Woman sitting on the ground using a zen garden on the coffee table

Gift Guide for Mental Well-Being 

Managing stress and anxiety is a constant challenge. The holiday season can add extra pressures. This year consider ways to support the mental well-being of your friends and loved ones. It can be through small actions like phone calls or text messages to check in – or with bigger gestures of a card or a gift. 

Often, a person struggling with stress and anxiety may feel alone and overburdened with their emotions – which only complicates their ability to overcome those feelings. As a friend or family member, you can show them they’re not alone by connecting with them and encouraging them to practice self-care. Here are some gift ideas to support mental health and well-being. 

Gifts to Alleviate Stress  

Massage: Whether it’s a gift card to a spa or an option at home like a special chair or wand – massage can be a great way to help someone relax and unwind.  

Sound machines: Stress and anxiety can disrupt your sleep patterns. Getting enough sleep, and establishing a solid sleep routine, is a big part of helping your body manage the stresses of the day. White noise from a sound machine can help the mind turn off so the body can rest.  

Exercise gear: Exercise is a great stress reliever. Physical activity can help the body regulate its processes and hormones, like stimulating the production of feel-good endorphins. Consider gifting new running or walking shoes, a yoga mat, a gift certificate to an exercise studio or a gift card to a sporting goods store. 

Sensory items: We are all familiar with stress balls, but there are some new items on the market to consider that offer other sensory benefits. Calm Strips are relatively new and can help you manage your anxiety. They’re adhesive strips you can put anywhere – like your phone or laptop – that have textures on them. The act of touching the textured strip is meant to calm your stress or anxiety and redirect negative behaviors like picking the skin or biting nails.  

Highly popular – especially among children – right now are bubble poppers: silicone trays or bracelets that are the latest fidget toy. They have rows of small bubbles that can be popped back and forth – providing a safe, satisfying outlet for anxious energy. 

Sand trays, desk-sized Zen gardens and even kinetic sand are also great ways to engage your sense of touch and distract your mind from the stress at hand. 

Gifts to Soothe Anxiety  

Art and craft supplies: From coloring books to paints and canvases, art can be meditative and calming. Consider a gift card to a craft store for the avid crafter, or a nice set of colored pencils or watercolors with a thick pad of paper for the beginner.  

Aromatherapy: Scents like lavender can help you relax, which contributes to reduced stress or anxiety. A diffuser and essential oil set or lotions are great ways to support someone’s self-care routine. 

Journal: Writing down thoughts and feelings is a great way to track and manage your emotions. It helps you process what you’re feeling and give yourself an outlet for thoughts that you might not feel OK saying out loud.  

Weighted blanket: Heavier than a traditional blanket, the added comfort of a weighted blanket can help the body relax as it mimics the feeling of an embrace. They can help you fall asleep – especially if you’re usually restless or anxious at night, which contributes to a healthier sleep routine. 

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Photo credit: Getty Images

 

 

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