing Caregiver is that they are exceptional givers, yet they struggle to receive. Which makes asking for help very challenging. Sometimes, we just want to shower them with something extra special to make them feel seen. Here’s a few special gift ideas to help spoil your favorite Caregiver.
The Home Spa
Full disclosure – I am a consultant for Lemongrass so yes, I do receive a commission. I also LOVE their products. Their nature-inspired beauty products are freshly made in the USA and are free from parabens, synthetic fragrances, retinol, and sulfates just to name a few. I may have a slight addiction… My shower is lined with an array of body wash scents, I love the silky feel of their body icing (AND the scent of our holiday edition Buttercream). I close my eyes and the Sedona Spa body serum takes me away to a luxury spa retreat deep in the mountains. The facial cleansing oil takes away my make-up and leaves my skin feeling hydrated. The Recovery Balm soothes my muscles after a long day of massaging (and helps keep my heels soft for Ashiatsu).
I met Helida when her perfume was still an olfactory dream. No one wants their senses assaulted by aggressive, artificial fragrances. Helida has crafted a beautiful, delicate, and luxurious perfume with Ever Present. Helida brings perfume BACK.
How could I not talk about massages? It’s like all the self-care goodness wrapped up in one blissful hour. Quiet. Chill music. Good smells. Breathing. Muscles relaxing. Brain relaxing. And JUST for my Hump Day readers (I’m not offering this to anyone else) I’m doing a FLASH SALE: 5% off on all massage gift certificates today through Sunday, December 11, 2022 with code HUMPDAY.
Sometimes we just need someone to get us. Sometimes support groups don’t jive with our vibe. Sometimes we feel like family and friends just don’t understand (and really, how can you unless you’ve been there?). We want to be seen. That’s where my book comes in “Welcome to Caregiving: The Things Caregivers Never Talk About.” It’s a book for Caregivers to melt into, to say “Yes, that’s IT, that’s it EXACTLY.” It’s funny, it’s tender, it’s all about love…
Welcome to Caregiving: Paperback / ebook / audiobook
You can get a FREE version of my audiobook with an Audible trial
Enjoy this gift giving season, and remember, any gift you gift from the heart will be received with love.
Because it’s all about love…