It’s easy to overthink gift-giving, especially for those of us who don’t have a natural instinct for gifting. We put expectations on ourselves to give the perfect gift, when, in reality, a gift that is personal and thoughtful most often does the trick.
But when it comes to gift-giving for a friend or family member in recovery or maintaining a sober lifestyle, it can feel a little more difficult. What can you get them that not only respects their sobriety but is personal, thoughtful and important?
We’re glad you asked.
Sobriety gift ideas
Of course, you’ll want to take into consideration the personal needs and preferences of your loved one when buying them gifts; but consider some of the options below to get you started!
A gift card
Sure, it might feel like an easy option, but for some people, gift cards are especially good for those who don’t have a lot on their wish list. Simply knowing their favorite store can show you’ve put thought into their gift; or, if you know they’re intentionally revamping aspects of their life — like redecorating their apartment or getting a new wardrobe to promote a fresh start — consider a gift card from a store that would help.
A guided journal
There are so many journals out there with blank pages, but sometimes it’s hard to know what to start writing. Luckily, there are also a number of journals with guided reflections and meditations to prompt you into writing, like:
- Tiny Buddha’s Worry Journal
- Joy: Gratitude Journal
- A Wellness Journal
- The Best Journal Ever
- Let That Sh*t Go: A Journal for Leaving Your Bullsh*t Behind and Creating a Happy Life
Journaling is a crucial aspect of the success of many recovery journeys, and providing your loved one with a guided journal can help them continue their progress toward mental health for months to come.
It’s easy to forget about these, but experiences make great gifts. Consider tickets to a performance onstage, like a musical, ballet or concert; maybe it’s admission to a city zoo, museum or theme park. If your loved one has a bucket list experience, maybe it’s time to take them on that skydiving, white water rafting or sight-seeing trip.
Additional experiences might include a day at a spa, an overnight camping trip, a day spent hiking or a morning shopping at a farmer’s market. Consider what would be most rewarding for your loved one, and invest in making the experience happen.
An inspirational book
A plethora of beautiful, impactful literature about mental health, addiction and recovery exists to inspire and encourage those who have, or continue to, struggle in this regard. Mixed with personal testimonies and life lessons, these books have the possibility to significantly, and positively impact the life of your loved one:
- Love Does, by Bob Goff
- The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brené Brown
- Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, by Lori Gottlieb
- The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World, by John Comer
- Beautiful Boy, by David Sheff
This list is far from exhaustive, with countless titles about addiction recovery and mental health to choose from. But a little research into some of these titles will help you select the best one for your loved one this holiday.
It’s likely your friend or a family member has certain dates that are important to them, like the day they entered treatment or their six-month sobriety anniversary. These dates can be used to personalize gift items like jewelry, plaques and journals, making them more intentional. Something as subtle as an engraved ring could mean a lot to your friend, as it serves as a constant reminder of how far they’ve come.
Something to fidget with
If your loved one is still in treatment, the gifts you can bring to a recovery center are more limited, but fidget gadgets are a great option. Fidget gifts like spinner rings, magnetic putty and Rubik’s cubes not only give the brain something to focus on but can help redirect nervous, anxious habits in a positive way — not to mention the fact that some of these gadgets are just plain fascinating!
Lessons & memberships
This is a broad category, but lessons can be expensive — we’re talking yoga classes, cooking classes, pilates lessons, gym memberships, drop-in adult workout classes (like ballet or jiu-jitsu), etc. Pretty much anything you can think of that involves honing one’s skill and improving at something good for both the body and soul; and paying for a year-long membership can make a huge difference in one’s recovery journey.
Additionally, consider, if your loved one would appreciate it, offering to pay for additional therapy sessions for them. If they’ve expressed the desire to continue treatment in the form of outpatient therapy after their inpatient treatment has finished, but are concerned about the cost, consider offering to directly support their recovery journey in this way.
Supporting sobriety beyond gift giving
Gift ideas for your loved one in recovery are a personal way to honor their journey and show them you care. Additionally, supporting them by talking to them, helping them get to their meetings and creating a safe space for their recovery is crucial.