‘Tis the season to give gifts. ‘Tis also the season for trying to make the holidays “perfect,” fights with your family, cake and cookies everywhere, and other stressful holiday scenarios. Let’s face it, while this time of year can be magical in some ways, it can also be pretty tough for some people. To help ease the stress of the holidays, I’ve put together a holiday gift guide so you can use gift giving as a way to offer your loved ones a piece of mental wellness.
For Book Lovers:
I love everything Brene, but this guide to wholehearted living will always be my favorite. It’s a book that calls us out on the ways we stand in our own way and offers us alternative options to create connection instead of hide from it. Suggestion: Buying for a group of your girlfriends? This is a great book clubbing book. The gift becomes the book itself, the commitment to get together, and the conversation about each other’s journey to wholehearted living.
Big Magic is about creativity. While it’s obviously for people who identify as creative, it’s also a book for people who don’t realize they are creative (spoiler: after reading this book you come to know that everyone is creative). It’s not a “mental health” book per se, but creativity is a really important aspect of wellness. This easy read will get your gift recipient to think about their life in a new, creative light.
Spa Gift Card
I used to think gift cards were a lazy. But the more I work to declutter my life, the less I like “stuff” that I don’t really want. So I’ve changed my tune on gift cards, and a gift card a service like the spa sends a really great message: my gift to you is to take time for yourself. Tip: Choose a spa that has a variety of services so your person gets to decide how they spend their spa time.
A friend of mine gifted me a 52 lists book a few years ago, and I still open it from time to time to look it over. There are different lists in the series, but for mental wellness I recommend 52 Lists for Calm. Each week of the year has a different prompt the challenges you to think about calming strategies. At the end of the year you have a detailed guidebook to your calming strategies, and who doesn’t need that as a gift?
I subscribe to the belief that a blanket is a great gift for anyone. Blankets are soothing, comforting, decorative, and functional. Weighted blankets take the soothing and comforting part to the next level. This is a great gift to encourage moments of relaxation and decompression.
For Loved Ones:
The ‘Letters To’ books are a series where the gift giver writes letters to the recipient. The letters are written now, and then are open on specific dates in the future. They have a ton of different versions: Letters to My Daughter, Letters to My Son, Letters to My Friend, and SO many more. If you have someone on your list who is truly, deeply special to you and you want to let them know how important they really are, this is the gift for that. It’s therapeutic for the giver to collect and share their feelings and at the same time offers the recipient multiple letters conveying love, connection, and appreciation.
For Small Budgets:
Tried and true. A bath is one of the most widely accepted ways to decompress. The bath bomb enhances that experience – they look cool, they smell good, and holding them as they fizz up kind of makes you feel like a kid again, amiright?
Adult Coloring Books
Coloring can be a form of mediation. It gives us the space to slow down and get away from mindlessly scrolling through our phones in moments of boredom. Plus, there are coloring books for almost anything – mandalas, birds, landscapes – so you can make the gift a little more personal by choosing a coloring book filled with pictures you know they’ll enjoy.