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Ideas for expressing gratitude to your caregiver

The season of thankfulness may be inspiring you to express your gratitude for your caregiver. Expressing gratitude helps your caregiver feel appreciated, but it also has health benefits for you, too.

Studies show giving thanks may help you cope with life after a blood or marrow transplant (BMT). That’s because it’s closely tied to your mental health, which means you’re more likely to:

  • Cope better with everyday stress
  • Show more resiliency
  • Have a quicker recovery from an illness

Expressing gratitude can help you build stronger relationships and friendships. 

Simple, creative ways to give thanks

When it comes to your caregiver, it may feel like saying “thank you” will never be enough. “Often, people think a thank you has to be this grand thing, when in reality it just has to be simple and from the heart,” explained Heather James, who manages communication between recipients and donors after BMT for Be The Match.

Get creative! Writing a thank you note can be very impactful, but it’s not the only way to say “thanks.” Do whatever works best for you and your caregiver. If you’d like to be more creative, “a good place to start is to think about something you both enjoy,” said Hailey Hassel, M.S.W., BMT Social Worker in our Patient Support Center.

Here are some ideas to spark your creativity:

  1. Cook a nice meal
  2. Create a playlist or piece of artwork
  3. Give a gift card to a coffee shop or favorite book store
  4. Contribute to their favorite charity in their honor
  5. Set aside time to do something you both enjoy

“Gratitude can be very helpful as you and your caregiver cope with and navigate life after transplant,” Hailey said. So, consider new routines for you and your caregiver to express your thankfulness for each other even after November.

For free information and support to help you thank your caregiver:

  • Read other creative ways to thank a caregiver.
  • Send a Be The Match e-card to say “thanks.” Personalize your message and let someone know the difference they’ve made in your life.
  • Find inspiration in “thank you” notes written for caregivers.
  • Get support if you’re struggling to feel thankful after a difficult BMT recovery.

Studies cited:

  1. Emmons, R. A., & Stern, R. (2013). Gratitude as a Psychotherapeutic Intervention. Journal of Clinical Psychology,69(8), 846-855. doi:10.1002/jclp.22020
  2. Lambert, N. M., Clark, M. S., Durtschi, J., Fincham, F. D., & Graham, S. M. (2010). Benefits of Expressing Gratitude. Psychological Science,21(4), 574-580. doi:10.1177/0956797610364003