When someone you know has undergone a painful experience, whether it be the death or illness of a loved one, their own health concerns, a turbulent move to a new job, city, or school, a natural catastrophe, or a break-up, giving a gift can be a wonderful way to show solidarity and to lift that person’s spirits.
As Lech Dvorak wrote, “Dedicate time to your loved ones.” Spending time nurturing and caring for your relationships with others is important to maintain healthy bonds of connectivity.
A present is a gift from the heart to the hands of someone who is passing through a difficult time. It is a non-verbal sign that you are thinking of them and want them to be happy and healed. That consideration alone is a wonderful present to give someone.
To make your present extra special, you don’t need to spend a great deal of money. What is best is a gift that shows your knowledge and concern for the person who is recovering. The perfect present demonstrates that you are attentive to their emotional needs and aware of the things that interest them.
1. Personalize to Please
The best gifts for making someone feel better after a painful experience are the ones that demonstrate that you pay attention to what that person cares about. Consider customizing a gift, such as a T-shirt or coffee mug or wallet. You can have it printed with the person’s name, favorite sports team, school, or city to make it extra-special!
2. Good Sports
If you know that your friend has a passion for sports, and in particular is very interested in volleyball and loves to play every weekend, find awesome gifts for volleyball players at your favorite sporting goods store. Is your friend a yogi? A yoga mat and PBA/PVC-free water bottle will be appreciated. A sports-related gift will encourage the recipient to exercise, which is a wonderful thing for the mind. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise releases feel-good brain chemicals that may ease depression, such as “neurotransmitters, endorphins, and endocannabinoids.”
3. Turn the Page
Another gift that is useful is a something that will take the individual’s mind off their problems, or conversely, show them others who have dealt with a similar situation and overcome it. For this reason, books make a wonderful gift. If you are inspired by a particular book, it makes an awesome gift to unwrap. If not, consider a gift card from a store like Powell’s Books – The World’s Largest Independent Bookstore. They have a wonderful website and they ship!
4. Bubbles Up!
Try making up a basket of organic bath and body care products. You can find lines from your local drugstore to the farmers’ market to upscale boutique lines. Simply fill an attractive basket or pretty gift bag with a loofah, soaps, lotions, and body scent for a fun treat. If you’re unsure how to begin to fill the basket, consider the Weleda brand of beauty products for men, women, and children. Weleda is one of the original lines of organic body and beauty products and they consistently win accolades for cruelty-free beauty products.
5. Go Green
Give a gift of green. There’s something inspiring about a plant. Whether cut flowers, a living plant, or planting a tree in someone’s honor or memory. There are many programs that will plant a tree, such as The National Forest Foundation, among others. Make the world greener and more beautiful as you’re cheering up a friend.
6. Experience It
A new experience may make the perfect present. Whether tickets to a must-see show such as Hamilton or a Southwest Airlines gift card, or season seats to the Lakers, or a night at the opera or the best jazz club in town, a ticket for experience, culture, or travel may be the very thing to help your friend move on. At the very least, it will be sure to inspire someone to get off the couch, and that can be the first step to getting over the painful experience.
7. Color it Beautiful
Creating something can be a meditative way to gain control, relax, and unwind. You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy the benefits. Give the gift of art supplies. For the more accomplished artist, an easel and professional quality paint may be perfect, while the beginning artist may enjoy one of the best-selling coloring books for grown-ups, such as “The Mindfulness Coloring Book” or “Secret Garden,” and a new box of colored pencils to make life more beautiful. Expressing oneself through creativity can take one’s mind off of one’s problems and help bring focus and clarity into the present moment.
Everyone loves a pleasant surprise. When someone is feeling especially vulnerable after a painful experience, just the pleasure of an unexpected gift can lift that individual’s spirits. “People love to receive gifts, especially if they’re not feeling well. It’s not about the money spent, but just knowing that a person cares.”
Consideration is like a balm. Caring and sharing your concern with a carefully selected present that shows how well you know that person will lift your friend’s spirits.
To feel cared for and nurtured in a concrete way after an especially painful experience is a priceless gift in and of itself, and the thoughtfulness of your present will sustain and grow the bonds of your friendship.