We all have our struggles and need each other’s support when we’re in pain. That can mean simply listening about a crisis or sharing our own experiences. Or it could mean just reaching out to let them know you’re thinking about them. If you’re not sure what to say, try one of these gift ideas for a friend going through a hard time. They don’t have to cost much—they just need to come from the heart.
A Good Book
In times of grief, friends sometimes send or lend a self-help book that meant a lot to them. It’s always worth a shot—just don’t quiz them in case they haven’t read it. And consider more unexpected kinds of books: A great thriller that might take their mind off their troubles or a classic that you think might resonate with them. Maybe an inspirational coloring book—or one with flowery swear words—will help them relax a bit. A beautiful blank book is always helpful for venting feelings or even just making lists.
A Gemstone Gesture
You can be a rock in someone’s life, and you can let them know it by sending them one. Not a pet rock—unless you think it will make them laugh—but there’s a long tradition of gifting gemstones for good luck and other positive associations. Even if your friend doesn’t believe in the energy of stones, they’ll appreciate the meaning behind them. You could choose pink agate for overcoming heartache, for instance, or clear quartz for healing and clarity. Whether they’d most appreciate a simple bracelet, a fanciful gem tree, or a polished stone to keep in a pocket, it’s a gesture with meaning.
A Basket of Love
A pre-packaged basket is always an appreciated gift idea for a friend going through a hard time, especially if it’s not perishable. But it doesn’t have to be impressive or have an impeccable theme; it can be more of a “goodie bag” of things you think your friend would like. The best items are ones your friend would never buy for themself. You can try a gourmet chicken soup mix, a scalp massager for the shower, a milk frother, a squishy stress toy, a low-maintenance succulent, or a framed picture.
A Card or Letter
These days, the handwritten word is rare enough to count as a gift—and a very thoughtful one at that. Take a moment to jot down your sympathies, making it clear that you don’t expect a response unless they want to talk. It’s beneficial at any time—maybe even more so a few weeks or months later. If articulating those sentiments doesn’t come easy to you, spend some time in the greeting card aisle to find something that comes close. Then add, “This says it better than I could.”