Holiday Gift Guide: Well-being Edition

More presence; less presents—That’s my motto. Yet, gift giving is one way we can show love to the ones we love during the holiday season. I’ve crafted a handpicked gift guide of my top 15 favorite gifts focused on well-being, usefulness, and in some instances, something life-changing. Here’s the gift list breakdown: 

Gifts to Promote Exercise

Data shows that consistent exercise is the single most important longevity predictor helping to prevent a myriad of illnesses including Alzheimer’s, depression, and diabetes. Here are four of our favorite exercise gifts: 

  • TRX Suspension Trainer : Hands down my favorite workout. TRX Suspension Trainer strap challenges you with your own bodyweight to get you stronger, faster. This includes a portable kit that can be easily set up on any door in your home or used when traveling. What I love most is that it can be set up to provide graduated exercises from easy to hard, and that it naturally strengthens your grip—which is critical for aging. $229.
  • Resistance bands: Resistance bands are inexpensive and portable. They keep your muscles under tension throughout the entire exercise and are great for functional fitness training. $12.95.
  • Class Pass: Give the gift of a workout class. Class Passes are redeemable at most exercise chains, like Soulcycle and Barry’s Bootcamp. This is a great gift for college students or those twenty-somethings in your life. $19-199/month.
  • Foldable yoga mat: This yoga mat is designed for maximum portability and is great for travel. Comes in seven colors. $14.

Gifts to Destress

Everyone faces stress in their lives, and it’s how you respond to it that matters. Positive coping skills lead to better health and a longer life. Here are three of our favorite destressing products: 

  • Theragun Mini: This massage device allows you to give yourself your own massage. It’s easy to use, helping to relieve aches and pains. It even improves recovery. $199. 
  • 10% Happier: Dan Harris started a company based on his hilarious book about meditation: 10% Happier. He wanted to call it “The Voice In My Head Is A Total A*****e”. Many friends have relayed that this book changed their lives. $17.
  • L’Occitane: A hot bath not only helps reduce anxiety, but it also promotes better sleep and heart health. L’Occitane Verbena and Lavender foaming bath are not only my favorite scents but their best sellers. $42. 

Gifts for Better Sleep

Sleep is critical to aging well and living a long healthy life. With today’s stress, more people are getting less sleep. Here are two products to help you get a good night’s rest.

  • Nidra Sleep Masks: Nidra sleep masks feature an innovative design. The New York Times Wirecutter recommends it as the #1 sleep mask. Available in five colors and two sizes. $21.
  • Hatch: Hatch’s mission is to help people sleep better. Hatch’s Restore 2 features a gentle sunrise alarm and soothing sleep sounds. $199.

Gifts to Benefit Lifestyle

  • Coursera Online Learning*: Choose from more than 5,800 courses, Professional Certificates, and degrees from world-class universities and companies. Vic Stretcher’s Finding Purpose and Meaning In Life: Living for What Matters Most from the University of Michigan literally changed my life. $399/year for unlimited pass. 
  • Zero alcohol booze: While we all desire a drink every once in a while, data shows there’s no amount of drinking that’s good for you. If you are going to drink, the most recent guidelines are fewer than four drinks per week. But the mocktail is in and we’re here for it. Expert mocktail mixologist, Donovan Rittenbach, recommends Wilderton Lustre. $29.59.
  • KiwiCo*:  Are you looking for a gift for your grandkids? KiwiCo delivers fun, educational and age-appropriate hands-on projects for children of all ages. The project kits are designed to inspire creativity, curiosity and discovery. With over 50 million project kits delivered it’s a gift that’s sure to be a hit! $23/month.
  • Oura Ring: From monitoring your sleep to activity to heart rate or overnight blood oxygen level, Oura unlocks insights to help improve your health all in a little ring. Choose from silver, gold, rose gold, and more. $299 plus $6/month membership.
  • Planted Places planted wall: This vertical garden system is an easy way to get into gardening. Comes with 18 organic certified seedlings and built-in irrigation. All you need is a small area that gets 4-6 hours of sunlight. $399.
  • Experiences: Intentionally fostering social connections is critical for longevity. Give the gift of getting together. This can be for dinner, a weekend or even a week-long trip. These memories will last a lifetime. 

Make this season of gift giving meaningful with gifts that encourage a healthy lifestyle and contribute to other’s well-being. 

Big Retired Life doesn’t receive payment or affiliate revenue for these recommendations—They come straight from the heart. 

* I previously worked at Coursera and my husband currently works at Kiwico.

Diana Sunshine is the founder of Big Retired Life. She’s a mission-driven, community builder with 20+ years experience in EdTech, Fundraising, and Non-Profit management.

Throughout the “Sandwich Years” section of this blog, we will provide you support for launching children into adulthood while caring for aging parents.

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