`Sometimes, a loved one begins having an increasingly difficult time getting through their day-to-day life on their own. When this happens, they count on someone to be a caregiver in order to help them continue living independently. Caregivers dedicate their lives to helping others. It is time consuming and emotionally taxing, but also necessary for many people out there. Yet, caregivers need care too.
If you have a person in your life who acts as a caregiver for someone in need, a thoughtful gift at the holidays can mean the world to them. This year, give them something that enables them to take time out of their day for a little self-care. While the term may seem a little buzzy, self-care is extremely important for a person’s physical, emotional, and-- most importantly-- mental health. Self-care helps people recharge and reflect so they can continue doing the hard things in life… things like caregiving. Taking care of mental health helps a person cope with life’s difficulties so they can be happier and more successful.
Acts of self-care range from the menial (making an appointment for a yearly check-up, drawing a relaxing bubble bath, cooking a simple but healthy meal) to things that can be a little more difficult (going to therapy, taking yoga classes, overhauling your diet). Self-care is personal: it’s all about what you can do to put your health at the top of your priority list.
The best self-care gifts are the ones that provide an experience. Here are some helpful ideas to get you started.
A Meditation Stool or Cushion
Meditation is not easy. We are so surrounded by noise in life-- whether it be the television, coworkers, or even just the traffic outside-- that it takes practice and discipline to tune it out in order to listen to ourselves. However, one thing that can help enable a person’s practice is setting up a dedicated space for meditation. The gift of a meditation stool or cushion encourages the caregiver in your life to set up that space where they can meditate for a few minutes every day. A stool or cushion helps keep the body comfortable while meditating so they are less distracted while helping promote the mind/body connection.
Coloring Books for Adults
Coloring is all the rage right now. All across the country, people are taking up this childhood pastime to help reduce anxiety and promote mindfulness. Giving the gift of a coloring book-- and maybe some crayons to go with it-- is a simple and fun way to show the caregiver in your life how much you appreciate them.
This is a classic holiday gift for a reason. Not only is hot cocoa delicious, but sitting down to a mug of steamy chocolate after a long, hard day can make you feel better. First, it is a simple way to treat yourself without much effort-- the only cleanup is the mug! Chocolate is also full of healthy flavonoids, antioxidants, and calcium. Plus, it just makes you feel better overall. If you make the cocoa with warm milk, the tryptophan, lactium, and potassium in it helps the body relax. Meanwhile, the chocolate releases the “feel good” chemicals serotonin and endorphins in the body.
Caregivers give so much. This holiday season, give a little back with a gift that encourages them to look after their mental health with self-care. A meditation stool or cushion encourages them to take time out of their day for self-reflection and mindfulness. A coloring book for adults is a fun way to reduce anxiety and release creativity. And hot cocoa is a classic treat that can actually relax the body and make you feel better.
Thanks to our guest blogger, Beverly Nelson of Stand Up for Caregivers!