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A care package is a box of items that bring comfort, joy and possibly even help to a loved one.
Care packages can be sent when someone is feeling down, unwell or ‘just because’. There doesn’t even need to be a reason.
For those living with a thyroid condition such as hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s, the below items can make up a care package that can be given in person or even sent in the post, to let someone know you’re thinking of them and want to do something to show you care.
As well as it being another way to keep ourselves warm (many people with hypothyroidism experience cold intolerance), tea can offer many health benefits and can be calming and soothing.
There are many ‘up market’ tea brands out there which offer a range of interesting blends and all in lovely packaging, too. Some hypothyroid patients are caffeine-free, though, and follow other diets, so it’s worth double checking if they’re gluten-free etc. just to be safe.
A nice mug or tea strainer is another fun gift idea, to support their use of warm drinks!
Receiving a pair of ‘cosy socks’ (fluffy, thick socks, specifically aimed for bed wear or for wear with boots in the winter) can offer increased warmth and comfort. I’ve linked to the ones I mean below.
3. Beauty Products and Candles
These can be a little trickier. Double check that your recipient doesn’t have any allergies or isn’t otherwise avoiding certain chemicals in beauty products or candles.
Some of us hypothyroid patients use all-natural hand creams, make up and bath products, and only stick to certain brands. Don’t be afraid to ask us what they are, or when you’re next round our house, have a look at the products in our bathroom for hints!
The same goes for candles and other scented gifts. They can be lovely and relaxing, but we may avoid certain chemicals, so don’t be afraid to ask us, or, if you want to be safe, go for an all-natural option.
4. A Scarf or shawl
Again, a scarf promotes warmth and can be something we don’t tend to treat ourselves to. It can even double up as a shawl inside the house.
There are many great thyroid books out there that can help your hypothyroid friend or family member feel more in touch with what’s going on in their body, empower them and educate them. They’re often also very, very interesting to read. I have reviewed several books here that you can browse through.
My own book, Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate: When You’re Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired, is a good book for people living with hypothyroidism to begin with.
If they follow a particular diet for their health condition/s, such as gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo or the AIP diet, you could also give them cookbooks to help inspire meal ideas. Here are two good ones:
6. Adult Colouring Book
Adult colouring books are very popular. With their intricate designs and beautiful pages, adult colouring books help people to de-stress, help mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression and give someone the sense of purpose. They’re a good hobby for someone who perhaps spends a lot of time at home or deserves some ‘me’ time and you can pair it with a nice set of colouring pencils. A trip to a craft shop should give you plenty of choice.
7. Hot Water Bottle
You may have realised that your hypothyroid friend or family member is cold often or has a hard time keeping warm.
So hot water bottles can be very thoughtful as well as useful and practical, and there are many fun, cute and cosy designs out there, which aren’t expensive. Woollen covers and even a handmade, knitted cover make them extra special to receive, like the one I’ve linked to below for example.
8. Epsom Salts
Epsom salt usage is becoming increasingly popular, and there’s good reason why. I use Epsom salts once or twice a week in a bath, and as and when I feel I need it in a foot soak, too.
A bath with Epsom salts can help individuals to unwind and get ready for bed; relaxing muscles and leaving them feeling de-stressed. The magnesium in the salts relieve stress by promoting the production of serotonin and reducing the effects of adrenaline. Magnesium is also important in the production of energy and helping us to feel invigorated, but without feelings of restlessness/anxiety.
Epsom salts can also help alleviate aching muscles and tired legs/feet which are common symptoms of hypothyroidism.
9. Something Uplifting
You may have seen little signs or placards around shops with motivational wording on, song lyrics or otherwise happy thoughts.
‘Dream Big’, ‘Live the life you love’, ‘This is my happy place’ are all common ones I’ve seen, and, provided your recipient won’t find them patronising or silly, they can be really uplifting.
A film they can cuddle up on the sofa and switch off to is also a great idea. You may benefit from knowing what genres and types of films they like, and which titles they’ve already seen/own. Otherwise, go for something uplifting and surprise them with a great film they didn’t know they loved.
Many people with hypothyroidism start to feel well again with time and the correct treatment. This post isn’t meaning to paint thyroid patients out as invalids or squander hope for a ‘normal’ life. However, as a thyroid patient myself (and one who lives a very active, social and good quality of life with it) I have appreciated these items in a care package before.
Please remember that if you’re a thyroid patient living with poor mental health or lingering physical symptoms, that you don’t have to live this way. To address why you may still be feeling unwell (often despite being on thyroid medication too), please see this article and go through each suggestion, putting your thyroid jigsaw back together.
You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.
The book You, Me and Hypothyroidism: When Someone You Love Has Hypothyroidism, a book for those who know someone with hypothyroidism.
Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes authoring books, writing articles, blogging and speaking on podcasts, as well as being a board member for The American College of Thyroidology and The WEGO Health Patient Leader Advisory Board. Rachel has worked with The National Academy of Hypothyroidism, The BBC, The Mighty, Yahoo, MSN, ThyroidChange and many more. She is well-recognised as a useful contributor to the thyroid community and has received multiple awards and recognitions for her work and dedication. She has authored two books: ‘Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate‘ and ‘You, Me and Hypothyroidism‘. Rachel is British, but advocates for thyroid patients on a global scale.