5 Self-Care Gifts For Your Highly Stressed Friends


For many people, this past year has illuminated the need for slowing down and taking care of their own mental well-being. Consider giving the gift of self-care to your loved ones this holiday season with one of these thoughtful presents sure to give a mental health boost!

1) Happy Reading

Books & magazines are a great way to decompress. What’s more, reading challenges you to grow, gives you different perspectives, explores new information, and can improve your memory. I am a long-time reader of Psychology Today, a magazine that takes information from the latest research in the field of psychology and makes it useful to people in their everyday life. Another great option is to gift a book that focuses on overall wellness, self-development, and/or a specific mental health issue. Very Well Mind put together a list of books curated by mental health professionals designed to improve habits, set goals, and overcome anxiety.

2) Virtual Subscription

If you know anyone who is having trouble sleeping or is under a lot of stress, you could gift them a subscription to mindfulness apps like Calm or Headspace. Both are highly rated sleep, meditation, and relaxation tools that teach mediation skills, mindfulness, and grounding techniques. Research shows that utilization of these types of skills promotes mental wellness.

3) Massage

Consider giving a gift certificate for a relaxing massage. Massage therapy has been known to lower stress, decrease anxiety, and reduce irritability. Along with increasing brain serotonin and dopamine, the combination of these effects can lead to a happier, more relaxed individual. It’s also great for your physical health since it helps relax muscles, release tension, increase flexibility, and improve circulation. 

4) DIY Self-Care Basket

If you frequent social media sites like Pinterest, then you’ve probably come across hundreds of ideas for making your own self-care basket. Self-Care baskets are great because when someone is emotionally overwhelmed, it can be hard to think of activities to relieve distress in the moment. Having a basket of tools on-hand can make relaxing much easier.  If you are going to make a self-care basket, you can include fun items such as 

  • A journal and pen
  • Mandalas or an adult coloring book
  • Teas like chamomile, lavender, or peppermint
  • Essential oils, such as lavender or orange
  • Photographs of happy moments together
  • A heartfelt, handwritten note
  • Bath bombs or shower gel
  • Body lotion and/or moisturizer
  • Fuzzy Socks
  • Fidget Toys
  • A Weighted Blanket

5) “Give-Back” Gift

Giving back to the community not only makes the world a slightly better place but also lifts your spirits. Consider donating to a cause that your friend believes in, or schedule a time to volunteer together at a cause or organization that you are both passionate about. Wondering how to find volunteer opportunities in your community? Volunteer Match lists volunteer opportunities by location and cause.

The more we speak out about mental health and encourage mental wellness, the more we normalize the stress that undoubtedly touches us all. And inspiring hope and support — especially in someone who needs it — is an incredible gift to give, year-round.



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