I wanted to give you all some alternatives to socks and chocolates this Christmas so I’ve put together a gift guide aimed at improving wellbeing.
Christmas is indeed upon us and it’s often a tricky time for those that are suffering with mental health for a number of reasons which I covered a few years ago here. I also understand that it can be tough when you love someone that is struggling with their wellness in terms of what to buy them as a gift, especially if they are particularly suffering at this time.
All of the items I’ve covered in this guide are things I have received or bought for myself. They have all really helped me, mainly in making me smile, relax and feel loved. These gifts aren’t just for mental health sufferers; they can be for everyone. They are thoughtful and mindful alternatives for anyone in your life that you would like to show love for during the festive season.
I currently use my Best Me journal every day. It’s a place to write down what I’m thankful for, what I want to achieve that day and to positively manifest. I’ve found that this helps me focus on a few things each day and focus on the positives in life rather than dwelling on the issues. The journal costs £29.99. If you want a cheaper alternative check out Paperchases range from £7.
Another idea is to buy a nice hardback notebook from a stationers and turn it into a wellbeing journal. You can hand write in headings such as ‘daily gratitude’, ‘daily goals’ and ‘todays wins’ for the recipient, ready for them to fill in.
Monthly Box of Happy
We all know it’s a current trend to have subscriptions to beauty boxes, food boxes etc, but did you know that there are some boxes that are just for mental health? Blurt box offers a monthly subscription to their Buddy Box for £15 a time. It’s filled with lots of great stuff and has a different theme each month, such as chocolate, stationary, badges, craft etc. If committing to a years subscription seems costly, then just do a one off box to help beat the January blues. Another idea is to make a DIY happy hamper for someone – with this you can fill a shoebox with things your loved one adores and can use when they are feeling the need for a boost.
Candles/Oil Diffusers/Incense sticks
Lots of my gifts follow a mindful theme. I appreciate things that make me stop and focus my senses and calm down my mind. Great aromas that take you to a happy place are one of my favourite things; I’m always burning incense! These aromas can come in the form of lovely candles such as Woodwick that come in childhood favourite fragrances like gingerbread or the ocean. Another option is buying some good quality incense in calming fragrances like rose or frankincense. Finally, for a longer lasting gift, try an oil diffuser and an essential oil starter kit which start from around £10. Oils like lavender, rose and bergamot are great to calm you down and can be picked up easily.
Wellbeing Inspired Jewellery
Maybe it’s just me but I love jewellery, not expensive stuff, just something quirky and unusual. If I am given jewellery by someone I love it always feels extra special. I have certain items that I wear when I’m particularly anxious, as if it’s an amulet or talisman to ward away the sadness. My best friend bought me this serotonin necklace for my birthday last year. She said it was her gift of ‘extra happiness’ for me so I can wear it when I feel I need my own serotonin is lacking. When I wear it I immediately cheer up and feel closer to her also.
Another option is jewellery made from healing crystals that boost wellbeing such as rose quartz and amethyst Have a look on Etsy for some unique creations.
Relaxing Pamper Products
There are so many lovely products now aimed at promoting rest and wellbeing. Temple spa offer a lovely silent night pack for £18 that comes with their pillow spray, night cream and bath essence. Great value and it smells divine. Sometimes during my low points I can’t leave the house so having little luxuries I can use at home makes all the difference. Having a bath with a face mask on like Temple Spa Trufflesque makes me feel amazing. Another product range I enjoy is from Neals Yard who offer a lovely relaxing bath oil for £15. This oil is made with essential oils that aid wellbeing.
Who doesn’t love a montage? A nice idea is to get photos together of all the happy times your loved one has had and/or all of the things they have achieved. It doesn’t work for everyone but I found that it made me focus more on the great times and made me feel that even if things feel dark now, there is always some light around the corner. Make sure you leave a few spaces too for future great times to inhabit. You can either use physical pictures and go old school ‘cut and stick’ or use photos from social media and create your montage via any free photo app.
Cosy Winter Comforts
Whether it’s a soft throw for the bed or some extra soft pyjamas, materials that feel cosy and soft make you feel happy and content.. Winter can be miserable at times so having something snuggly to curl up with (in the absence of a pet/boyfriend/hot water bottle) is just perfect. I love these tartan ones from good old Marks and Spencer
As I’ve mentioned before, depression and anxiety means you spend lots of time at home. Well meaning friends will often buy gifts to tempt you out of your home i.e. spa days and afternoon tea vouchers, but sometimes going beyond your own front door doesn’t happen. Anything that helps you have a break from your own mind is awesome. Being stuck at home doesn’t have to mean sleeping all day or staring into space, it can actually be a place to learn and have fun, getting you ready to go out in the world again. You don’t have to be quite as obvious as buying someone a mindfulness CD or online yoga subscription; instead some itunes credit so they can download movies and music, a subscription to audible e books or an e learning voucher, giving them the power of choice.
Someone once told me that time is the greatest gift you have to give as it’s something that’s so hard to get your hands on. Why not offer someone YOUR time, whether it’s a day doing chores to help them out or promise a phone free day where you watch movies together – something I’d love from my friends. If you decide to ‘buy an experience’ such as a cookery course or afternoon tea, make sure you give your time to this too. These experiences can be quite anxiety inducing if done alone, but with a mate they are fun!
Again, my sense stimulating philosophy to promote great wellbeing comes into play here. I’ve covered smell, touch, sound and sight but what about taste? Giving someone a selection of things they maybe haven’t tasted before is really fun. Think chilli chocolate from Hotel Chocolat or Raspberry or some of the unusual macarons on offer from Kinnairds.
There are no right or wrong gifts. If a person does need a wellbeing boost then just being remembered at Christmas is enough. A simple ‘hey I’m thinking about you’ is sometimes the greatest gift you can give.
Please note this is not a sponsored post – these are all items I genuinely love!