As I lay here, two weeks into my foot surgery recovery, I’m thinking about the many types of recovery—post-surgery, cancer, addiction, mental health—and how each of them can result in a similar feeling: isolation.
If we can’t be in person with our loved ones or coworkers as they recover, there are gifts and gestures that can make them feel less alone, like a handwritten note or a care package.
Here are some thoughtful gift ideas to help prevent feelings of isolation.
Handwritten note of encouragement
When someone is going through recovery, they are not just trying to build strength and “get well” but they may also be dealing with side effects of pain medication, chemo, withdrawal, you name it. Or sometimes our minds play tricks on us and make us think we’re alone in this and no one cares.
A handwritten note is such a loving way to let someone know you’re thinking of them, that recovery means progress not perfection, and to remind them that they’re not alone because they have you!
Here are some card or word art ideas from my shop:
“I will hold you through the dark” -R. Clift quote card
“Courage, dear heart” – C.S. Lewis quote print
Meal or chore
It’s nice when people say, “If you need anything, let me know.” But what’s even better is when you just do something without them asking.
Things are 10 times harder to do on your own when you’re recovering, so sending a meal or gift card, buying groceries, mowing the lawn, or walking the dog will mean there is one less thing for that person to worry about. If you have the time or resources, acts of service can be priceless.
My friend Melanie is so good at putting care packages together after my surgeries or any other traumatic life event. She includes things like a good book or journal, water bottle, snacks, candy, magazines, coloring books, etc. We are also obsessed with sending and receiving BrightBoxes. They are such an inexpensive and thoughtful way to brighten someone’s day.
Also, it’s amazing how I just abandon any skincare routine when I’m recovering post-surgery because I’m only half sleeping, half showering, and barely leaving the house, so I think spa products are great for a care package too as a little reminder.
Something they can wear
The owner of one of my favorite small businesses, Snuggles and Peanut, surprised me this week with a card and one of the bracelets she makes, telling me that when I look at it, she hopes it reminds me to rest. What a sweet and thoughtful gift! I have purchased numerous custom bracelets from her shop and think it would be so nice to send someone recovering a bracelet that says “loved” or “strength.”
I also love the idea of gifting a comfy healing blanket or a sweatshirt, even during summer months because it’s likely the person is just sitting at home in air conditioning feeling a little chilly. There’s nothing better than wrapping yourself in something cozy.
If your loved one is recovering from something mental health related, I highly recommend shopping online at the To Write Love On Her Arms gift shop. I own so many clothing items from this shop, but with your purchase, you’re also supporting their mental health and suicide prevention programs.
Flowers, real or illustrated
It might be cliché, but nothing cheers me up like a bouquet of flowers. My all-time favorite place to buy and receive flowers is Farmgirl Flowers. They ship everywhere in the US and the bouquets are truly stunning.
I also love the idea of gifting little watercolor bouquets of flowers by my friend Patricia Shaw. Reach out to her to commission an art piece for your loved one.
Recovery of any kind can be difficult, exhausting, and lonely, but simple gifts and gestures from loved ones can be an awesome pick-me-up. What’s your go-to gift? Let me know in the comments or reach out to me on social media.
Social media: @alisonrosevintage