Mental-Health-Conscious Gift Ideas

For some people, the holiday season is a wonderful, special time to connect with loved ones and partake in holiday events. There’s so much love, joy and happiness in the air. However, for some people this is not the case. Seasonal depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and major depression symptoms are usually highest in the holiday months. Christmas can be dreadful and uncomfortable for numerous reasons for anyone, especially those actively facing challenges with their mental health. Gift giving is difficult in general, and gifting those struggling with their mental health can be even more challenging, to ensure that the gift helps, rather than hinders. I compiled some thoughtful gifts that you can send to a loved one who might need a little bit of extra TLC and self-care during this time of year.  

  1. 1.  Own Your Stigma

    Own Your Stigma is a unique clothing brand that supports mental health and ending stigmas surrounding mental health. Their shirts support mental health  and opening the conversation about mental illnesses. Some of their pieces have phrases such as: "coffee dogs and mental health" and "be kind to your mind". These shirts are super cute and good quality, not to mention that 15% of proceeds go to mental health charities, allowing you to gift and give back!

    Check them out here:

  2. 2. Therapy Journals

    Therapy isn't cheap, so not everyone can afford a therapist, not to mention that therapists can't be there 24/7. Therapy journals are a sweet, thoughtful gift for a loved one who could benefit from expressing their emotions and thoughts. Therapy journals are a great way to release feelings and tension instead of bottling it up. You can get therapy journals at any bookstore or stationary store.

    *A reminder to seek the advice and help of a professional if you feel that you are struggling with your mental health, and/or are having self-harm or suicidal thoughts or tendencies.


  3. 3. Huggable Animal Heating/Cooling Pads

    These are super cute and great for anyone! Huggable Animal Heating/Cooling pads can be discreet and good for people who benefit from temperature and tactile stimulation, whether for aches and pains, anxiety relief, or just needing a warm hug. You can buy one of these at Walmart or even on Amazon.

  4. 4. Mindfulness Coloring Books

    Coloring is a great way to destress and/or distract yourself, and can be very therapeutic for many. Coloring books are super soothing and you can get them in many themes.  You can these at almost any dollar store or bookstore.

  5. 5. Self Help Books

    Chapters has a wide array of Self Help Books, from managing anxiety or depression, to insomnia, to goal setting and even mindfulness. These books may not be as effective as a therapist (and do not replace the need to seek professional advice) but, they can act as a start in the right direction. These books can be super in-depth, and step-by-step on how to manage your emotions and behavior, or they can be light. If nothing else, realizing that other people have similar thoughts, feelings and challenges to you helps you realize that you are not alone.

The holidays can be cheerful and heart-warming, but let’s not forget about those who find this time of year particularly taxing. Take time to spend with friends and family who may be struggling, they will appreciate that more than anything. Remember that often those who need the most help are the best at hiding it, so reach out to those you care about.