When a loved one is struggling, it’s easy to feel helpless in the face of it. We want to snap our fingers and solve their problem, even though we know it’s not that simple.
Recently, a friend of mine was struggling with depression. It hurt my heart to know that they were feeling that way, and I wanted so badly to drop everything and rush to their aid. Unfortunately, I have responsibilities that take precedent–I’m a low income mother, and need to work so that I have a roof over our heads. Sitting at my desk, worry clouding my mind, a single spear of clarity came through: make them a care package.
Care packages are often overlooked as a powerful source of comfort and support for our struggling loved ones. When we aren’t able to drop everything to be with them in-person every moment of their life trials, we can give them something that will lend them our loving presence even when we can’t be there face to face.
Also, it’s just so stinkin’ satisfying to see their faces when you hand them that big bag of goodies. Honestly, the best way I’ve found to pull myself out of my own sad holes is to do something kind for someone else. In this way, compiling a care package, simple or complex, is a little bit of a selfish act as well. It makes me feel like I’m doing something right with my time in this world.
If you’re stuck for what to put in a care package, here are some ideas. Tailor them to suit their interests, and remember that when in doubt, homemade food is always a good option.
- Coloring book and markers
- Uplifting magazines
- Kid stuff – bubbles, noise putty, hot chocolate, et cetera
- Scented candles in a scent you know they like. For the care package I recently made, I chose a mint-basil candle, which had a pleasant fragrance that wasn’t overwhelming like many scented candles can be.
- Bodily self-care items like epsom salts, massage oil, bath bombs, moisturizers, and essential oils
- Super-ultra-soft blanket so the person can wrap themselves up and feel like they’re cuddled by a cloud
- Inspiring books that don’t include any messages along the lines of “just be happy.” My favorite choice is Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Suess.
- Delicious, comforting food like homemade bread, pastries, soups and stews, et cetera, tailored to their preferences/dietary restrictions
- Chocolate and Hot Chocolate
- Music CDs
- Games like puzzles, brainteasers, crossword books, sudoku, a deck of cards and a booklet of one-person card games, et cetera
- Aromatic herbs like lavender and rosemary, bundled up in a bouquet along with . . .
- Their favorite flowers
What are your favorite care package additions?