When you are sick, what do you want? To get better, of course! But until you are healed, you want to be comforted and soothed. You want to be entertained and distracted. You want some practical help. The best get well soon gifts are those that will appeal to the wants and needs of the ill person. So with that in mind, we have organized 10 creative ideas for get well gifts under these key categories of need.
GET WELL GIFTS THAT ARE COMFORTING & SOOTHING
#1. Chicken Soup
Send or deliver a real comfort food, like chicken noodle or matzo ball soup. People who are sick often lose their appetites and have little energy for preparing something nourishing to eat. Chicken soup is easy to eat, hydrating, and has protein and carbs to keep the body going. This great gift is suitable to most taste buds and illnesses!
#2. Nutritious & Gourmet Gift Basket
Gift baskets filled with fun and nutritious foods will be gratefully received. Think Vitamin C packed fruits and juices, snacks and nibbles, like our Get Well Hamper with fresh seasonal fruit, delicious and exotic Clementine juice, and 3 hand-iced cookies that say “Get Well”, “Thinking of You”, and “Feel Better” for a sweet treat. We can also add The New Yorker’s Book of Doctor Cartoons for a little comic relief. These gourmet get well fruit baskets offer both comfort and a good distraction for your loved one.
If you want to be indulgent, send a gift of gourmet ice cream. We love the unique flavors and combinations we find with Jeni’s artisanal ice creams. And nothing soothes a sore throat like sweet and velvety ice cream!
#3. Warm and Snuggly Things
When we are sick, we like to curl up in our most comfy clothes: pajamas, sweat pants, well-worn sweaters. Or we like to wrap ourselves in comforters and soft blankets. If you can afford it, think about sending a luxurious gift of a cashmere sofa throw or shawl, or how about a cashmere sweat suit? If you are on a budget, a cuddly stuffed animal or Teddy Bear is a perfect gift that will bring warmth and a smile.
#4. Calming Room Sprays, Diffusers and Body Lotions
Aromatherapy can really help calm our minds, release muscle tension, open up our nasal passages and evoke pleasant memories. There are very specific scents you can choose depending on the purpose. For example, lavender is known to help promote restful sleep. A home fragrance mist or a soothing body lotion can make a lovely get well soon gift that can also be enjoyed after the recovery.
GET WELL GIFTS THAT ARE ENTERTAINING & DISTRACTING
#5. Books, Magazines, Movies, TV, Podcasts
It’s hard to keep your mind off your aches and pains, so distraction and entertainment are brilliant get well gift ideas! Drop an easy reading book or a selection of magazines at their door. Recommend some good movies you can get On Demand, suggest a TV series perfect for binge watching, or some interesting podcasts to listen to. A care package filled with these items will help pass the time while in confinement which can be supremely boring.
You can rarely go wrong sending a get well gift of flowers. Choose an arrangement with seasonal flowers that are bright and cheerful. A beautiful floral bouquet will draw the eye, symbolize life and renewal, and momentarily deflect attention from one’s woes. Flowers are also comforting. If it’s a long rehabilitation, consider sending a weekly flower delivery for the duration! (Note: be sure to avoid lilies as these flowers are often associated with death and funerals.)
A face-to-face visit can be a great way to distract and entertain a person who is recuperating. But do be mindful. If a person is very ill, i.e. in the hospital, undergoing cancer treatment, recovering from a surgery, in chronic pain, etc. they may neither have the energy nor the interest in a get well visit. And remember the best get well soon gifts align with the wants and needs of the ill person — not you. If a visit is welcomed, make it short and sweet. Combine your visit with a comforting get well gift such as food, with a distracting get well gift such as movies or flowers, or with some practical support like help with a chore (see below). Sometimes physical contact can be very soothing to someone who is ill. You can take advantage of that during your visit by offering a foot or back rub, or by just holding their hand.
#8. Cards and Emails
When you can’t visit, or the person is too ill to receive visitors, an old-fashioned card or letter delivered by snail mail may be just the perfect get well gift that you can keep on giving. A note in the mail is a pleasant surprise these days and a great way to let the person who is sick know you are thinking of them. The best part is that the person can read them again and again. Email works too: it can be read and responded to when they feel up to it. Cards and emails can also be get well gifts of distraction and entertainment! Send some news from home or the office. Relay a funny story and make them laugh.
PRACTICAL SUPPORT GET WELL GIFTS
Although certainly not a practical get well gift idea if you don’t live nearby, helping with daily and household chores is a truly thoughtful and unique gift that has a tangible effect. Offer to grocery shop, cook a meal, clean, walk a dog, pick up prescriptions and mail, pick up kids from school, etc. If you have a group of friends or colleagues that all want to help, organize a chart with chores and have people sign up. There are several online sites that you can do this with such as CareCalendar.org which make it easy to share.
#10. Company & Rides to Doctor Appointments
It’s not uncommon for a sick person to have lots of doctor visits scheduled during treatments, rehabilitation and longer-term follow-ups. Traveling can be particularly hard to navigate if the person is in pain or disabled or otherwise weakened. Offer to drive the person back-and-forth, or hire a cab service and travel with them to help getting in and out of the car. Having a friend in the waiting room can be very comforting too. This practical gift will not only enable you to spend time with your loved one, but it will show them just how much you care and are there for them.
The worst thing you can do when considering a get well gift is to ask the recipient, “What do you want me to do?” Don’t put the burden on them. Just offer something! Decide what kind of help you want to give, pick a thoughtful gift or gesture, and make it happen. They’ll appreciate it!