I had all the best intentions.
To get ahead of the holiday rush, I was going to be one of those bloggers who publish their annual gift guide in early November. This was finally going to be the year!
Did that happen? Nope.
And I don’t even have a really good excuse.
Everything started well. I began working on this year’s gift guide in mid-October, so I had more than enough time to finish it early in the season, but for some reason…
I just couldn’t get it done!!!!!
One thing after another kept delaying me: First, I couldn’t think of what I wanted to put on my list this year without including a bunch of repeats from my previous gift guides. I had yet another headache (and another and another and another) and couldn’t string more than three words together. I was too nauseous, too dizzy, too tired, too [fill in the blank here with any random symptom] to work on it. I couldn’t get the photos to line up correctly with the text. (I never did solve that problem, so the photos are underneath the text this year.) I was too brain foggy to work on the more technical stuff like adding links and captions. I couldn’t settle on the right design for the graphics. And on and on and on.
I’m not even sure why I had such a difficult time, but I’ve noticed the longer I live with intracranial hypertension, the harder it’s becoming to concentrate on any kind of task that’s detail oriented. What used to take me 1-2 days to finish now takes a week or more.
At this point, I’m absolutely thrilled I got this out before Thanksgiving. Who says miracles aren’t real?
In any case, I hope you guys enjoy this year’s picks and maybe find something interesting to add to your holiday wish list. Even though I struggled a bit to finish 2019’s gift guide, it’s always fun to brainstorm and try to come up with new ideas.
As for being early, there’s always next year…
(This post contains affiliate links.)
EarthPulse v5.3 Sleep on Command PEMF Device – I’ve been trialing the EarthPulse for a few months now. It’s taken me a while to find the ideal settings, but with the help of the EarthPulse team, I think I’ve finally found the right setup for better sleep!
Myofascial release gift certificate – Dr. Ginevra Liptan, a fibro specialist who also has fibromyalgia herself, is a big fan of myofascial release for reducing fibromyalgia pain. I’m a fan, too, after it helped me overcome an extremely painful herniated disc in my back.
Unfortunately, bodywork can be expensive and is usually not covered by insurance, so the holidays are a good time to ask for gift certificates for the upcoming year.
Many massage therapists claim they’re trained in myofascial release. However, I highly recommend skipping the local massage parlor and seeking out the services of a John F. Barnes-trained myofascial release practitioner. Otherwise, you’re likely to get just a regular massage with a few myofascial stretches thrown in, and that’s not going to give you the best results.
Resonant Botanicals Neuro-Soothe – I’ve used Resonant Botanicals’ products since the company’s beginnings. My latest favorite is Neuro-Soothe, a pain-relieving lotion that was formulated specifically for neuropathy, fibromyalgia and dystonia. You can read my full review of Neuro-Soothe and why I love it so much here.
Headache hat – As I mentioned earlier, I’ve had almost daily chronic headaches for the past 18 months due to intracranial hypertension. I’ve only found three things to help the pain: Dandelion tea (a natural diuretic), cannabis and this ice cap.
It’s absolute heaven to wrap this thing around my head when the pressure on my brain is elevated. I especially love that TWO ice packs are included with the wrap so there’s a backup to use if the first one melts. This would be great for those of you who suffer from migraines, too.
CopperFit clothing – Last spring, my hubby surprised me with a few CopperFit tees and yoga wraps that he’d found at BJ’s wholesale club, and I’ve been obsessed with their clothing ever since. Basically, CopperFit has become my daily uniform when I’m at home now.
I can’t say for certain the copper fibers in their clothing are really helping my pain and inflammation, but if they are, that’s a bonus! Mainly, I just love their clothing because it’s super soft and comfortable, and doesn’t irritate my achy body.
ActiPatch – If you’ve got localized pain in your back, knees, hips, shoulders or other areas, you need to try ActiPatch! Unless I’m in the shower or sauna, then I’m likely wearing my ActiPatch on my lower back where I have a bulged disc.
Looking at the device, I know it’s hard to fathom that a little medallion affixed to a flimsy wire could have any impact on serious chronic pain, but the pain-fighting power of this thing is amazing! And it’s pretty affordable, too. You can read my full review on why I love it so much here.
ScanPan cookware – For the past few years, I’ve slowly been replacing items in our home with healthier and/or more environmentally friendly products to reduce exposure to chemicals and other toxins.
Cookware was one of the categories I’d been putting off because I love my nonstick pots and pans! Unfortunately, many brands contain chemicals that are known to cause health issues if inhaled or ingested.
After a lot of research, we bought a couple of ScanPan skillets based on online reviews and because they’re PFOA- and PFOS-free. So far, I’m loving our ScanPans because they’re durable, easy to clean and are well-balanced on our burners. (I hate it when a heavy handle causes the skillet to tip upwards.) I plan to buy more as we need to replace our older cookware.
Pyrex bakeware & food storage – In addition to our cookware, I’ve been replacing our older food storage containers with glass ones to reduce our exposure to harmful plastics. I love my Pyrex containers because they can go from oven to table, and are microwave and dishwasher safe. I have so many memories of my mother and grandmothers using Pyrex. Pyrex was a workhorse in their kitchens and mine, and will last forever with proper care.
Zentangle Primer Pack Vol. 1 – Lately I’ve realized my life is almost entirely devoid of fun, so I’ve started incorporating activities into my life that are just for sheer enjoyment. Radical idea, right? I used to love to draw as a kid, but I’m intimidated to start with an empty page as an adult, so the Zentangle form of drawing is a way for me to dip my toes into something artistic that still has some rules and guidelines.
This beginner’s Zentangle kit includes everything to get started including an instruction book, pencils, markers and more! I’ve been practicing a bit with this kit and have registered for a Zentangle class through my local library.
Winnie’s Picks Paint by Numbers – When I was a kid, my mom always included at least one paint-by-number kit in my Christmas stocking each year. Now I’m graduating to the adult version!
Winnie’s Picks’ premium paint-by-number kits include of the all supplies necessary for a relaxing painting session. You can even submit your own original photo to create a custom paint-by-number kit. What a great gift that would be!
SARK books – I fell in love with the author SARK during my mid-20s when I was struggling to figure out my place in the world. Over the years, I moved onto other self-help authors and forgot about SARK’s upbeat, fun and colorful books. Recently I rediscovered SARK, and her simple reminders to not take life so seriously are exactly what I need in my life right now. Maybe you’re in the same place!
Well, that’s it for this year’s gift guide! Need more ideas? Several of my blogger friends have recently published their own chronic illness-related gift guides. I’ve included links to some of them below for more inspiration!
Now it’s your turn: If you could receive any gift this year that would help you to better manage your chronic illness symptoms, what would it be? Share in the comments!
More gift guides from chronic illness bloggers…
A Chronic Voice: What your wish list looks like when you live with chronic illnesses
Counting My Spoons: 20 great gift ideas for those with chronic illness
Feasting on Joy: The paleo baker’s gift guide
A Journey Through the Fog: The ultimate spoonie Christmas gift guide
Melissa vs. Fibromyalgia: Christmas gift ideas for chronic illness survivors to give and get
Migraine Strong: Top 10 gift ideas for people with migraine
My Migraine Life: 8 best migraine relief gifts 2019
Pink Fortitude: 50+ best gifts to give to someone with a chronic illness