Do you know someone with an autoimmune disease? Are you unsure what to get them for the holidays? Many of us autoimmune sufferers chat on social media almost every day about things that have worked for us – either therapeutically or mentally. Sometimes its as easy as a smell or a feeling. To help you with your holiday shopping I have put together a list of items on any autoimmune (#spoonie) wishlist. In no particular order:
- Compression socks – many of us have an issue with walking or standing for a long time before experiencing swelling; Im talking kankle-like swelling. For traveling, these compression socks make or break a long flight. I used to get off a 5 hour flight and not be able to walk from the swelling. With compression socks I don’t need to worry about the swelling anymore. Compression socks can be found at drug stores (mostly the boring but helpful kind) or you can find a fantastic selection on Amazon (.ca and .com).
- Heating pads – these can be plug in ones, microwave ones, hot and cold ones, small ones, blanket-sized ones. And to be honest, we can probably have 2-3 of these things and never have enough. We take them on trips with us, have one in our bedroom, one near the couch. They are good for swelling, pain, comfort, and breathing. It doesn’t need to be expensive, but it’s gotta be hot.
- Face masks, face lotions and face cleansers – those of us with endometriosis or hormone-based inflammatory diseases (perhaps not quite defined as autoimmune but sitting somewhere in the grey area) we get a cyclic effect of great skin to horrible, pimply skin. The hormones do a number on our self esteem especially when it shows up in the form of pimples right in the center of our face! We can always do with a collection of all natural products that help clean our pores, help moisturize the skin and help us look somewhat normal/healthy. Please no parabens or toxins, we have enough of those already! A few companies you can rely on are Marcelle, Body Shop, Saje, Every Man Jack, Tata Harper (but do a little google search, there are tons of options out there).
- Body butters and organic body lotions – autoimmunity by definition is the body attacking itself. One form in which the body expresses this is by skin rashes and dry skin. So, we stock up on lotions that actually work – the thick, spread all over, smell good (or not smell), feel good lotions. Again, please no parabens or toxins, we like the good sh!t.
- Air purifiers and humidifiers – it pretty much comes down to this: we have a hard time circulating oxygen and blood through our bodies to help us retain our strength. So if you can help us breathe clean air, no-dry-not-stale air, that would be super helpful, thank you!
- Foam Rollers – don’t be fooled, these things hurt like heck. But they really help with the lymphatic system and any kinks, swells, aches in the body. A foam roller, along with a good yoga mat or heavy blanket serves as the best tool for stretching during those periods of time when you can’t expend any additional energy exercise. Sometimes those ‘times’ can be up to months or years, and you still want to make sure you’re moving your body in gentle ways.
- Oils and an oil diffuser – the power of scent! Spend the money on a good diffuser so it doesn’t break down on you. You can get oils from just about anywhere but I truly am in love with oils from DoTerra – which are pure enough to consume internal – or Saje. These are high grade, slo burning oils. Certain oils like mint are exceptional for rubbing on aches and pains. Blends with lavender are calming and help relaxation. And people you are buying for may have their own personal preferences to smells.
- Books and DVDs – I cannot even count how many times I need to lie in bed. Sometimes Im exhausted, and other times I just need to be lying down. We can always do with a good collection or movies, tv shows and books. Bring it on!
- TEA – yup tea! Tea of any kind. Herbal teas and black teas. Plain teas and funky teas. Tea is so soothing; they can help with warmth, digestion, mood and mind.
- Water bottles, and take away coffee cups – hydration is probably the number one goal for all autoimmune sufferers. We need to be drinking constantly. Depending on the weather and the mood, sometimes we can substitute water with hot water, coffee (if we can tolerate it) or tea. And this comes with us everywhere. While I hate to promote specific products, my Swell bottle is the best gift I ever received. Now they come in large, small, and for hot and cold fluids.
Before I leave you with this list, I wanted to pass along this heartfelt article published by a spoonie – a topic that maybe your spoonie loved one is thinking but wont talk about. Read more here.