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What's on My Christmas Wish List as Someone With Chronic Pain

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The holiday season can be a stressful time for anyone – for those struggling to think of gifts and for those with chronic pain or illness. Here are some gift ideas that will hopefully make both those things easier:

1. Heated Blanket

Blankets are a winter must-have for most but especially for those with chronic pain/illness, and heat can be a huge reliever for pain, so why not combine both? The Mighty recently published a post on the best blankets this winter.

2. Other Heated Products

Hot water bottles and microwavable heat packs are great for pain. Even better if you can find one that is interesting to the gift receiver (I am in love with my Marvel superhero wheat bag). Pocket-sized hand warmers or a pack of heat can also be a thoughtful gift for those on the go during the holidays.

3. Winter Accessories

Scarves, over-sized jumpers, hats and gloves are a great gift for anyone and often don’t require knowing the person’s dress size.

4. Clothes

If you are brave enough to take a guess at clothing sizes, then The
Mighty has combined a list of reliable clothing brands and 12 brands that offer comfy clothes that aren’t leggings (though leggings are still a good gift idea!).

5. Handbags

Something I look for in a handbag is lots of different pockets – this way I can keep my medications in their own section, so I can get to them quickly. I personally need a big handbag to carry around other illness-related accessories (spare clothes, wipes, sprays, heat patches) but some may find a larger handbag harder to carry.

6. Storage Boxes

My prescriptions are often too much for my medicine cabinet, and end up in various places all over the house. Keeping everything together in a cute storage box not only looks nicer, but can help you stay on top of prescriptions needed and know where to reach something during an emergency.

7. Books

Fictional books can be a great form of escapism or non-fiction can be a great way to learn new things (whether to do with dealing with illness or simply indulging a hobby).

8. DVDs

Films or boxsets are the greatest thing in the world when you’re too ill to move. Personally, comedy is a great escape for me (I joke that Jim Carrey practically sponsored my last surgery).

9. Music

Music can be a great distraction. The gift of music could be anything from a mix tape, a CD, a Spotify subscription or even a record player.

10. Diet-Specific Food

If the gift receiver has diet limitations, they don’t have to miss out – you can often get allergen-free foods from local supermarkets or online.

11. Diet-Specific Cook Book

There are many great cook books out there, some for a specific intolerance (i.e. gluten-free, dairy-free etc.) or some specific to medical conditions/chronic pain. Bonus points if you help cook the recipes!

12. Beverages

A traditional Christmas wine may not be the best idea, but again, the gift receiver does not have to miss out. Hot beverages are a great way to celebrate the season and there are many herbal tea or hot chocolate gift sets out there.

13. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a great way to relax, de-stress or even invigorate. A good way to incorporate this into a gift could be with candles, bath sets or essential oils.

14. Experiences

Massage, acupuncture, yoga retreats and spa days are all examples of things that may help with my illness, but I often don’t find the time for them. Gift cards for these experiences can be a great gift idea, especially if you can find a practitioner experienced in chronic illness/pain.

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Thinkstock photo via karandaev.

Originally published: November 16, 2017
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