Health & Wellness 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been lucky enough to pursue a passion project within my everyday role, but have yet to share that work widely. Outside of my marketing role, I lead our Region’s Health and Wellness team, which provides resources and events for all Region employees.

The Health & Wellness team is dedicated to four pillars: Movement, Mental Health, Meals, and Mindfulness. In March, when the majority of our organization moved to working from home, our team saw the opportunity to lean in and help our teammates prioritize their wellbeing in these crazy times.

We started a weekly meeting/webinar series, called Wellness Wednesdays. We also provide a monthly newsletter with recommendations for each of our four pillars. I can’t wait to share more about all of this; but I am particularly excited to share our healthy living gift guide for the Holidays!

I scoured countless similar articles from this year and previous years, and added a few things from my own shopping list. My intention with this list was to avoid trendy items that may be more hype than truly beneficial. I also wanted to provide gifts that would be a good fit for a variety of loved ones, and for all levels of fitness and health awareness.

Many of these gifts are from Amazon or larger companies. If this list sparks an idea for a small business equivalent, that’s wonderful! My intention was to help people give gifts that will meet their loved ones where they’re at.

This year has been tough, at best, and it can be easy for health and wellness to fall to the wayside under increased stress. At the same time, this is when our bodies and minds need more care and attention.

I hope this helps your holiday shopping, or creating your own wish list! Let me know your favorites in the comments!

MOVEMENT

  • TRX GO Suspension Trainer System $130 Create intense full-body workouts anytime, anywhere. TRX anchors to any door, rafter, beam, tree, pole or post in seconds that supports 350 lbs. Use your body weight and suspension to push, pull, plank, squat, lunge, hinge & rotate.
  • FITINDEX Electric Foam Roller $50 This electric massage ball provides deep tissue trigger point therapy and myofascial release to improve mobility, flexibility, and recovery.
  • Whatfit Resistance Bands Set $24 Different color adjustable resistance bands: Yellow (10 lbs), Blue (20 lbs), Green (30 lbs), Black (40 lbs), Red (50 lbs). Each apply to different types exercise-good for toning your arms, shoulders, chest, glutes, legs etc.

MENTAL HEALTH

  • Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock Options $39.95 – $169.95 Help your loved ones wake up on the right side of the bed! Inspired by nature’s sunrise, the Philips Wake-up Light uses a unique combination of light and sound to wake you in a more natural way, so you feel more refreshed.
  • Foot Spa Bath Massager $41 Give the gift of slowing down with this heating, masssage rollers, & pedicure stone. With bubble and vibration, you can rejuvinate and enjoy a spa experience at home.
  • Dohm Classic Natural Sound Machine $45 Give sleep a chance with this two speed options for adjustable tone and volume, excellently masking background noise for better sleep for children, office privacy, and soothing sound-sensitive pets.

MEALS

  • Spiralizer 7-Blade Vegetable Slicer & Veggie Pasta Maker $24 This is the perfect gadget for healthy eating that’s easy and fast to prepare. This multi-knife kitchen appliance allows you to make various veggie inspired noodles, which you can utilize as a main dish, salad, or appetizer.
  • Hello Fresh Gift Card $65 – $130 Give the gift of step-by-step recipes complete with nutritional information and fresh, pre-measured ingredients to get you whipping up delicious dinners in no time.
  • Ninja Personal Blender $59 Perfect for smoothies, juices, and sauces for meal prep. This comes with two 16-ounce cups, 2 Sip & Seal lids & 30-recipe inspiration guide. The personalized size makes blending faster and easier to clean, and also saves on dishes!

MINDFULNESS

  • Q&A a Day Journal $11 The perfect mindfulness gift for journaling beginners! This Q&A format gives daily prompts to make it easy to get in the habit of daily reflection. It has daily prompts for everyday of 5 years, so the writer can later look back on what they were thinking about in previous years.
  • Deep Sea Sand Art for your Desk $95 As the line between the office and home has been blurred or erased for many, this desktop sculpture will offer a calming and grounding focal point to help the mind slow down and stay present on busy days. This nature scape will appeal to men and women.
  • Self Care Bucket List $50 Perfect for the to-do list maker in your life who puts everyone else first. Speak their language with this deck filled with 100 helpful, self-love suggestions broken out into 3 main categories: life, love, and laughter.

Give Thanks

Dark early mornings, crowded stores, and frantic (to say the least) shoppers come to mind when we think of the unofficial holiday that sits at the heels of Thanksgiving. However, the rising sun, a warm room with zen music, and yogis on their mats made up my Black Friday this year.

Teaching yoga while I am home for holidays breaks is more than “convenient” or “a great set up,” it’syoga rejuvenating, grounding, and incredibly rewarding.

Although I have the opportunity to teach yoga at school as well, there’s a comforting nostalgia when I am able to come back to the studios where I gained so much experience early on in my yoga career. I remember the summer days I taught on the outdoor deck, telling my students about my first year away from home, and working on remembering my sequences without looking at my written out plan for the class.

Remembering these classes reminds me how much has changed in the last four years. As college students, we don’t always realize how much we change and grow. I think it’s because we forget that we are growing- we forget we’re young- so we can’t imagine ourselves much differently than who we are today.

Regardless of age or stage in life, I think we all forget to take a moment to recognize how far we have come. We are always thinking about what’s left on the to-do list, what title we haven’t accomplished, and the places we haven’t seen. However, it’s what we have done, who we’ve become and where we’ve been that set the stage for everything that is to come. Without recognizing this, we lose the opportunity to learn from and appreciate each and every experience.

In an age of new not being new enough, there’s something to be said for going back to the basics.

gratitudeThanksgiving wins year after year as my favorite holiday, I find so much charm in its simplicity and values-based celebration.  We spend time, rather than money; celebrate the gift of life, rather than new possessions; and fill our plates, rather than our greed.

However, with the holiday shopping season starting earlier and earlier every year, we run the risk of this holiday- and this grounding mindset- being lost in the shuffle. Regardless of stores’ opening hours, I believe expressing gratitude, whether its to others or to yourself, preserves the essence of Thanksgiving.

No, we may not be able to avoid the consumer-crazy season. However, remembering the value in what you already have may be even more intriguing than shiny and sleek items. Who knows, maybe you’ll even put down the to-do list down and cross a few items of your wish list instead.