Chronic Illness Gift Guide
Okay, okay, I know it's only the third week of November but we all know how quickly Christmas comes around once we hit this time of year. So I thought I would put together a little gift guide for the people in your life who suffer with chronic illness. Or, if you are that person, some gift ideas to tell your loved ones. Fair warning, this list is long but I wanted to give you all lots of options with varying prices as well. So strap in and let's get going.
NOHA TENS MACHINE BY OVIRA
We all knew I couldn't have a gift guide without including the Noha device. I talk about this machine more in depth in this post all about managing chronic pain of which I would definitely recommend having a read.
Price Range: $$$ (this is potentially the most expensive item on this list)
What it's for: The Noha device is a small, portable TENS machine that emits tiny electrical impulses to the area of pain to disrupt the signals to your brain, providing pain relief.
Why I love it: I love the Noha for so many reasons but, if I had to narrow them down: it is teeny tiny, has a clip on the back to attach it to your clothes, undies or bra (discreetly), is an Australian business, the battery last ages when it is running and the extra parts are affordable and easy to access through the Ovira website!
I also talk about my love for TENS machines in a bit more detail in this Youtube video.
SPOONIE SOCIETY HEAT PACKS
These are another thing that I can't imagine living without! Spoonie Society has a huge range of heat packs that are made with lupins so they stay hot for longer and are truly odourless.
Price Range: $-$$ (depending on which heat pack you opt for)
What it's for: The Spoonie Society heat packs can also be used as cold packs (pop them in a zip lock bag in the freezer) and provide pain relief in many different situations.
Why I love it: As mentioned above, the lupins used in these heat packs mean they stay hot for a lot longer than others I have tried. They also have stitching within the packs to evenly disperse the heat so you can accurately target aches and pains. Plus they're an Aussie small business run by two women in Melbourne who have chronic illnesses themselves.
I talk more about these heat packs (specifically the wrap around ones) in this Youtube video.
Price Range: $-$$$ (it's up to you, cover as much as you would like)
What it's for: Relaxation and pain relief are two of the main reasons that I find massages to be so helpful when I am having an illness flareup.
Why I love it: I mean, who doesn't love a good ol' remedial massage? For many people with chronic illnesses massages can mean so much more than just having some time to yourself to relax; they can help with muscular aches and pains, stimulate blood supply, make joints more mobile and help repair damaged tissue. You can't really go wrong!
Frank Body is an Australian brand that started the coffee scrub trend way back in 2013. Their range has expanded to so much more now and I have honestly loved every single one of their products I have tried.
Price Range: $ (Their lipbalms start at $11.95)
What it's for: Frank Body has everything from skincare, body scrubs, hair care and SPF. You can honestly find something for everyone.
Why I love it: I can still remember the first time I tried the Original Coffee Scrub... I ran downstairs to my sister with my towel still on so she could feel how smooth my arms were! Since then, I've never looked back. My cousin Jess and I are in love with their hair scrub and mask as well, they both work really nicely with the eczema I get on my scalp too.
If you haven't experienced an Oodie yet, I'm about to change your life. An Oodie is basically a massive hoodie that's made out of super soft blanket material. My mum and sister got me a HUFFLEPUFF Oodie for my birthday in June this year and I've fallen madly in love.
Price Range: $$ (An Oodie will set you back about $109 AUD) N.B. You can get $25 off your first order when you sign up for their emails and they are saying they have some upcoming Black Friday sales too! Woohoo!
What it's for: Premium snuggliness and relaxation (also stashing snackos in the massive kangaroo pocket)
Why I love it: I mean, it's a giant hoodie X blanket what's not to love?!
The Kindle is an e-reader developed by Amazon that allows you to "browse, buy, download and read e-books, magazines, newspapers and other digital media". There are loads of different types of Kindles and I'm not going to pretend to be any sort of expert but my friends who have Kindles all have the Paperwhite without 4GB and love them.
Price Range: $$-$$$ (depending on the type and size of Kindle you get and whether or not you get one with 4GB capabilities)
What it's for: Keeping all your reading materials in one place.
Why I love it: I think Kindles are ideal for people with chronic illnesses because you don't have to worry about taking multiple books with you on hospital admissions. They also mean you can save a bit of money on the books you do buy and don't have to constantly make trips to book shops, allowing you to save your money and energy (two things that can be high commodities for people with chronic illnesses).
Price Range: $-$$$ (you're in control)
What it's for: book voucher = voucher for books. Grab one from your local book shop or an online store. The world is your oyster.
Why I love it: Reading can be a wonderful escape from everything that's happening around you. When you have chronic illness it can be easy to get overwhelmed so this escape can be even more important. Book vouchers can be even better than being gifted a book as you get to browse and find the perfect book for where you're at right now.
Price Range: $ ($16.45AUD a month)
What it's for: Audible is an online service and app that lets you download and listen to audio books and original podcasts.
Why I love it: Audible books have let me have the escape you get from a good book when my concentration levels are too low to read an actual book. I have been absolutely obsessed with Audible for years now! My absolute favourite audio books are the Harry Potter series read by Stephen Fry. He is the king of reading audio books. The absolute king!
GAME OR GAME CONSOLE
Price Range: $-$$$ (this depends on what you opt for)
What it's for: Chronic illnesses can mean hospital stays and long, sleepless nights. Games that you can play by yourself and game consoles can help keep you sane in both of these situations.
Why I love it: When you're in pain or experiencing some unpleasant symptoms it can be hard to concentrate so something like a video game or a solo game of Bananagrams can be the way to go when you need some good distraction.
If anyone is reading this and wants to send a stranger on the internet a Nintendo Switch and some Pokemon games for it, I'd be happy to help you out ;).
VOUCHER FOR SELF CARE ACTIVITY
I know we have talked about how beneficial massages can be but I thought I would mention vouchers for other things like haircuts, manicures or an eyebrow wax. The list is endless really.
Price Range: $-$$$ (it's up to you, cover as much as you would like)
What it's for: Chronic illness can cost A LOT of money. From appointments, to treatments, to procedures, insurance and meds and many, many more things, so many of us with chronic illness can lack the funds to do things we would normally like/need to do. One of my best friends recently gave me a voucher to get my hair done and it was honestly such a fabulous and meaningful gift I knew I had to include it here.
Why I love it: For me, vouchers like this show me that the people I love understand what is happening for me. I know that I didn't NEED to get my hair done but it meant so much that I could have a treat like that and not have to add that to my financial load.
Price Range: $-$$ (totally up to you)
What it's for: I have written a post that you can find here all about how to start journaling. Journaling has been such a game changer for me and quite a few of my friends as far as our mental health. I wanted to include under this suggestion a normal every day diary as well. These can be super helpful for people with chronic illness as they can be used for symptom and diet tracking as well as keeping track of appointments and such things.
Why I love it: I personally use the Moleskine XL notebook for my journaling and an An Organised Life Weekly Diary for my symptom and food tracking. I also got my weekly diary customised with my initials which is fun and makes me feel like a business woman.
Okay, I think I'm going to stop it here because we could otherwise be here until Christmas! I would really love to know if you can think of anything else, please let me know in the comments of this post so we can all get some more ideas.
I hope this has helped with some pressie ideas for your loved ones or given you some ideas if people are asking what you might like. Happy shopping!
And don't forget...
Life is tough, but so are we.