I like giving gifts, and I like to put some thought and intention behind every gift that I give. Every year, I struggle to think of a suitable gift for my mom, because she’s a bit difficult to buy for — she never wants anything and is perfectly content with what she’s got (and if she’s not, she’ll never admit it). She’s got hobbies that don’t exactly inspire the best gifts (I’m pretty sure she’s done all the Sudoku in the world) and she doesn’t go out much since (admittedly, like me) she’s an introvert and a dedicated homebody.
Does anybody else struggle with what to get Mom on those special days? Thankfully the spa industry usually comes to the rescue. There is always something health and wellness-related, beauty-related or gift-certificates to some amazing places when we start with the spa in mind.
The Struggle Gift
I found that it helps to think of a gift when you think of Mom’s latest struggle. How can I help with that? I live over 2000 miles away from my mother, and because I can’t help her in person (not that she would accept that anyway!) my standby for helping with a struggle is a good old-fashioned spa gift certificate.
For the past year or so my mom has been undergoing cancer treatment. She has just finished her last round of treatment and is feeling pretty good in addition to being cancer-free. A couple of years ago we learned about spa therapies and massage for cancer patients and survivors through Wellness for Cancer, an organization that teaches spas how to deliver safe and nurturing services to clients who have experienced cancer. So now I know what to look for when searching for cancer-related spa therapies — spas and practitioners who really understand how to treat the side effects of cancer, not treat the disease itself. If you want to search for a “cancer aware” spa near your mom, enter the term “cancer aware” under services in a search on SpaFinder.com.
If your mother is struggling with something, maybe it’s more than a spa day fix, but I think every effort we put into putting us on the path to wellness is worth it. Maybe she just needs a day to herself where her hardest decision is the sauna or the steam room? Or could a relaxation massage help her de-stress and bring her some calm? Any time spent at the spa would hopefully be a much-welcome and appreciated gift.
The Gift of Aromatherapy
My current favorite saying is “there’s essential oil for that.” Pharmaceutical drugs are my last resort (i.e. I might die if I don’t take them) and essential oils are my first choice for any kind of minor ailment, mood enhancer or house and home need in my life. Need first aid for cuts, bruises, bug bites? Check! Aphrodisiac? Check! Check! Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer or all-purpose cleaner? Check and check.
A super easy way to bring the spa home is to turn a shower into a eucalyptus steam room with a eucalyptus spray. Our all-time favorite eucalyptus shower spray products are by EuroSpa Aromatics because they are 100% pure eucalyptus oil (no fillers, dilutions or fake stuff) and they have several different “infusions” that have different effects. I shower at night and love to use the lavender infusion to help me relax. The eucalyptus has the added bonus of helping me clear my head and sinuses. The great thing about these ShowerMist sprays is that since they are pure oils, you can use them like you would other pure essential oils from high-quality oil purveyors — today I used the Citrus infusion, which is citrus oil plus pure eucalyptus, to treat a bug bite on my leg.
If your mom is more into baths or could benefit from aromatherapy in other ways, I highly recommend any essential oils from Eden’s Garden. Aside from EuroSpa Aromatics, this is my one-stop-shop for essential oils and aromatherapy advice. Not only do they have pure, singular oils in different variations (just do a search on their site for lavender, to see what I mean) but they have a ton of different blends and in various sizes. They are also super affordable. Did I mention they have super pretty gift sets? You can choose a set from their combinations or design your own. I think many moms might like a Good Night, some Tranquility and lots of Bliss, don’t you think?
A great basic essential oil for any medicine cabinet is just pure Lavender oil, so if you’re stuck for ideas, Lavender is your go-to. Lavender has been used for thousands of years for a variety of uses — for calming, pain relief, antibacterial/antifungal, anti-inflammatory, insect repellent, to treat burns, relieve menstrual cramps, help insomnia…the list goes on. Get mom a bottle of pure Lavandula angustifolia to use at bedtime or in the bath as a holistic way to wind down and relax.
The Gift of Beauty & Aesthetics
This year, beauty and aesthetics-related gifts for my mom are related to her struggle with cancer. The first thing I found for her was from RevitaBrow, which is a sister product to RevitaLash. Dr. Michael Brinkenhoff developed a lash conditioner to help “revitalize” eyelashes after watching his wife struggle with hair loss after chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer. The name of their company, RevitaLash Cosmetics, was inspired by their mission to “revitalize the mind, body and spirit” and natural beauty of all women. Part of the proceeds from product sales go directly towards breast cancer research and educational initiatives.
Both RevitaBrow and RevitaLash contain ingredients that condition brows and lashes which strengthen the hair, defending them from breakage and brittleness. When hair is strong, it can grow with has less breakage from applying makeup and washing your face. I like what RevitaLash is doing because they use a combination of scientifically-advanced technology and natural botanicals, and donate some of their profits to fight breast cancer.
Since we all know beauty comes from within, a good place to start for any gift is with food. My mom has always eaten well for someone from a third-world country and from the Baby Boomer generation — she’s been pretty good at avoiding processed food, high fructose corn syrup and other refined sugars, and always made (and still makes) meals from scratch.
But during her cancer fight, she needed a boost to keep inflammation down and make sure she was getting all the nutrients she needed to help her body fight. So I introduced her to juicing and got her a juicer that would make it easy for her to make juice quickly. I also gave her a list of cancer-fighting ingredients to add to her juices. While juicing might not exactly sound spa-related, self-care and wellness are now concepts that are fully integrated into the spa world, and so many spas nowadays offer fresh juices to their guests because they know the power of fresh fruits and vegetables to keep a body healthy.
I hope this post gave you some ideas on how to give gifts with intention that your mom (or anybody in your life) will love and appreciate. Happy Mother’s Day to all the badass moms out there who are giving it their all, and to all the moms who aren’t with us today — we’re sending you our love and remembering your badassery as well.