How is it that time of year again? I can’t believe Christmas is already around the corner! Have you already started the shopping process? I try and start as early as October so that I’m not wading amongst crowds. If you have a chronic illness, shopping during the Christmas season can trigger sensory overload or even lead to stress flares. You can read a few tips to ease the stress and save money this season, here.
Buying for a loved one or friend who has a chronic illness can be a bit tricky. They may have allergies or have triggers that lead to over-stimulation. Perhaps you have a chronic illness, and you’re looking to gift yourself something nice this year.
If you’re a bit stuck on what to buy, here are 18 gift ideas you should consider!
Chronic Illness Merchandise
There are some great online stores with Spoonie (chronic illness) merchandise. From dysautonomia hoodies to Spoonie mugs and chronic illness pins, here are a few to check out!
Due to painsomnia (chronic pain and insomnia) getting to sleep can be difficult for many diagnosed with chronic illness. Here are a few gifts that will make sleeping more comfortable.
Depending on the chronic illness, weighted blankets might not be the best gift for those that experience allodynia.
Management of symptoms, medications and appointments is essential. This can be achieved with a blank annual planner or a digital one. Digital planners offer more specialised sections to write down medication lists and monitor pain/fatigue levels. Having all of this information in one planner/binder makes it easier to carry around to future specialist appointments. Digital planners can be easily printed and bound before they are gifted. That way, your loved one or friend (or yourself) can start the new year with the right tools.
Electronic Gifts & Appliances
Completing simple tasks around the house can be challenging and may even lead to a flare. Although these electronics and appliances are a little more expensive, they can reduce physical overexertion. Many people struggle with grip strength. The great thing about these two items is that they make cooking and cleaning less strenuous. Before you purchase a cordless vacuum, make sure to try out different models in store (some models can be quite heavy). I have the Bosch Athlet vacuum. It has reduced my vacuuming time to under 10 minutes a day, helping me maintain my home with less chance of overexertion. It was hands down the best investment I’ve made all year!
10. Food processor
The following two electronic gifts will alert the wearer of any episodes of tachycardia throughout the day. This can be extremely helpful for those who deal with cardiac health issues.
12. Fitbit Charge 3
Gifts to Help with Sensory Overload
Those with dysautonomia can experience debilitating cluster headaches and migraines. By wearing blue light blocking glasses, the amount of blue light that enters the eyes is limited, thereby reducing headache triggers. Sensory overload from venturing outside can be reduced by using noise-cancellation earphones and dark lens sunglasses.
Gift cards to local restaurants are fantastic when those with chronic pain/adrenal fatigue do not have enough physical energy to cook. Consider gift cards to online bookstores/Amazon or online grocery stores. They are perfect options for those that may be unable to leave their homes due to anxiety, pain or a flare-up of symptoms.
16. Amazon gift cards
17. Gift cards to local restaurants/cafes
18. Gift cards for grocery stores (Coles, Woolworths, Walmart, Aldi)
I hope this gift guide helps you decide on a gift for your loved one/friend that suffers from chronic illness. Need more gift inspiration? Check out last years gift guide here.