20 Self Care Gifts for Anyone Looking to Prioritize Their Mental Health
This has been a year and understandably, a lot of us are feeling burnt out as 2020 comes to a close. So chances are, quite a few of the people on your list could use a mental health pick-me-up this holiday season. Lucky for you, we’ve talked to some therapists, read through a few studies and scoured the internet for presents that are bound to make anyone feel better—no matter what they’re going through. Here, 20 self care gifts for anyone looking to prioritize their mental health.
1. Casper 15-Pound Weighted Blanket
Shopping for your perpetually anxious bestie or your insomniac self? Then you can’t go wrong with a weighted blanket. Their soothing pressure has been shown to reduce anxiety and help you stay asleep through the night.
2. Intelligent Change the Five-Minute Journal
As the name implies, filling out this journal takes up just five minutes of your stressed out sister-in-law’s day. Every morning, she’ll be prompted to reflect on three things she’s grateful for and write down what would make the day great, plus an affirmation for the day. Then in the evening, she’ll be asked to write down three amazing things that happened that day and something that she could have done to make the day even better. According to reviewers, it makes adopting a more positive mindset a total breeze.
4. Otherland Daybed Scented Candle
Sarah Powers, LCSW, therapist at Tia, says candles are a great self care gift. When you give it to your friend or loved one, she suggests recommending that they create a ritual where any time they light the candle, it means it’s time for some self-care. This Otherland one has a light, floral scent that’s universally appealing.
5. GenCrafts Watercolor Set
Psychotherapist and relationship expert Gin Love Thompson says that doing anything creative, including painting with watercolors, can help calm the mind. So why not gift this set to your work wife who’s always saying she needs some “me time”? It includes 48 different watercolor paints, two brush pens and 15 sheets of watercolor paper, aka everything she needs to start her new hobby.
6. Affirmators! Affirmation Cards to Help You Help Yourself - Without the Self-Helpy-Ness
Sure, affirmations can be kind of cheesy—but these aren’t. Instead, they’re clever statements that are bound to make your gift recipient chuckle when they read them out loud.
7. Real Therapy Pathway Experience
One of the best ways to prioritize your mental health is, of course, going to therapy. And right now, therapy startup Real is offering three months of membership to its program for $95. Sounds like the perfect present for someone who’s been talking about finding a therapist.
8. The Sill Monstera Deliciosa
According to a study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, interacting with houseplants can actually reduce feelings of stress and make you feel more soothed. Which means not only will this Monstera look great in Gram’s living room, it’ll actually help her feel more relaxed.
9. Florensi Meditation Cushion
Similarly, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that meditation can ease symptoms of anxiety, depression and pain. So practicing it on the reg could actually have a positive impact on mental health. Our advice? Give your best friend who’s always forgetting to use her Calm app a meditation cushion so she has no more excuses.
10. Sagely Naturals Calm & Centered CBD Roll-On Essential Oil
Essential oils can serve as a reminder to slow down, take some deep breaths and get back in tune with your body, says Lindsey Wirht, LMSW, therapist at Tia. She notes that using essential oils can be especially helpful before bed. Yeah, we’re definitely going to gift this CBD-infused roll-on to our partner who’s always tossing and turning.
Buy It ($30)
11. Therabox Self Care Subscription Box
Each shipment of this subscription box contains a research-inspired therapeutic activity, plus six to eight wellness goodies designed to spark joy and decrease stress. Oh, and did we mention it’s totally curated by therapists?
12. Mindfulness Card Set
This colorful box is packed with over 50 different prompts and exercises that fall into one of four categories: Rest and balance, curiosity and joy, insight and awareness and kindness. Each card encourages you to be in the moment, while also introducing you to new self care practices. Yup, your mom’s going to love it.
13. Madewell (Re)sourced Fleece Jacket
“The physical comfort of a sweater can also bring emotional comfort, which is key when you are in need of some self care,” explains Powers. She recommends gifting anyone in your life who’s working on their mental health a cozy sweater or sweatshirt, like this fleece one, to make them feel a little more at ease.
14. Little Words Project Hope Bracelet
Sometimes, having a little reminder on your wrist is enough to give you a bit of a mental health boost. If you’re shopping for someone going through a difficult time, consider getting them this bracelet with the word hope on it. Every time they look down, they’ll be reminded to stay hopeful.
15. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb
Maybe your brother wants to prioritize his mental health, but he’s a little intimidated by the idea of going to therapy. This book might be just the encouragement he needs. In Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, therapist Lori Gottlieb chronicles her experiences as a therapist who realizes she herself needs therapy. It’s a beautiful peek inside the process.
16. Mount Lai Gua Sha Facial Lifting Tool
Many of us hold tension in our faces—Gua Sha massage can help with that. Gliding the stone along your face relaxes the facial muscles while also minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and puffiness. It’s basically an at-home spa treatment, so you know your MIL will be a fan.
17. Gaiam Beginner's Yoga Starter Kit
Yoga and mental health are more closely linked than you might think. A study published in the International Journal of Yoga found that practicing 90 minutes of yoga once or twice a week can reduce anxiety both short- and long-term. Sounds like a pretty good excuse to finally invest in your own mat.
18. Papier Wellness Journal
This journal has 12-weeks-worth of pages to help you monitor your habits, meals, water intake, sleep patterns and more. There’s also space to set an intention for the day and plan out your self care routine. Giving this as a gift? You can customize the cover for a sweet personal touch.
19. Sterling Children's Super Scratch Art Pads: Nature
If the tediousness of adult coloring books stresses you out, try scratch art instead, suggests Rachel Klechevsky, LMSW, therapist at Tia. She uses these books herself and finds tracing the lines to be extremely satisfying. “The best part about this activity is that it’s mindless; there’s no decision making, which is a gift during busy or overwhelming times.”
$13 at Amazon
20. Book of the Month 3-Month Subscription
“Reading can lower blood pressure and heart rate, sending us into a meditative state,” explains Julia Hunt, LCSW, therapist at Tia. It can also help us with sleep, self-esteem, stress and depression, she adds. With a Book of the Month subscription, your gift recipient will get to choose one of five brand-new books to have delivered to their door each month. Now that’s what we call a stress-free gift.