February 20, 2024

Self-Care & Grieving: Gift Ideas to Nourish the Soul | laurelbox

by Lanna Britt

There is never a one-size-fits-all approach to grief. It usually feels like we are just stumbling through the dark trying not to slam our knee into the bedpost for the 10th time. Anyone else agree? In this blog, we’ll break down some grief tips to help you understand what you (or your loved one) may be experiencing as he or she navigates loss. We’ll also focus on self-care during grief and how important it is in the grieving process. Finally, we’ll offer unique gifts for mindfulness, gifts for the soul as well as self care gift ideas. For a refresher on The Importance of Self-Care During Grief, check out last summer’s blog. 

Understanding Grief

In case you aren’t familiar with the 5 stages of grief they are:

  • Denial - In the initial days of loss, you may be in shock and push back against the reality of your loved one’s death.
  • Anger - Once the numbness dissolves, feelings of frustration and anger may occur. These feelings can be directed at friends and family, yourself or even the deceased. 
  • Bargaining - We’ve probably all experienced a barrage of “What if…” or “If only…” thoughts that leave us wishing we could make a deal to change the outcome.
  • Depression - Reality sets in along with the overwhelming pain of the loss. You may begin to isolate yourself and even have trouble getting out of bed. 
  • Acceptance - At some point, you’ll begin to walk in this new life and find glimmers of hope as you take small steps forward. 

That entire process sounded exhausting, right? Trust me, it is. The emotional and physical toll grief takes on the mind and body is real. That’s why self-care is so important when coping with grief. 

Grieving and Self Care Gift Ideas

Let’s jump into some gifts for grieving individuals that focus on self-care. 

Mindfulness and Relaxation

  • Meditation and mindfulness apps - These New York Times reporters did the research and offer their favorites here
  • Aromatherapy candles and essential oils - Other than politics, there are few things more polarizing than essential oils (kidding, maybe). The billion dollar industry promises countless options to relieve stress and improve your mood. Whether you are a believer or not, a few drops of lavender could help calm your nerves. As for candles, we’re partial to the gorgeous memorial candles Laurelbox offers for any grief care package. 
  • Comfortable and soothing blankets or throws - For many, grieving in the winter is the perfect excuse to cozy up in a new blanket. Pottery Barn always has dreamy options or even consider a heated blanket

Journaling and Reflection

  • Guided grief journals - Check out this grief journal that is “designed with prompts to help you express your emotions, like ‘Write a letter to your loved one,’ ‘This always makes me think of you,’ and ‘In what ways do they live on in you?’”
  • Personalized journals or notebooks - Our vegan leather wrapped journal can include custom engraving to add another level of personalization and thoughtfulness. 
  • Art supplies for creative expression - Read this article “How to Use Art To Help You Cope With Grief” and then choose a creative outlet that speaks to you or you know your friend would like. 

Comforting and Nourishing Treats

  • Gourmet teas or coffees - There’s something calming about a warm cup of tea or coffee. Whether you are a tea snob or a coffee junkie, there are countless options. Don’t forget to include a mug. I’m partial to the bright ones made by Lilly Pulitzer that offer a sunny state of mind even during dark times. 
  • Healthy and comforting snacks - As you grieve, it can be easy to fall into the trap of unhealthy eating habits. Whether you forget to eat, or you can’t stop binging ice cream on the couch, having healthy snacks nearby is always a good idea to practice self-care while grieving. My entire family loves these That’s It fruit bars with no added sugar. Also consider nuts, popcorn or Liquid I.V. packets. 
  • Gift baskets with self-care items - Even before we lost our second son Cooper at full term, I remember delivering gift baskets to close friends who walked through miscarriage. Since our own grief experience, I’ve loved putting together self-care gift baskets that let the recipient know they are seen and loved. Grieving gifts like these can fit into any budget. Lower priced items include tissue boxes, gum, snacks and a card. Also, don’t forget the wine!

 A fun mug is always a good gift to put a smile on someone’s face. My Lilly Pulitzer mug (seen here at Christmastime) full of coffee is a welcome treat, even on hard days. 

Supportive Reading Material

  • Books on grief and healing - My go-to book is A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis. For those who have lost a child, Grieving The Child I Never Knew helped me immensely in the weeks following our loss. 
  • Inspirational and uplifting literature - Check out this Be Still Journaling Bible that is both beautiful and life-changing. I also appreciated I Will Carry You by Angie Smith. 
  • Personalized book recommendations based on the individual's interests - You know your friend best! 

Spa and Pampering

  • Spa gift certificates or self-care kits - Find a good local spot and send a gift card. You could also assemble a self care spa kit that includes things like cozy socks, eye mask, travel creams, chapstick and other beauty products similar to this Harry & David one. 
  • Relaxing bath products - The Laurelbox Be Still Shower Steamer set is a perfect addition to any pampering gift. 
  • Comfortable loungewear or robes - The softer the better! This lavender one from Land’s End looks extremely warm and snuggly. 

Personalization and Thoughtfulness

  • The importance of considering the individual's preferences and needs - Take a few minutes to think about your friend and their specific loss. What would they most need? What would bring her joy that she wouldn’t buy for herself? 
  • Customizing grieving gifts to reflect the person's unique personality - What are their hobbies or interests? Consider giving an experience instead of a physical gift. Take your music-loving friend to the symphony or plan a nearby getaway for the grieving relative who loves to travel. 
  • Encouraging a support system to contribute to the self-care journey - Enlist friends or co-workers to help plan a joint gift. Compile pictures and stories to share with your friend so they can create a special scrapbook. For long-distance support, record videos and send uplifting messages each day for a week. Remember, gifts for grieving don’t have to be expensive - they just need to be from the heart! 


We hope you’ve found this blog helpful in generating great self care gift ideas. It’s so important to support those around us grieving a loss and to encourage them to prioritize self-care during difficult times. As someone who has been on the receiving end of dozens of grief gifts, I fully believe in the healing power of thoughtful and personalized gifts. Years later, they bring a smile to my face, knowing they were sent with love. Now get out there and start sharing hope and healing! 


Lanna Britt was a national news producer in Washington DC for nearly a decade covering politics, breaking news and current events.  She now lives with her husband and three children in Richmond VA. She has two sweet babies she’ll meet again in heaven.

photo of a woman ( Lanna Britt ) with brown shlder length hair, in a light grey long sleeve shirt, smiling at the camera in front of a white stone wall
unique and custom


shop now
Personalized memorial


shop now