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How to show appreciation, ways to celebrate

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It’s National Nurses Week, a time to show gratitude to those who carry the burden of one of the toughest and most important jobs. The days are long and the assignments can be harrowing. It means a lot for nurses to know that someone cares and appreciates all that they do. If you know a nurse, you can brighten their day by expressing how much they mean to you and the world. Here are some ideas for how you can show your appreciation.

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National Nurses Week is annually observed from May 6 to May 12. May 12 was selected because it’s the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is often attributed as the founder of modern nursing.

Send them an appreciation message

A message is an effective way to show your appreciation because it makes clear that you’re thinking of them and allows you to share why you appreciate them and how much you do. A short note can be given with any other gift. Most often it’s in the form of a card, but it can also be attached to a gift such as a bouquet or even sent in a text. No matter how you go about sending the message, it will go a long way in brightening up their day.

Bake them homemade treats

Using one of our favorite hand mixers or stand mixers, you can bake a delicious treat for the nurse that you know. Whether you decide to make cookies or a cake, we’re sure they’ll appreciate the thought and effort that went into their delectable gift. Not to mention, it can provide them with comfort after a long day.

Treat them to a meal

Another way to show your appreciation is to treat them to a savory meal. You can take them out to a restaurant or you can make them a meal yourself and send them home with leftovers to bring to work. If you’re doing the latter, you can organize it in one of our favorite bento boxes. If you’re going for style, we recommend the Umami Bento Box.

Give them a sleep mask

Give a nurse you know the gift of rest.

Nurses work long hours at various times of the day. Often, if they hope to get any sleep, they’ll have to do so while the sun is out. Buying them a quality sleep mask will help them get their well-needed rest no matter how bright it is. The best sleep mask we’ve tested is the one sold by Mzoo. It blocks light well, it’s easily adjustable and it doesn’t put uncomfortable pressure on your eyes.

$22 from Amazon

Gift them a weighted blanket

Take relaxation to the next level with our favorite weighted blanket.

If you want to help your favorite nurse get some well-needed rest, consider getting them a weighted blanket. Evidence shows that weighted blankets improve sleep. To give the gift of shut eye, we recommend our favorite weighted blanket sold by Gravity. The Gravity Blanket is long-lasting, easy to clean and comfortable thanks to its evenly distributed weight.

$250 from Gravity

Show your love with flowers

Nothing says "appreciation" quite like flowers.

A particularly beautiful way to show your appreciation is by way of a flower bouquet. If you’re going by the language of flowers, pink roses are one of the flowers associated with appreciation, but we’re certain your recipient will love any kind you give them. 1-800 Flowers is an excellent place to buy flowers. Not only do they have many flowers to choose from, but you can also pair those flowers with other wonderful gifts.

$52 from 1-800 Flowers

Provide them with much-needed coffee

Coffee is great fuel for a long day.

With long nights and early mornings, many nurses run on caffeine to keep themselves going to power through their long shifts. They’ll appreciate having a way to brew their own delicious cups of coffee from the comfort of their homes. For a method that’s great for brewing in a rush, we recommend getting them a single-serve coffee maker. Our favorite is the Nespresso VertuoPlus as it’s compact, brews quickly and has a double espresso option for an even bigger jolt of caffeine.

For the nurse that likes grabbing their coffee on the go, you can buy a gift card to one of their favorite coffee shops like Starbucks. If you don’t want to make them lift a finger, you can visit them at work and bring them coffee yourself. They’ll love the gesture and will get the fuel they need to last the rest of the day.

$199 from Amazon Shop Starbucks gift cards

Give them a travel mug

Coffee is only as good as its mug.

For a nurse on the go, their coffee is only as good as their travel mug, so make sure they can enjoy their coffee by only buying them the best. That would be the Zojirushi SM-KHE48. It holds the distinction of our favorite travel mug because it’s easy to carry and, most importantly, it keeps drinks piping hot for hours.

$29 from Amazon

Bring comfort to their home with candles

With Scent Lab, you can give a nurse a candle suited to their tastes.

Candles are another great way to wind down after a long day. Whether you use them for ambiance in the tub or just use them as a softer form of light, candles provide a relaxing atmosphere. We loved the candle we tried from Scent Lab and we’re sure your favorite nurse will love them too. The candles are based on scents you like, so just find a way to nonchalantly ask them what their favorite smells are and get to shopping.

Shop Scent Lab

Treat them to a massage

There's nothing like a foot massage after standing all day and night.

Another gift to consider for the nurse who stands on their feet all day is a foot massager. The best one we’ve tested is the Renpho RF-FM059R. It will treat them to a therapeutic massage experience thanks to its versatile intensity options and relaxing heat. For a budget-friendly option, we recommend the Best Choice Products Therapeutic Foot Massager. While it lacks heat, it still feels great and still offers multiple massage options.

If you feel like splurging, you could treat them to an actual spa day if your budget allows it. They’ll love the break away from work and the relaxation it provides. Plus, you could join them, too, if you want to be a part of their special time off.

$140 from Amazon $90 from Amazon

Upgrade their bath time with bath bombs

Bath bombs are the bomb.

The only thing better than sinking into a hot bath after being on your feet for hours is sinking into a scented, colorful bath that leaves you moisturized. That’s exactly what our favorite bath bomb set does. We love LifeAround2Angels bath bombs because they make your bath smell great, leave your skin feeling moisturized and don’t stain the tub when you’re done.

$21 from Amazon

Donate blood to a nearby blood bank

Part of a nurse’s job is administering blood to those who need it. One way to show your appreciation for nurses is by volunteering to donate blood if you’re eligible. It can save lives and makes work easier for your nurse. Using the Red Cross’ website, you can easily find out where and when you can give blood near you.

Give the gift of slippers

Give a nurse's feet a break with a pair of comfortable slippers.

Have your nurse slip their feet into something comfortable for a change when they get home by buying them a pair of slippers. For women, the best pair of slippers you can buy is the Ugg Scuffette II. The Scuffettes make the top of our list because they’re stylish, comfortable and have soft fur lining. For men, the best pair of slippers is L.L. Bean Men’s Venetian Wicked Good Slippers. They feature soft sheepskin and warm fur lining to make for a luxurious-feeling shoe.

$95 from Amazon $89 from Amazon

Get a first-aid kit

Use a first aid kit to patch yourself up from minor injuries instead of having a nurse do it.

You can show your appreciation toward a nurse by taking care of yourself with a first aid kit, meaning you’ll be one less person a nurse will have to treat in their hectic day. Protect Life 100-Piece First Aid Kit is one of the best first aid kits you can buy. It has all the basic essentials you’d expect in a first aid kit. While it’s compact and lightweight, it’s also big enough that additional materials can fit inside.

$15 from Amazon

Help them wind down with Disney+

There's so much to watch on Disney+.

If you’re looking for another way to help a nurse enjoy their time off, you can gift them a streaming service subscription. Watching shows and movies is a great way to unwind and disconnect after a long and tiring day. One of the most popular streaming services out there is Disney+. With dozens of shows and movies on the platform, the nurse in your life won’t be running out of things to watch anytime soon.

Stream Disney+

Get Red Cross certified

Another way to show your appreciation for nurses is to help others from having to go to the hospital by administering first aid and other crucial, emergency procedures. Of course, you shouldn’t do this if you haven’t been properly trained. Fortunately, through the Red Cross, you can become certified to perform various procedures such as CPR.

Take care of your body

Keep your body fighting fit so a nurse won't have to see you as often.

In addition to helping others, you can show your appreciation toward a nurse by making their job easier by taking proper care of yourself. This will reduce the chances of a nurse needing to help you down the line (besides regular checkups, of course). There are many ways to do this, from eating healthier, nutritious meals to exercising regularly.

Consider using a blender to make nutritious smoothies with fruits and vegetables. The best blender we’ve tested is the Cuisinart Hurricane CBT-1500P1. It makes smooth drinks quickly, crushes ice evenly and has intuitive controls.

You can also opt to live healthier by drinking more water (especially if you’re exercising). Carry around a reusable water bottle such as our favorite, the Brita BB11 Premium Filtering Water Bottle, which we love because of its insulation, powerful filter and ease of use.

If you’re looking to get your nutrition by cooking healthy meals, we recommend picking up the best slow cooker, the Cuisinart 6-Quart 3-in-1 Cook Central Multicooker. It keeps food at the perfect temperature, is easy to carry and easy to clean.

$30 from Amazon $190 from Amazon $160 from Walmart

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