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7 wellness gifts that are sure to wow

Wellness gift

Give the gift of health this year. From fitness gear to mindfulness products, we’ve got ideas for everyone on your holiday list.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And once again, you’re at a loss for what gifts to get your loved ones. Another gift card? More socks and sweaters?

Here’s a fresh idea: giving the gift of wellness. To customize your present, think about how each person on your list focuses on health in their life. Maybe your best friend loves yoga, walking or swimming. You might have a coworker who wants to beat year-end stress, or a relative who’s managing chronic pain.

Before you start shopping, a word of caution: Wellness can be a touchy subject. It’s important to make sure the gifts you choose have a positive message.

For example, buying a scale for a pal who’s having trouble losing weight might not come off as such a thoughtful gift. But if you know your friend is tracking their weight daily using a smartphone app, they might enjoy an upgrade.

Here are seven other great wellness-related gift ideas. (You can thank us later.)

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Gift idea #1: Smart watch and fitness tracker accessories

Fitness trackers that can monitor your physical health are growing in popularity. About 30% of American adults now use wearable health care devices.1 (You might also see this called “wearable tech.”)

These devices can do things like keep track of your step count and mileage. Many of them also include features like heart-rate monitoring and fall detection.

But even pricey devices come with plain-looking wristbands. And what works fine at the gym might not fit the vibe of a night out. Fortunately, lots of companies make wristbands for popular devices. There are different designs to match different outfits and occasions. These can be great gifts.

An internet search will show you plenty of choices, from classic leather to studded with sparkly rhinestones. Remember to check the device’s model and size before you buy.

If your loved one doesn’t have a fitness tracker, consider gifting them one that fits their activity of choice. A runner, for example, may prefer a fitness tracker that tracks their miles and monitors heart rate. Your friend who loves to swim may like a water-resistant device for laps in the pool.

Gift idea #2: Essential oil diffuser

This device turns essential oils into a fine mist that fills the room with a pleasant smell. You can find hundreds of diffuser models available online. (It’s worth noting that some oils may be irritating to people with allergies or lung conditions, so you may want to spoil the surprise and ask them whether this gift will work.2)

Essential oils are concentrated liquids that contain chemical compounds from plants. They are often used in aromatherapy or massage, touted by some to help promote relaxation.3

And some research suggests essential oils can help people manage symptoms from cancer treatment. In one small study of cancer patients, using an oil with a Roman chamomile scent during a massage session helped ease anxiety more than the massage alone.4

Some diffusers are basic while others have timers, lights and more fun features. A portable mini diffuser could be a perfect present for your favorite traveler. Whichever model you choose, try including a starter set of essential oils. Some popular scents include:3

  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Peppermint

Gift idea #3: Yoga mat

Yoga is an ancient practice that involves moving your body into physical poses. It can help ease joint pain, and improve posture and body alignment.5, 6 But it’s not only good for your physical health. Through breathwork and meditation, yoga has been shown to help reduce stress and improve your self-esteem.7

And yoga is normally done on a yoga mat, which can make a great gift. Having a good mat can encourage your spouse or your parent to be more active.

Yoga mats may also help protect the joints from painful pressure while doing certain poses. Plus, a yoga mat can double as a fashion statement. Many come in fun colors and designs.

Stock up on all your health essentials. The Optum Store has the products you love at everyday low prices. Use your HSA/FSA dollars to save even more. Shop now.

Gift idea #4: Massage gun

Does your sibling work on a computer all day and complain about their sore shoulders? Or maybe you’ve got a runner in your life who could use a calf massage.

Enter the massage gun. These devices put the power of massage in your hands. It uses battery-powered vibrations and rapid (but gentle) strikes to massage your sore muscles.

Some models even include an app that integrates with smart watches. It suggests guided routines based on your lifestyle.

Gift idea #5: Acupressure mat

Don’t let the look of an acupressure mat fool you. When paired with certain exercises, lying down on its hard, sharp spikes can actually help relieve pain, including back, neck and shoulder pain. Research also shows these mats help promote a sense of deep relaxation.8

Some of the popular mats are made with a high-density memory foam and can come with a pillow and carrying bag.

Gift idea #6: Sun protective beauty products

Your sibling or mom may already have plenty of basic sunscreens in their bathroom cabinet. But if you’re looking for a beauty gift that will help to better protect their skin, splurge on some specialty SPF products.

They might like an eye cream with SPF that helps protect sensitive eye skin. Or a powder sunscreen they can keep in their bag for quick touchups. For a stocking stuffer, how about a pretty tinted SPF lip balm?

Here’s another thoughtful gift for the sun lover in your life: A hair mist with SPF that protects the scalp (especially where their hair is parted) from harmful ultraviolet rays.

Gift idea #7: Gratitude journal

Having a regular gratitude habit can be good for your health. When someone focuses on the good things in their life, they may feel less stress.9

A great way to keep that good energy front of mind? Give your special somebody a gratitude journal. That way they can jot down the big and little things they’re thankful for each day. Maybe that’s a perfect cup of coffee, a compliment from a stranger or a hug from their kid.

You can certainly buy someone a plain notebook. But why not get creative? Add a favorite quote or encouraging note to the inside cover. Or choose a journal that already offers daily prompts or inspirational quotes inside.

Look for a journal that matches your recipient’s personality. And include a set of colored pencils or pens so they can journal in style.

Sources

  1. Journal of Medical Internet Research. Patterns of Use and Key Predictors for the Use of Wearable Health Care Devices by US Adults: Insights from a National Survey. Published October 16, 2020. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  2. American Lung Association. Particulate matter. Last updated November 2, 2023. Accessed November 16, 2023.
  3. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Aromatherapy. Last updated January 2020. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  4. National Cancer Institute. Aromatherapy With Essential Oils (PDQ®)–Patient Version. Last updated September 11, 2023. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  5. Cleveland Clinic. Yoga. Accessed November 16, 2023.
  6. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Yoga: What You Need to Know. Last updated August 2023. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  7. Frontiers in Psychology. Yoga Poses Increase Subjective Energy and State Self-Esteem in Comparison to ‘Power Poses’. Published May 11, 2017. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  8. Applied Sciences. Efficacy of an Acupressure Mat in Association with Therapeutic Exercise in the Management of Chronic Low Back Pain: A Prospective Randomized Controlled Study. Published June 4, 2021. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  9. Journal of Happiness Studies. A Brief Gratitude Writing Intervention Decreased Stress and Negative Affect During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Published February 24, 2022. Accessed October 19, 2023.

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