Curling up with a bowl of soothing broth to console an aggravating sore throat is a time-tested home remedy. But what if leaving the house or hospital isn’t an option? Inevitably, friends, and family members, will come down with an illness, an injury, or an unfortunate prognosis. Among hectic schedules, responsibilities, and stresses of the day, it can be a challenge to find a way to show these loved ones we care. And the reality: If you have a friend who is sick, the greatest gift comes in the form of robust nutrition pumped with natural ingredients to support weak immune systems.
What to Send when Someone Is Sick
Care packages are among the most popular gift ideas when someone is stuck at home, down with a bug. As winter approaches, creamy and nutritious soup comes to mind. At 18 Chestnuts, they have just that. The Get Well Gift Box includes Carrot Ginger Dill, Beetroot Apple, and Red Pepper Pomodoro. Each soup is packed with natural ingredients, locally sourced from respected farmers, ensuring the recipient will enjoy refined flavors coupled with powerful nutrition. The care package includes a delivery option, great for those trying to avoid getting sick.
- Carrot Ginger Dill — This delicious soup is bursting with flavor and nutrients.
- Carrots are composed of beta carotene, potassium, soluble fiber, Vitamin A, and antioxidants. Antioxidants are responsible for protecting cells, reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.
- Ginger has shown to decrease nausea symptoms for those going through cancer treatment. It can help settle the stomach, so pregnant women experiencing morning sickness can find relief, too. Just like the carrots, ginger contains antioxidants, protecting cells from potentially life-threatening damage.
- Dill is rich in Vitamins A and C, great for boosting the immune system. Dill is also a potent antioxidant, yet again providing protection against cell damage that could lead to serious disease.
- Beetroot Apple — A soup suited for every season, this organic dish will have you savoring every bite.
- Beets contain folate, a heavy hitter in heart health and believed to lower blood pressure. Beets also have manganese, aiding in brain function and promoting a strong metabolism.
- Leeks are another key ingredient in this soup and are high in antioxidants. They have anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and anti-cancer properties.
- Swiss Chard goes along with the current theme, and is saturated with antioxidants, joining the fight against chronic diseases.
- Red Pepper Pomodoro — Touting a smooth and creamy consistency, the tomato soup can help heal many ailments.
- Tomatoes bring another dose of antioxidants to the bowl, along with Vitamins C and K, arming the immune system with the power it needs.
- Fire roasted red peppers take the cake, or the soup, when it comes to Vitamin C. It contains well over the daily dose to bring that common cold to its knees.
- Basil not only has antioxidants and can help lower cholesterol, but it has properties to help ease anxiety and depression, and even lower the risk of memory loss later in life.
Though we hope an illness will subside with rest and vital nutrients, sometimes a sick person is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and is handed a list of dietary restrictions right there in the hospital room.
Crohn’s disease, for example, is defined as a chronic inflammatory disease in the intestines, especially in the colon. Sufferers may also experience ulcers and other dietary complications. For these individuals, it goes well beyond an upset stomach. Even raw vegetables, seeds, and nuts can be challenging to digest. Dieticians recommend absorbing the nutrients in liquid form to maintain a healthy diet, and take it easy on gut health. The Get Well Gift Box might be a great alternative.
What Do You Give Someone as a Get Well Gift?
Our first response is always to promote a rapid recovery, but wellness is emotional as much as it is physical. For some, a phone call or a teddy bear is plenty to do the trick. However, depending on the severity of the illness, or time stuck at home, the needs may be greater.
Texting is the dominant mode of communication, and it’s nice to get encouraging texts. But that doesn’t take much thought or effort. When someone is having a tough time, a handwritten letter or card can go a long way. When loneliness sets in, and your family member opens a fresh, hand-picked “Get Well” card with a detailed heart-felt note inside, it helps raise their spirits.
Depending on the resources, betterhelp.com has online therapy at affordable rates that may benefit a sick friend struggling with mental health. Some may benefit from bath salts, and perfumes do help relax and get their minds off of the illness. “French Girl” has a product called, Rose Sea Soak Calming Bath Salts. This bath salt is designed to aid in relaxing muscles and removing toxins, and even promotes relaxation before sleep.
For the masculine flare, a company called Brocrates has assorted liquors, craft beers, high-quality wines, dried meats and tasty snacks. Delivered in an actual crate, the gift is great for the men on the mend, trying to tough it out.
What Do You Send Someone Sick with Covid?
For the past few years, Covid has dictated much of the way we live our lives. Though hospital stays have decreased and restrictions have relaxed in many parts of the world, protocols for positive cases still linger. Some workplaces still require employees to remain quarantined until cleared by a medical professional, while others have leaned towards an “honor system,” hoping positive cases decide to do what’s best for everyone. Either way, many find themselves stuck at home yet again, dealing with symptoms or just plain bored.
Any of the care package ideas described above would help, but if you gave this family member or friend a splendid book, it would be greatly appreciated. For many, they will be unable to have contact with the outside world well beyond the onset of their symptoms.
When choosing a book (or coloring pages, possibly) keep in mind that your recipient may not be in a positive headspace, so a gloomy, depressing, “everybody dies” suspense thriller might not help. Instead, it may be wise to send a light-hearted or uplifting novel that can improve mood. Classic novels shown to invoke a positive response include but are not limited to:
- Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen — A fan favorite, this novel slingshots readers into a time when gender roles were clearly defined, and propriety took precedence. For the ladies, the beloved Mr. Darcy brings new meaning to the word, chivalry.
- Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery — Another classic filled with uplifting scenes and themes of positivity. The child-like connection brings us back to the good ‘ole days, figuring out what we’re made of.
- The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien — A well-known series and major motion picture, The Hobbit tantalizes readers with epic adventure delivered with a light-hearted tone.
- These names are just a few of the plethora of “feel good” novels that have the potential to keep someone stuck at home with Covid, sane. A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman — Grounded in the mediocre life, the tale transforms typical neighborhood strife into an eccentric yet connected bond between memorable characters.
What to Give a Sick Person to Eat
It’s understood that anything from a virus, to an autoimmune disease can wreak havoc on an upset stomach, but there are some that don’t need a straw to make it through. Perhaps a head cold has them down and out, and good nutritious food is all they need. As it turns out, garlic has been used as an herbal medicine for centuries, because of its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Additionally, studies have found that aged garlic can improve immune system function, and decrease the severity of symptoms. Leave some tasty garlic chicken on the doorstep, and they’re good to go.
Spicy foods seem to be either loved or loathed, but in the case of a head cold, you can’t go wrong. The appeal here is obvious, spicy foods contain capsaicin, a colorless compound that brings the heat. If congestion is the primary symptom, some potent kung pao should break it up. Moderation for spicy foods is important as they can cause inflammation, potentially worsening any digestive symptoms.
Strong flavors may be difficult if someone isn’t feeling well, so bland options are important to keep in mind. Oatmeal is easy on the stomach and has plenty of fiber that helps decrease inflammation. If dairy can be tolerated, yogurt is brimming with probiotics. Studies have shown that children and adults that have probiotics in their system get colds less often and heal quicker than those not getting these probiotics. Add some berries to the oatmeal of yogurt, and now you’re pushing back on the potential for chronic diseases thanks to the antioxidants. Berries have anthocyanins, which also target viruses and bacteria, preventing them from attaching to cells. Anthocyanins can improve immune system health as well.
Gifts for Someone Stuck at Home
Illnesses aren’t the only thing keeping sick friends in bed. Injuries can involve prolonged recoveries that keep victims immobilized for weeks or more. Weak pillows can cause neck aches, and not being able to move much will only add to sore muscles. If someone is stuck at home after a surgery or broken bone, orthopedic pillows or wedges help eliminate soreness and maximize comfort. Through the convenience of Amazon, you can order from Axelrod, who carries a four-piece wedge set designed to alleviate leg pain and muscle soreness. The incline allows for an immobilized person to feel part of the conversation, and engage with friends and family.
Also through Amazon, Cushion Lab has a seat cushion for those that can sit up, but are still stuck for hours at a time. The cushion has a patented dense memory foam to assist those bound to a wheelchair, and help bring relief to sciatica, hip, or tailbone issues.
Chances are, work will still have to be done. It would befit you to include a laptop stand with the wedge set. One of the highest rated portable stands on the market is the LapGear Home Office Lap Desk. It’s compact enough for easy storage, but large enough to include a mouse pad and phone holder along with space for a laptop. This great gift would help ease the work-related stress a sick friend or family member might feel knowing they can’t leave the house.
Don’t Forget the Kids!
Most, if not all of the aforementioned items would benefit the youth as well. When kids are down with a cold or flu, 18 Chestnuts Get Well Gift Box would be just as beneficial for kids. They want to get back to playtime, friends, and school. To do that, they need high-quality nutrition to boost the immune system for a rapid recovery. For elementary age students that can’t get out of the house, books like The Hobbit can catapult them into a world of fantasy, providing an escape from the boredom that plagues them. However, there are “get well” gifts that are not “one size fits all.” Here are some additional options that appeal to the kids:
- Get Well Soon Teddy Bear, from Muiteiur — This large stuffed animal has a bandage wrapped around a “broken arm”, bringing a sense of empathy to a child that is unwell or has an injury.
- Blankie Tails — If your child has an immune system under attack, rest is paramount. Blankie Tails come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and styles. Your young one can pretend to get eaten by a great white shark, or soak in the sun sparkled waves with a mermaid tail. They even come in forms of action figures, and kids can fight off their nemesis as a Transformer, all while never getting out of bed!
- Board Games — Classic board games have continued to cycle for decades. Guess Who is a great gift for sick kids as well. Players are tasked with guessing the chosen character of their opponent. The game builds analytic and “attention to detail” skills. Kids learn to be concise in their descriptions, but to them it’s just a wonderful game of mystery! Sometimes kids really need a laugh when playing a board game. Balderdash has had older kids and young adults rolling on the floor for years. The game includes various categories with obscure facts, definitions and more. This crowd pleaser makes it almost impossible to figure out what is true and what is not.
- Puzzles — If the sniffling patient stuck at home is a toddler, Melissa and Doug jigsaw puzzles are a must. Not only highly engaging, but the quality of the wooden pieces and puzzle board can handle the lack of delicacy toddlers tend to have. For the older kids, jigsaw puzzles of their favorite TV shows or movies can help pass the time while they heal up. If the illness is going to last a while, a 500 – 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle may be in order. It takes patience, but it makes the completed project that much sweeter. Last, for the personal touch, Shutterfly is a trusted company to provide an amplified picture, and convert it to a puzzle.
Whether your loved one comes down with a mild illness, or is blindsided by a serious cancer diagnosis, all they need is to know you care. Nutrient rich soup may be all they need to rebuild the immune system, or a relaxing bath with calming salts to help them sleep. Those bound to the bed might be forever grateful for the wedge set or laptop stand. It may be the fun read that improves their mental health, or a professional counselor that provides a listening ear. A crate of craft beer for a buddy can speak volumes. And when the kids need something to take their mind off of the upset stomach, don’t forget all of the great gifts to help get them through!