To state the obvious, this year has not been good for anyone’s mental health.
A raging pandemic is causing anxiety and sadness; a racial reckoning is causing unrest for many — doubly so for Black Americans; and the 2020 election and associated political strife made an already stressful time more stressful.
As we look for ways to cope during 2020 and through this tough holiday season, many people could use gifts that help alleviate anxiety and increase self-assurance and a sense of calm. That’s not to mention the fact that we’ll likely need these helpful tools in 2021 as well.
Below are some holiday gifting ideas at a range of price points for those on your list who may be looking for a mental health boost.
A Light Therapy Lamp
Darker and colder days often mean a drop in mood, especially for the millions who suffer from seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Light therapy has been shown to combat this mental health issue, so this well-rated Carex SAD lamp for $112 will be a welcome gift for anyone who misses the sun’s rays in the winter.
A Talkspace Gift Card
Although it shouldn’t be this way, therapy is notoriously expensive. Talkspace, a digital therapy company, offers gift cards for 30-minute live video sessions ($79) and unlimited one-month messaging therapy ($260). All appointments are with licensed therapists who specialize in everything from anxiety and depression to queer issues. Its convenience (appointments are done by computer, tablet or phone) during the pandemic makes it a great 2020 gift.
These $15 beautifully designed I Am & Co cards keep their namesake promise: They provide anyone who needs an uplifting reminder (so, most of us this year) with 30 affirming statements, including “I am resilient” and “I am grateful.”
A Non-Slip Yoga Mat
A Calm Membership
Give your stressed-out friends or family a one-year premium membership to Calm, which costs around $70. The highly rated sleep, meditation and relaxation app allows members to learn mediation skills, mindfulness, gentle movement and more.
An Uplifting Poetry Book
Poetry written by some of the most affirming and uplifting poets of now is ideal for anyone who needs a mood boost. Rupi Kaur, Cleo Wade and Morgan Harper Nichols are known for their positive outlooks, calming voices and encouraging reminders and all have books available from around $7 to $15 for seasonal gifting.
A High-Quality Journal
Journaling has long been known to help with overall mental health, with benefits like helping identify stress triggers, cope with depression and manage anxiety. A high-quality journal, like this one from Shinola for $22, is a good gift for anyone looking to put their thoughts and worries on paper.
A Weighted Blanket
Try Baloo’s weighted blankets, which come in various weights and varieties (weighted blanket, weighted comforter and weighted throw). The products are available at different price points, starting at $149, and are praised for their breathable nature and sleek design. While different for everyone, some studies suggest that weighted blankets help with anxiety — and, even if that isn’t the case for all, they at least keep blanket users warm and cozy.
Fun Bath Accessories
Routines are important for mental health — they are proven to help with stress management and sleep patterns. Routine-encouraging gifts like the colorful (and vegan) bath bombs from Lotusbtr Body Care encourage a relaxing nighttime routine and range from around $5 to $10. Lotusbtr even has some seasonal bath bombs that are perfect for holiday gifting.
A Delicious And Calming Tea Collection
Tea can be another routine-encouraging present for a loved one who is dealing with stress. And whether the gift receiver chooses to start or end their day with a hot cup of tea, a routine’s a routine. With five varieties in the box, Pukka’s herbal collection of teas makes a great gift. Sets start around $21 for a pack of three; share the stress reliever with multiple loved ones.
A Restaurant Or Delivery Gift Card
For someone who is going through a hard time, cooking can feel like a burden. Alleviate a friend or family member from having to make a meal by purchasing them a gift card to their favorite local restaurant so they can order takeout. This gift is a twofer — it also benefits the restaurant industry, which is struggling through the pandemic.
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