A gift for a friend Blog by Sophie Fox We receive so many different queries and concerns on the Helpline, each of them just as important as the other. This made choosing just one to share very difficult! I decided to go with one which was less about the hardships of the condition and more about how important caring and support from friends and family is. This lady wanted to buy her friend, who had been newly diagnosed, a gift package to cheer her up. So, I’ve put together the best ideas to help a friend in need. You can also take some of these ideas and spoil yourself, as we all know that you can’t give a gift from an empty basket. Practical presents There are several things we suggest doing to help relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). While these do not work for everyone and are not a total fix, they do provide comfort for those days where you just need some rest! Heat therapies can help increase blood flow and stimulate the sensory receptors to block the transmission of pain signals to the brain. For this reason, a great present would be a heat pad or a hot water bottle. Another device that can help with blocking pain receptors is a TENS machine. These can be purchased online and in most pharmacies. A relaxing evening One of the most important things to do when living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is to take the time for self-care. For some people with RA, it is a massive achievement to be able to go to work, out with friends and take part in activities. Therefore, it is essential to take the time to rest and recover so they can continue to go out and do these things. A great present idea for this is a pamper evening. Things like books, films, bath products or anything that someone can use to make a night relaxing and stress-free. It can be tempting to book a day spa or pamper session for them but having something they can do at home when they need it most will make it even more relaxing! NRAS Gifts Of course, I must throw in a reference to some of the things that we can offer to help! We have a range of publications available as hard copies that could be a great addition to a gift basket. We also have a selection of items in our shop which could make it in there too. Another gift idea which shows a lot of thought and understanding is an NRAS Membership – look at all our new Membership packages. Take care of others and yourself A common feeling amongst our callers is the sense of loneliness and isolation. Even with the most supportive family and friends it can be hard for people to really appreciate what they are going through. If you know someone that has been diagnosed with RA, then putting together a gift basket or care package is a great way of showing that you care. It is also important to remember that this does not have to be a gift for someone else, it can also be something that you take the time to do for yourself! What are your own tips for gifting someone who is living with RA? Do you have any recommendations on gift packages for friends with RA, we would love to hear your thoughts! Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and be sure to follow us for more future blogs and content on RA.