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My Wish List for Cozy and Healthy Living This Holiday Season

Living Well

November 29, 2023

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by Ashley Boynes Shuck

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Medically Reviewed by:

Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI

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by Ashley Boynes Shuck

•••••

Medically Reviewed by:

Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI

•••••

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Bezzy RA guide, Ashley Boynes-Shuck, shares 18 of her favorite items for the coming winter months.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s crucial to find moments of comfort and well-being, especially if you live with a chronic condition like rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Everyone has unique ways to unwind and stay happy and healthy.

I’ve put together my list of some personal must-have products for this holiday season. Whether you’re seeking some cozy self-care, pain relief, relaxation, fun hobbies, or a touch of luxury, I hope my wish list offers an array of options that might provide some joy for you too.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $25
  • $$ = $25–$75
  • $$$ = over $75
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18 gift ideas from Bezzy RA guide Ashley

1. For cozy evenings: Peanuts® VelvetLoft® Throw by Berkshire

  • Price: $$

This blanket offers optimal coziness with a charming Peanuts design of your choosing.

There’s nothing like snuggling up to a good book or movie under a warm, soft blanket. Plus, who can resist Snoopy?

As many Bezzy RA members know, I’m a huge fan of Peanuts, especially Snoopy. I always appreciate it when you share Snoopy graphics and memes with me!

2. For staying active: Niceday Under-Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser

  • Price: $$$

For those who crave a bit of exercise during downtime or while you’re working from home, this compact Niceday Under-Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser is honestly a game-changer. It fits seamlessly into many different home setups.

It’s so important to keep our joints active, especially during the winter months when exercising outside can be a bit too chilly.

3. For tasty nutrients: Suja Juice Drinks

  • Price: $

Essential nutrition in a yummy drink? Suja juices are my go to.

My favorite is the Uber Greens. It’s refreshing and a great way to boost your energy and overall health.

It’s good when you don’t have the time or energy to blend a drink or smoothie from scratch. With RA, you never know what days will be difficult, so convenience is key.

4. For restful sleep: The Purple Pillow

  • Price: $$$

A good night’s sleep is invaluable — especially if “painsomnia” ever gets you down. The Purple Pillow provides perfect head and neck support with its GelFlex Grid technology. You’ll go to sleep with your noggin supported and wake up feeling refreshed.

You might want to add a silk pillowcase too as it does wonders for your hair and skin.

5. For help getting to sleep: Dream pillow sleep aids with your favorite scent

  • Price: $

Enhance your sleep and catch some Zzz’s with soothing herbs, natural healing crystals, and fragrances from essential oils in unique dream pillows.

A dream pillow, also called a sleep satchel, is a sleep aid in a little pouch that combines herbal therapy with crystal healing. I first heard of these while marathoning a cheesy Hallmark show called “Good Witch,” so I looked them up online and fell in love. There are many options on Etsy, like this, or you can even make your own.

I’d recommend adding some cloves for extra comfort.

Please be sure to pay attention to any allergies or sensitivities you may have before placing one of these by your bedside or under your pillow. For instance, I can eat cinnamon, but the smell is too much for me and gives me a migraine headache.

6. For cuddly pain relief: Warmies Stuffed Animal Heating Pads

  • Price: $$

These Warmies Stuffed Animal heating pads are both cute and effective for soothing aches and providing comfort. They are fully microwavable and can even be chilled to provide cooling relief as well.

They’re scented and weighted for extra relaxation. Choose from a variety of cozy shapes, such as dogs and bears, for the perfect warm hug.

I have the sloth and added the golden retriever and elephant to my holiday wish list. Let the kid in you rejoice!

7. For soothing scents: Everspring Lavender and Bergamot Candles and Cleaning Sprays

  • Price: $

Everspring offers a range of soothing lavender and refreshing bergamot-scented products, including candles and cleaning sprays. They have other scents too, but the Lavender Bergamot combination is my personal favorite.

The power of pleasant scents is undeniable. These candles and cleaning sprays can transform your space into a haven of relaxation.

8. For some pampering: Burt’s Bees Gift Set

  • Price: $

A luxurious Burt’s Bees gift set is perfect for pampering yourself or a loved one.

Sustainably made with natural ingredients that are responsibly sourced, Burt’s Bees offers quality skin care perfect for the winter. This gift set provides a selection of their finest products to nourish your skin.

9. For relieving tension: Ashley Black’s FasciaBlaster

  • Price: $$

The FasciaBlaster by Ashley Black offers deep tissue myofascial massage to relieve tension and enhance mobility.

The myofascial are tissues that surround and support the muscles of your body. The FasciaBlaster helps to break up and relax stiff myofascia, increase circulation, and reduce inflammation.

The FasciaBlaster is a remarkable tool for targeting those stubborn areas that need attention. I use mine regularly and have it in two different sizes. I have RA, osteoarthritis, and dystonia, and for me, this FasciaBlaster feels really good to use.

But definitely consult your doctor or physical therapist before trying.

10. For a home spa day: Dr. Teal’s Pink Himalayan Foaming Bath

  • Price: $

Dr. Teal’s Foaming Bath with Pink Himalayan Salt transforms your bath into a soothing spa-like experience.

A long soak in a warm bath can melt away stress and help you unwind. It’s elevated my bath time into a luxurious self-care ritual.

11. For scrumptious lips: Cotton Candy ChapStick

  • Price: $

Keep your lips soft and sweet with this fun-flavored Cotton Candy ChapStick.

There’s no reason your lip balm can’t be both practical and delightfully whimsical and tasty.

12. For a cup of serenity: Tazo Calm Chamomile Tea

  • Price: $

Find serenity with a soothing cup of Tazo Calm Chamomile Tea. Sometimes a warm cup of tea is all you need to relax and unwind.

Bezzy RA members are always sharing their favorite herbal teas. From them, I’ve discovered so many new types, such as the Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief Tea that I often drink at night time.

13. For a calming aroma: An Essential Oils Diffuser

  • Price: $$

Transform your space with the power of essential oils using a high quality diffuser. Essential oils can create a calming atmosphere, and a reliable diffuser ensures a consistent and pleasant experience with aromatherapy benefits.

Be careful about the purity of your oils and be cautious about diffusing oils around pets or children. In fact, as a parrot owner, I know that many essential oils, perfumes, and scented candles can be toxic to many species of pet birds.

14. For the benefits of outdoors while indoors: Houseplants

  • Price: $–$$

Bring life and fresh air into your home with beautiful houseplants.

Houseplants not only purify the air but also add a touch of nature to your living space. As a “plant mom,” I have many in my sunroom, from succulents to a money tree, aloe, cacti, monstera, figleaf, and more.

15. For easy hair days: Scunci Hosiery Elastic Hair Ties

  • Price: $

Keep your hair in place with comfortable and stylish Scunci Hosiery Elastic Hair Ties.

These hair ties offer both functionality and fashion, ensuring your hair is secure without compromising your style. They are really easy to use, even during RA flares in my hands.

16. For comfortable style: Women’s Cuddl Duds® Ultra Cozy Cowlneck Tunic Top

  • Price: $$

Stay ultra-cozy with this cozy tunic top, perfect for lounging in comfort and style.

This top combines fashion with warmth, making it ideal for relaxed days at home. Really, any Cuddl Duds clothes are comfortable. They offer men and womens’ clothing options.

17. For cute lounging: Real Essentials 2 Pack: Women’s Pajamas Set

  • Price: $$

These pajama sets offer unbeatable comfort and are perfect for a peaceful night’s sleep or lounging around during your downtime. They come in a pack of two, and you can opt for long or short sleeve.

Last year, I also got my mom and aunt pairs of these for Christmas, and I have a few pairs myself (yet I’m still always wanting more). They don’t make you too hot but just warm enough. They are so soft, and easy to put on with arthritis.

18. For health and happiness: Prince of Peace Original Ginger Chews

  • Price: $

Satisfy your sweet tooth with these Prince of Peace Original Ginger Chews. These soft, chewy bites strike a perfect balance between sweet and spicy, with all of ginger’s great health benefits.

Individually wrapped for convenience, enjoy them at home or on the go for instant warmth and stomach comfort.

If you get nausea from RA medications, or an easily queasy stomach in general, these are a must-have — especially during holiday travels.

They taste so good and I’m slightly addicted. I could eat them by the pound!

Bonus item: Collector Barbie Dolls … or whatever your hobby is!

This one is pretty unique to me. I love collecting Barbie dolls. It allows me to indulge in nostalgia and discover the joy of unique, beautifully designed dolls.

I include this, though, as a placeholder for YOU. If you have a hobby or niche interest, make sure to add it to your wish list! Having things that bring you joy makes a world of difference when you live with a chronic condition.

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Cheers to creating a cozy holiday season

Whether you’re prioritizing self-care, gifting for others, or indulging in a cozy evening, these essentials will enhance your daily life during the winter holiday season and beyond. And they just happen to be some of my personal favorites.

Other products that Bezzy RA members have frequently mentioned enjoying include books and audiobooks, gardening tools, and topical salves and lotions, such as BioFreeze. What would YOU like to receive as a gift?

Medically reviewed on November 29, 2023


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About the author

Ashley Boynes Shuck

Ashley Boynes-Shuck is an author, advocate, and health coach based in Pittsburgh, PA. Despite living with RA for 25 years, and having other medical conditions too, Ashley has spoken to Congress, published three books, and even been tweeted by Oprah. She works for a tech startup, is a pet mom to three dogs, and enjoys birdwatching, concerts, playing instruments, and travel. In her free time she writes poetry and goes hiking with her American Ninja Warrior/schoolteacher husband Mike. Find her on her website, LinkedIn, or Instagram.

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