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10 Thoughtful Gifts for People With Invisible Illnesses

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Looking for some inspiration, or perhaps a Christmas self-care treat for yourself? Check out these 10 ideas…

1. Things I Love About You  —  A handmade gift that’s easy to do but requires some thought, which will mean the world to the recipient. It could be done as a little booklet or simply on a piece of paper, and personalized however you like. Get crafty or keep it simple. Choose a number, say 10, 25 or even 100, and write all of the things you love, admire or appreciate in that person.

2. Pick Me Ups — Fill a jam jar with motivational messages and add a ribbon for a finishing touch, or pick up one ready made. Alternatively, a book of motivational and inspirational quotes, or a mindfulness journal, make a great pick-me-up gift that someone can refer back to when they need the extra support.

3. A voucher to spend on a massage — Massage can work wonders for pain and stress relief, but often such self-care isn’t something those with an illness, mental or physical, will treat themselves to.

4. Get personal – A personalized gift can mean the world to someone because there has been effort and thought put into it. You can get so many things personalized online. How about a candle, bookmark, pen, apron, trinket box, necklace, keyring…?

5. Winter Warmers — Who doesn’t love a snuggly warm blanket, especially for bed days when you’re not well? Or how about a hot water bottle, scarf, hat or gloves?

6. Handmade care package — You can make your own hamper and pop self-care treats inside. The Works do a nice wicker basket for a DIY hamper (you can also buy online to collect in store for free). Consider the treats the recipient likes, and think about scents and textures (candles, hand cream, face mask, lip balm, mints, oils).

7. Card It — With illness can often come mounting financial pressures, so gift cards can be a great idea. What would they most appreciate or find useful, from food and homewares to clothing and leisure?

8. Movie Night — Do they love the cinema? A voucher would mean they can choose when to go and what to watch, whenever they feel up to going. If they are more of a stay-at-home person at the moment, how about a Netflix voucher?

9. Bookworms — Reading is something I do a lot of and it’s a great way to escape reality for a little while and absorb yourself in something engrossing. Check out the latest releases and pick something interesting they might like, or pick up a book voucher, or for a smaller gift how about a bookmark?

10. Your Time — A hug, a text, a call, an email — just to let someone know you are thinking of them.


  • It really is the thought that counts. Show you care, that you know what someone likes, and that you’ve put some effort in. That means more than the price paid or the size of the gift.
  • Don’t neglect yourself – you’re worth treating yourself at this time of year, too, so show yourself you care about your own well-being while you’re out caring about others.
  • I wouldn’t advise pre-arranged tickets for things, as both mental and physical health can be unpredictable. It may be better to get vouchers that someone can use as and when they want, rather than have the pressure of needing to go somewhere on a certain day at a certain time.

Follow this journey at InvisiblyMe.

Lead photo by Thinkstock Images

Originally published: December 10, 2016
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