7 Thoughtful Self-Harm Recovery Gift Ideas
When you’re in recovery, you measure progress not by time or distance, but by milestones. If you know someone working through this process, a self-harm recovery gift can be a nice way to show your support and celebrate these milestones together.
Before Buying a Self-Harm Recovery Gift, Consider This
With gift shopping season approaching (or already long since upon us, depending on who you ask), it may be tempting to dive right in and start shopping the moment inspiration strikes. But before you jump headfirst into buying a self-harm recovery gift for a loved one, carefully consider the following:
- What is your relationship to this person? While someone very close to you may deeply appreciate your thoughtfulness, someone you may know only casually may feel taken aback by such a personal gift. Keep gifting of this nature to close friends and family, to be safe.
- How open are they about self-harm? Someone who is fully « out » will likely be open to a recovery gift, but someone who has trouble opening up about it may not be ready for such a gesture. Likewise, it is best not to give someone a recovery-specific gift if they have not yet discussed their recovery with you directly.
- Where will they open this gift? If you are not absolutely sure they have disclosed their history with self-injury with others who may be present, it is far better to give such a gift in privacy to avoid accidentally « outing » them.
- Where are they in their self-harm journey? Make sure you know that they are actively working toward recovery before you buy them a gift to celebrate. If they have just relapsed, or if they are not yet on the path to recovery, a « recovery gift » may unintentionally come off as mocking, pushy, or insensitive.
Remember, as nice as it feels to give a gift, giving is about bringing joy to the recipient, not to yourself. If you are not sure that a gift specifically to celebrate recovery will be well-received, do not force one on your loved one. Instead, focus on other ways you can offer more subtle support and encouragement. Let them know that you are there for them, and be ready to listen when they need to talk. These things are far more important than anything money could buy them.
7 Self-Harm Recovery Gifts to Buy for Friends or Family
If you are sure that your friend or family member will be open to your gift, it’s time to consider what you want to give them. While you know your loved one best, here are a few ideas that will hopefully spark your imagination:
- Books. Memoirs and novels that deal with self-harm recovery in a realistic but hopeful light can be a huge source of comfort and inspiration for someone walking that same path to recovery themselves. Just be sure the book you buy places its emphasis on healing, not on glorifying the act of self-harm itself.
- Fidget toys. Easily hidden in a pocket or bag, fidget spinners and their ilk can become a quick and easily transportable means of coping with triggers, cravings, and intrusive thoughts.
- Self-care items. Fuzzy socks, fancy soaps, aromatherapy oils, a memory foam pillow―self-care plays a major role in recovery, which makes items like these ideal recovery gifts.
- A journal. Many people find journaling and other writing exercises incredibly helpful tools for healing.
- Arts and crafts supplies. Like writing, art can be incredibly therapeutic. Even if your loved one isn’t particularly artistically inclined, a nice adult coloring book, paint-by-numbers set, or craft project can make for a welcome distraction.
- Compression socks or sleeves. Depending on the type and severity of self-injury, nerve pain can be a lasting result of the damage caused by hurting yourself. Compression socks and sleeves can provide some relief, and come in many colors and patterns.
- Motivational accessories. A bracelet or dog tag necklace with an inspiring quote can serve as a stylish reminder for your loved one that hope and support is always within reach.
If you are walking your own road to recovery as well, you may also want to consider rewarding yourself with a self-harm recovery gift. Even if no one else is privy to your experience at this time, it’s important to celebrate your own victories. Even the smallest step forward is still a step in the right direction, and deserves to be recognized as such.
Have you ever given or received a self-harm recovery gift? What do you think would be an ideal gift to celebrate a recovery milestone? Feel free to share your ideas and suggestions in the comments; we look forward to reading them.