10 gifts you can feel great about giving to someone you love--including yourself!
Massage is a powerful and pleasurable therapy. Quality massage therapy performed by an experienced licensed professional supports healthy muscles, immunity, circulatory system health, nervous system health, social connection, body awareness, self-love, and more. Be VERY selective about where you get a massage gift card. Go to the location in person to ensure it is high-quality and professional. Do not go for cheap options. A massage should cost minimum $60 an hour (at least in most parts of the U.S.). The recipient of this gift will appreciate you going the extra mile to choose a quality location/therapist. (If you are Santa Cruz local I recommend NOURISH.)
Photo Credit: Stephen Boyle
9. High Quality Loose-leaf Tea
Tea is a fun gift that supports health and provides a way for people to connect. There are billions of tea options out there with so many different kinds of benefits and unique tastes. Visit your local tea house or health food store and ask for help picking out something your loved one will like. Or, try Jing Tea Shop (recommended by my friend who worked for a long time in the tea industry--he also says when in doubt order Taiwanese Oolong.) to shop for tea online. This gift can be paired really nicely with a kettle, mug (is there a local potter you can purchase a beautiful cup from?), or tea strainer. To top it off, schedule a time with this person to enjoy the tea together and talk about life. (If you are Santa Cruz local I recommend Hidden Peak for tea and Honora Studios for handmade mugs.)
Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea
8. Yoga Class
Yoga is a holistic body-heart-mind practice that supports happiness, health, clarity, self-acceptance, and more. Many people are unsure if yoga is something they will like, so purchasing a pass for a class or two gives them a chance to try it out. If you KNOW your recipient wants to practice yoga it can be fun to pair this gift with a yoga mat or yoga pants. Again, BE SELECTIVE about the class you gift. If you are not familiar with the studios/centers in your area, do some research and go in person. A good studio is accepting of all, non-judgmental, and prepared to accommodate students with injuries/pregnancy/any special conditions. Ask friends about their experiences in your area. Again, the recipient will appreciate you taking the time to make an informed choice (and you can tell them stories from your exploration!). (If you are Santa Cruz local I recommend NOURISH.)
Photo Credit: kellinahandbasket
7. Gratitude Journal
Reflecting on and writing down the features of life you are grateful for will heighten your awareness of and sensitivity to the goodness within and around you. I have found that having a designated journal for this makes it easy to keep up regular entries. This journal is interspersed with prompts and quotes. It is somewhat on the feminine side--if you don't think the recipient will resonate with that I recommend looking online or visiting a local book store.
6. Meditation Seating
It's easy to get excited about meditation when you have beautiful and comfortable cushions to sit on! Last year I purchased cushions from Still Sitting Meditation Supply and am really happy with them. It's a small company that puts great care into their products. It might seem like a high price at first glance, but any high quality meditation cushion set is definitely going to be around a ~$100+ purchase. It's something you won't have to replace for a long time, if ever, and while the value of meditation is impossible to put into numbers, it certainly is profound.
Photo Credit: Sara Kaiser
5. Meditation Journal
If your budget is a bit too cozy to purchase meditation cushions, a wonderful alternative is a meditation journal. Nothing special here--just a petite notebook will do!
One of the most touching gifts I've ever received was a gift card for aerial silks lessons. My friends recognized how deeply I love aerial silks and also knew I didn't have enough money to go to classes regularly. Giving a pass to a class can help a person deepen their knowledge of the art they are pursuing or open to them to something new they just might fall in love with. They will always remember you for supporting them in being creative and learning something new, and they will probably have lots to tell you about their experience!
3. Meditation Program, Consultation, or Guided Meditation
I offer online meditation programs, personalized, in-depth online or telephone consultation, and virtual guided meditation. These services are meant to connect the recipient with themselves, reduce stress and anxiety, and equip them to build a meditation practice that they love. Giving online gifts like these can be a bit underwhelming in the presentation department (they can't be wrapped in pretty paper!)--you might consider pairing this with a meditation journal, eye pillow, or cushions!
Photo Credit: Sara Kaiser
2. Nutrition Consultation
Food is relevant to absolutely everybody, and there is always something to learn. A registered dietitian can provide insight and feedback to support healthy and happy eating. Research local options and be selective! Look for credentials and testimonials. (If you are Santa Cruz local I recommend Registered Dietitian Jocelyn Dubin MS RD.)
Photo Credit: ThoroughlyReviewed
No, not presents. YOU. Your energy, attention, and time. Find a way to authentically connect with your loved one, spending time doing something you both enjoy but don't often have time for. Put your complaints and concerns on hold. Simply listen, share, smile, and laugh free of distraction, even if just for one hour.