- By Donna Gregory Burch
Before I developed fibromyalgia, I loved to shop! I was one of those crazy people who got up before daybreak to get the best Black Friday deals and spent Saturdays in December at the strip malls. I loved the excitement of the crowds, the thrill of finding the right gift and all of the goodies waiting for me in the food court.
These days? Not so much. Traditional shopping is too much for my overworked nervous system: too many people, too much noise, too many lights, too much chaos.
I do most of my holiday shopping online now, snuggled up in my recliner with my favorite blanket and a kitty on my lap.
Last year, I published my first gift guide for fibromyalgia warriors, and I’m continuing the tradition this year. As I look at the items that made this year’s gift guide, I see a common theme among almost all of them: They’re all about comfort – something that’s often hard to come by when you live with fibro. I hope you enjoy browsing this year’s selections, and I’d love for you to share what’s on your holiday wish-list this year in the comments section! (This post includes affiliate links.)
Stocking stuffers (Under $20)
Avia Super Soft Low Cut Socks – I must have felt up the socks at a dozen or more stores over the past year looking for some ultra comfy socks. I finally settled on a 6-pack of these brightly colored Avia Super Soft Low Cut Socks from Walmart. If you’re more of a neutrals girl, they also come in black. These are a real treat for the feet, and the unexpected pop of color is kind of fun, too!
Calf Compression Sleeves – Aren’t these sexy? Well, I did warn you this year’s gift guide was about comfort, and these calf compression sleeves definitely fall into the function over style category. From time-to-time, I get excruciating shin pain, and these sleeves have been a lifesaver for me more than once. I’m not sure how they work, but pulling these sleeves on is sort of like giving my aching shins a warm hug, and they definitely take the edge off the pain.
Reusable hand warmers – I bought a set of reusable hand warmers like these at a local craft show last fall, and they really come in handy when my hands are freezing from the winter cold. I pop them in the microwave, and a few seconds later, it feels like I’m holding a little bit of sunshine in the palm of my hand.
Ancient Minerals Magnesium Lotion – No fibromyalgia gift guide would be complete without some sort of magnesium product. Magnesium is great for relieving all-over aches and pains. Ancient Minerals Magnesium Lotion comes recommended by fibromyalgia specialist and fellow fibro warrior Dr. Ginevra Liptan. I haven’t personally tried this particular brand yet, but magnesium lotion has been one of my top tools for fibro pain management for years. I would not be without it!
The FibroManual – Speaking of Dr. Liptan, she happened to put out one of the best fibromyalgia books ever (in my opinion) earlier this year. Because she has fibromyalgia herself, Dr. Liptan has a special understanding of how complicated and challenging treatment can be. I learned so much from her book, and you probably will, too! You can check out my previous interview with her here.
In the middle ($20-$50)
Tek Gear Wide Leg Lounge Pants – I’ve been obsessed with all things soft and comfortable this year, and these Tek Gear Wide Leg Lounge Pants fit the bill. I think I have about five pairs of these! When I was younger, I remember making fun of my mom (who also had fibromyalgia) because she always wore a uniform of stretchy pants and t-shirts. Now, 20 years later, I have my own uniform: these pants in midnight heather and – you guessed it – the softest t-shirt I can find. When you have fibro, life is uncomfortable enough as it is. Who has time for tight pants and scratchy shirts?
The Big One Super Soft Plush Throw – Keeping with the super soft theme, I bought two of these the Big One Super Soft Plush Throws in the red plaid this fall to replace my ratty old throws. True to their name, they are super soft, but lightweight so I don’t get overheated. My kitties love to snuggle up in them!
The Fay Farm Serenity CBD Lotion – I’ve been slowly transitioning to more natural beauty and body-care products this year. I won’t lie … I didn’t really want to give up my lotions from Bath & Body Works, but they’re loaded with ingredients I can’t pronounce and the strong scents had started to bother me. The Fay Farm’s Serenity CBD Lotion has been the perfect replacement. It has a light scent, natural ingredients and includes healing CBD oil and magnesium to battle those tough fibro aches and pains. You can read my full review here. (Enter the code FATIGUE at checkout for 10 percent off and free shipping.)
Big splurges ($200+)
Quell Wearable Pain Relief – This year, I had the opportunity to try out several higher-end fibromyalgia-related products in exchange for reviews on my blog. On Thanksgiving, I will say a little prayer of gratitude to the folks who developed Quell. This little device is a life changer! It is one of the only things that consistently knocks my pain down to a manageable level. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: If my Quell dies tomorrow, I will have another one ordered by the end of the day. I would not be without it! You can read my full Quell review here.
Healthy Line InfraMat Pro – If you’re one of those people who use heating pads or warm baths for managing fibromyalgia pain, then you will love this heated stone mat. As the stones warm up, they soften and soothe sore muscles. Plus, spending time on the mat is forced relaxation – something we probably all need. My mat has definitely helped me get through more than one high-pain day. You can read my full review here. (Enter the code fwf10 at checkout and receive 10 percent off!)
That’s it for this year, folks! What’s on your holiday wish list this year? What are your favorite fibromyalgia-related products? Feel free to share in the comments section!
Donna Gregory Burch was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2014 after several years of unexplained pain, fatigue and other symptoms. She covers news, treatments, research and practical tips for living better with fibromyalgia on her blog, FedUpwithFatigue.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Donna is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared online and in newspapers and magazines throughout Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania. She lives in Delaware with her husband and their many fur babies.