It’s almost that time of the year, and we're all thinking about what gifts to choose for family members, friends, and loved ones.
Do you know someone with diabetes, allergies, autism or a heart condition ... but don’t have a clue what to get them?
Don't worry, you’re in the right place.
We've pulled together the perfect holiday gift guide with useful present ideas for any loved ones with diabetes, allergies, autism or a heart condition.
Of course, the best present depends on the recipient’s personality and interests. But when someone has a medical condition or chronic illness, there are certain types of gifts that may be particularly welcome: items that will really make a difference for them, make them laugh, or bring them comfort and relaxation. So try to blend the two if you can, and choose a useful or relaxing gift in their favourite colour, flavour, or with personalised details.
Top 10 Gifts for Diabetes:
Christmas gift giving for people with diabetes can be challenging. With so many convenient sweet treats, chocolate and cakes promoted in stores, it's important to be sensitive to their health needs. Show you care this Christmas by trying to find a useful product or service that will help keep them fit and healthy.
Here are 10 suggestions for what to put on your shopping list:
1. Digital Food Scale. It's probably no surprise that cooking and eating meals prepared at home reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared to eating out. In fact, smaller portions spread out over the day are a crucial component of a healthy, diabetic diet and managing blood sugar levels. So, a digital food scale can be very helpful to track carb and sugar intake levels during meal prep.
2. Spice Set. Believe it or not, researchers say that some spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and cumin, may have benefits for diabetes, as they contribute to lowering blood sugar and reducing inflammation. What’s life without a little spice? Start making use of spices to improve the taste of your dishes without necessarily resorting to the use of oil and fats.
3. Food Steamer. Another great way to reduce fat from cooking is adding a food steamer to your diabetic kitchen toolkit. Ideal for steaming rice, vegetables, meat, and fish. A steamer provides one of the healthiest ways to cook while minimizing the loss of nutrients and vitamins.
4. Slippers. Foot care is important for everyone, but especially for people living with diabetes. So, a pair of comfy slippers can make a world of difference in helping anyone unwind and feel at ease. Plus, having something super soft and warm is the perfect choice for these cold winter evenings.
5. Moisturising Lotion. People with diabetes are prone to neuropathy, especially in the feet. They also tend to have drier and itchier skin when their blood sugars are high. To combat dry skin, consider picking up some moisturising lotion to keep them looking and feeling hydrated during these cold months.
6. Compression Socks. Quality socks are a must-have for people with diabetes. They absorb sweat and moisture, helping to reduce the risk of infection, and aid blood circulation too. They are soft and incredibly comfortable and provide just the right level of support for long days when working or traveling.
7. Sleep Mask. Sleep deprivation and short sleep — less than 7 hours a night — put you at higher risk of insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar. If your body is starving for sleep, a cute, personalised sleep mask may be the perfect way to help.
8. Fashionable Supply Bag. People living with diabetes have a lot of supplies to carry around. So, why not buy your friend one of many stylish supply bags to carry around his / her insulin and medical necessities?
9. Yoga Mat. Yoga is known for its huge body-mind benefits. But it has also been found to have specific advantages also for people with diabetes, by helping to lower and manage blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance.
10. Ginger Tea. A cup of tea relieves stress and makes for a tasty sugar-free treat. Ginger is also reported to lower blood sugar and reduce inflammation. Sipping on ginger tea is a soothing way to incorporate it into your day.
Top 10 Gifts for Allergies:
Whether you’re dealing with food allergies or environmental allergies, getting the best gifts for allergy sufferers can be difficult.
Here are a few gift ideas to help them relax over the holidays:
1. Air Purifier. An air purifier helps continuously clean and freshen the air in your household. For someone with allergies and asthma, they have the added benefits of fighting germs and removing dust too.
2. Humidifier. A humidifier is another indispensable gift for anyone with allergies or asthma. The air inside their homes should not be dry, or hot either, but should be a moderate comfortable temperature. Adding a little moisture by using a humidifier may make breathing easier.
3. Bread Maker. This appliance helps save time and money if your loved one has to follow a special diet like gluten-free. Help your family or friend decrease their time in the kitchen with a bread maker that does all the work.
4. Magazine Subscription. Allergic Living is a great magazine that you can gift either as an e-magazine or in hard copy! It is full of great information about living with allergies including many articles and recipes. Your loved ones will get a lot of new information, helpful tips, and advice.
5. Allergy-Free Recipes. This is a fun, free and entirely homemade gift idea that you can make for people who suffer from allergies: why not bake them a box full of allergy-friendly biscuits they can enjoy with their family? This is the perfect option for someone who is health-conscious but still wants a delicious treat!
6. Case for Allergy Medication. For those who need to keep their allergy medicine or EpiPen to hand, a cute travel medical case is a thoughtful gift idea.
7. Anti-Dust Masks. Made of good quality cotton material, soft and breathable, an anti-dust mask protects from dust and allergens and will not irritate the sensitive skin around the nose and mouth.
8. Hypoallergic Bedding. This can turn out to be a lovely gift for pretty much everyone. Dust mites could be the number one cause of year-round allergy symptoms. We spend about a third of our life sleeping, which means hypoallergenic bedding is the best solution for people suffering from asthma or allergies!
9. Allergy-Friendly Cookbook. Cookbooks can offer new ideas for families stuck in a rut of eating the same meals over and over again, especially for those with food allergies. So, having a trusty allergen-friendly cookbook is the best way to start preparing meals at home. It can also guarantee no cross-contamination that your loved one could encounter with a meal service, takeaways or restaurant.
10. Air Purifying Plant. Indoor air quality is one of the top five risks to public health because of home products containing chemicals. Thus, the best way to offset this is with indoor houseplants.
Top 10 Gifts for Heart Conditions:
If you need some inspiration when you happen to be shopping for a special heart patient, here are some ideas on what can be on your Christmas wish list for someone struggling with a heart condition:
1. Spiraliser. A spiraliser is the perfect solution when you are craving pasta or noodles, but you want to keep a low-carb, heart-friendly pasta dish! This life-changing tool easily turns vegetables like courgette and pumpkin into spaghetti. Plus, if you are new at using it, the Gathering Dreams website has some easy spiralizer recipes, and tips for beginners too!
2. Cooking Utensils. There are a lot of newly shaped and colourful cooking utensils, like spatulas and spoons that can help make healthy cooking much more fun.
3. Mobile Phone Armband. Those who live with heart disease are constantly spurred to maintain a healthier and active lifestyle by dedicating some time to keep fit. Therefore, for all the runners and walkers in your life, a mobile armband can be great way to stay hands-free during a walk while listening to your favourite music or audio book.
4. Buddha Board. This is an excellent office gift for someone to use at their desk. It’s a small easel with a stone board and paintbrush, and you simply have to use water to paint on the stone board in order to create temporary doodles. This activity can be very helpful as a form of meditation in order to give the mind a break and relieve stress.
5. Indoor Herb Garden Kit. A low sodium diet is essential to a healthy heart; so, spice-up cooking with herbs grown right at home. Using herbs and spices can enhance the flavour of food without adding salt.
6. Health & Wellness Affirmation Card Set. Affirmations are an important way to boost your mood and put you in a healthy energised mindset. Perfect for anyone with a medical condition! Check out our set of 12 cards that you can leave around your house or in you wallet. Or keep a deck in your bag for anytime you need a health and wellness boost.
7. Warm Pashmina Scarf. The dreamiest silky soft pashmina scarf which is light weight and feels so warm and cozy too. Pashminas can be dressed up or down, worn loosely or folded in half before draping. What an awesome way to lightly cover your chest with the protection of a beautiful scarf.
8. Healing Thoughts Blanket. Cover someone you care about in warm thoughts and good wishes by gifting them with a super-soft and snuggly healing thoughts blanket. It is literally filled with “warm hugs”, “positive thoughts”, and many other peaceful messages.
9. Funny Heart Surgery T-Shirt. If you are looking for something to tickle their funny bone, why not buy a t-shirt with a funny message relating to heart surgery.
10. Nonstick Pan. Cooking at home allows you to make healthier, heart-friendly meals. One simple way to lower your fat intake is to use less oil and butter by cooking and baking on a nonstick pan.
Top 10 Gifts for Autism:
When choosing a gift for a loved one on the autism spectrum, it is important to think through the sensory side of the gift. I would suggest avoiding some of the latest gadgets that are all about the sound and lights. They can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Instead, why not look at ideas that help them unwind, or provide a comforting texture?
Here's some hints of what might be on their wish list this year:
1. Meditation Book. Meditation has proven to be effective in promoting stress reduction, relaxation, and productivity. There are a variety of meditation books to help jumpstart the practice and provide inspiration for tips on how to live in the moment. Even a few minutes of meditation can help a person with autism to diffuse their emotions and approach a stressful situation differently.
2. Mindfulness Colouring Book. Adult colouring books are a comforting and familiar way to focus the mind and relax the body.
3. Emotions Journal. Encourage your child or teen to keep an emotions journal. It is sometimes hard for a child on the spectrum to be able to properly express their feelings and emotions. But some may feel more comfortable writing them down. They may write down what made them angry, sad, or disappointed, how they felt in that situation and what they did to overcome those feelings. This could be a chance for learning what works for them and what doesn't work instead.
4. Aromatherapy Diffuser. Aromatherapy has helped people relax and unwind for hundreds of years. Some studies suggest that aromatherapy from essential oils has been shown to have a positive effect on mood and stress relief. Give someone a mental health boost with a scent like lavender that will help calm their mind.
5. Alexa. Alexa is an Amazon smart device which is famous worldwide. There are several different types that can provide a number of very interesting services for kids on the spectrum (and for adults too). From songs to videos, to reminders of what needs to be done, the Alexa app integrates perfectly into our daily lives and becomes a must-have once you get to know it.
6. Lava Lamp. Children’s moods are strongly affected by lighting and colours. For example, watching blue wax float from the bottom to the top and then back down again promotes a sense of creativity, wellness, and calmness. For this reason, a lava lamp is a great tool to help children calm down, especially those with autism: a calming sensory light can have a relaxing effect on them.
7. Bean Bags or Sensory Cushions. A delightful and comfy bean bag allows you to create the ideal sensory room with both style and comfort in mind. The therapeutic dream-foam filling provides a deep pressure sensory input which aids to calm the nervous system, self-regulate emotions, keep under control challenging behaviors, and might have an organising effect for some people on the spectrum.
8. Noise-Cancelling Headphones. If you have an autistic child or family member, you probably know that sounds, noises and too much sensory stimuli may stress them out. Everything is loud and harsh to their ears, and too much noise can cause an emotional outburst. Luckily, an easy way to reduce sensory overload is buying them noise cancelling headphones. In this way, they can wear them whenever they’re going to be in a place with loud or annoying sounds.
9. Affirmation Wristband. A wristband with encouraging and positive affirmations can remind your friend that they are loved, and that you appreciate their special interests and talents. It's a daily reminder that your loved one is awesome and unique.
10. Weighted Blanket. A weighted blanket is a type of blanket equipped with evenly distributed weights. These weights make it heavier than a common blanket and provide pressure and possibly a sense of security to the people who use it. So, it is typically used to help calm or promote sleep in restless or stressed individuals, in particular those with autism spectrum.
Gift-giving for a friend or relative with a medical condition doesn’t have to be stressful. Once you know their specific needs and preferences, and what you can do to relieve them of their symptoms, you'll be able to choose a gift that’s both useful and welcomed. However, if you are not sure whether a gift is appropriate or not, don’t be afraid to ask. Your loved one will likely appreciate the thoughtful present. And remember, they’ll appreciate your care and effort no matter what you opt for.
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