Living through the pandemic for nearly two long years has actually given us opportunities to make our lives easier. Some new products and services out there can also make great gifts for friends and loved ones. If you are in a giving mood and looking for ideas, here are some suggestions.
1. Virtual assistants. Many of us are working on multiple projects during this time, and personally, I was getting overwhelmed keeping it all organized, so I reached out to a verified VA through LinkedIn.
I spend a lot of time working on social media, and she has helped me stay on track, taught me some things and made it much easier by just lightening the load with a few clicks. VAs are also not very expensive.
2. Professional organizers. Because I am working from home, seeing clients, the house needs to stay in order and be clean at all times. It’s also a social center because we hardly leave the place these days.
Getting a professional organizer to help you create some extra space or to make it easier to find everything you need can save you hours of frustration. Just one session can make a big difference. For $25-$75 per hour, you can get a good one on wyzant.com. This would make a great gift for anyone in need of this kind of help.
3. Robot mop and vacuum. Most all of us are a little more germ-conscious than in the past, and being able to keep the house looking like it has a daily maid service has really helped. A robot mop and vacuum work great, they’re easy to program on your phone, and they do a great job. Research it, and you won’t be sorry.
We even named ours (Snowpiercer the mop and Rosie the Roomba). Both came from Costco. If you’re thinking of buying this as a gift to your partner (and yourself), consider that it will pay for itself over time (especially if you’ve been hiring a housekeeping service).
4. The electric bicycle. This invention has changed my exercise routine mostly because it’s just plain fun!
I can ride 30 miles, see a lot of nature, and I’m exercising the whole time, but it doesn’t feel like it. I keep it on pedal-assist, so I have to do my part, but honestly it doesn’t feel like I’m working out.
Once I hop on, I’m like a kid riding my bike through the neighborhood, and I am getting plenty of exercise without even thinking about it.
By the way, you can spend thousands on one of these. Mine was $599 on Amazon, and it came with a basket for my dog. This might make a great gift for your sweetheart.
5. Walking poles. I have seen people walking with poles the past couple of years and thought I’d give it a try. It’s really quite nice.
Your upper body gets a workout as well as your legs, and you feel a little like you’re trekking through the Himalayas. It adds another dimension to my daily walks, breaks up the routine, and helps in fending off any aggressive geese coming my way. From $20 to $100 on Amazon.
Making life easier and healthier has become a priority for many of us. Anything that can help us feel better and get more done in the new year is a great gift.
And remember, it’s always better to give than to receive.
Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., is an award-winning therapist and humanitarian. He is also a columnist, the author of seven books, and a blogger for PsychologyToday.com with nearly 27 million readers. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears Sundays and Wednesdays in the News-Press.