Christmas, as much as I will preach it as the best time of the year, is stressful.
(This blog post contains sponsored items, which were so kindly sent to me in exchange for a feature. All items were carefully chosen by me and supported by my own opinion that they can and have helped someone like me, with mental illness. Products marked with * are sponsored)
There is so much pressure at Christmas to get the right gifts, send the right cards and show everyone you that you love, how much they mean to you (not that we shouldn’t be doing that on the daily anyway).
Every day is a great day to show someone you love and support them 100% but the Christmas spirit seems to bring more than what we bargained for. Christmas songs certainly don’t talk about the mental breakdown I have every year about finding gifts).
You may have a full proof plan as to what to get your Mum, Dad, Cousin, and BFFL. You may even already have prezzies wrapped and ready to go, but sometimes there is one person on your list that’s hard to shop for – which can make you feel terrible.
Shopping for someone who you know is suffering from mental illness, can be really hard.
You only want to show the person you love, that you support them, you want to put a smile on their face. But of course, like any gift, there is the risk you may upset them or the present will just end up in the back of the cupboard for the next year. No one is a mind reader, which is probably a good thing in hindsight.
I wanted to see what gifts existed out there, that people who were struggling, could actually use, especially in case of a crisis or relapse.
It would be lovely, if, on our bad days, we remembered that we had just the item in the house ready to help. It’s even better when that gift is from someone who cares about us, a real gift that keeps on giving.
When you feel low, it can be hard to get yourself out of bed in the morning. The Christmas season can be especially taxing to our mental health. So, here are some ideas that may just leave your friends with a smile and a reminder that they are not their mental illness (Or maybe, you just want to go and spoil yourself, which I fully support, go buy yourself that gift hun!):
For The Person Who Loves Everything Handmade
Nothing makes you feel better than a gift that makes you feel right at home, no matter where you are.
- A Letter
This is the cheapest but maybe the most thoughtful gift you can give. Simply writing someone a letter, so that they can read it when they are hurting, can really make someone feel loved, even when in the darkest times. If you want a bulkier gift, you can always do a serious of letters stating “Open me when..“. I think I’d cry if someone did this for me!
- A Blanket With A Note
This idea comes from my Godmother, a woman I love so much. When I got married, her gift to me and my husband was a beautiful yellow blanket (which she makes as a hobby). She embroidered a message in one of the corners. I think this would be a great idea if you have or know someone with the skill. Nothing comforts me more than a warm blanket when I’m feeling low and having a permanent reminder of a memory, phrase or love one embroidered on it – I think that would be a sweet gift (I mean, I cried).
For The Person Who Says They ‘Want Nothing’
Self-Care and Subscription Boxes, in my opinion, are a great way to have someone put together a thoughtful selection of gifts for your loved one, without leaving you feeling overwhelmed. Even for those fussier friends, at least one thing in the box is going to make them smile, right? Here are a few options, that are 100% mental health friendly.
- Lotus Gifts Shop
Earlier this year, I dedicated a whole post to the lovely lady who runs this gift shop. You can expect not only good service, but also products that you just wouldn’t expect – in the best way. It’s super affordable too! Check out her website here or read more about this self-care box here.*
- Self Care Matters
To tell you the truth, I don’t think I’ve ever received such a sweet and well-presented package in my life. I was kindly sent this package and after having a few hard days, it’s made me smile. You’ve got a nice cuppa, some chocolate (the good stuff), a bath bomb and hand cream (both cruelty-free), a candle, as well as a sleep journal which is such a unique idea! The best part is that this product is 100% nonprofit as the owner does it for her recovery, with all funds going to random acts of kindness. Check out The Self Care Package and see for yourself how affordable and high quality it is. *
For The Person Who Needs An Extra Hug
There are times when life can get a bit too much, which exactly when it is time reach for an extra hug, or the metaphoric equivalent. If your loved one seems like they need a bit of extra love this season, I’ve found some great options here:
- A Worry Monster
Meet Betti! The latest addition to our family. Courtesy of Coiledspring Games, one of the UK’s leading game distributors. As you can see, Sooty is writing down her doggy worries and giving them to Betti to munch on (Aren’t they adorable!). This product may be aimed at children but it’s pretty cathartic for adults too. This product is recommended by teachers and psychologists (and Sooty) to help with promoting worry-free sleep. You can Betti away any anxiety! *
- Jewellery With A Meaning
Not everyone likes jewellery, but sometimes even a bracelet be more than a piece of string. For my wedding, I bought all of my bridesmaids a gold bracelet with a note about why I chose it for them – we all ended up having a cry and they still wear them till this day. The fact that I had taken the time to pick out a gift based on our relationship, that made it extra special.
So, when Positively Giving suggested that I take a look at their stuff, I was hit right in the feels. This insanely affordable dolphin bracelet is perfect for that person who just needs that bit of warmth to remind them that they are loved. *
And if you need something a bit more universal, there is also this stunning, Essential Oil Diffuser option, made from Tigers Eye, Lepidolite and Lava rock, it’s pretty badass really and contains some serious love and support from mother nature herself. The coolest part is that you can dip the Lava Stone in your fav essential oil, meaning you can calm those nerves wherever you go (I’d suggest pairing lavender oil with this bracelet before gifting). *
For The Person Who Needs A Distraction
We all get stressed and when you live with a mental illness, there may be nothing you crave more than to turn off those thoughts for as long as possible. If you are thinking about buying your friend a gift to give them some well-deserved headrest, these are some great options:
- A Jigsaw Puzzle
I can’t remember the last time I did a puzzle. Though I have fond memories of winter afternoons trying to impress my family with my puzzle solving skills, it was great fun. After a stressful day recently, I wound down with this stunning set, sent by Coiledspring Games and I kid you not, I could feel my anxiety fade away. The puzzle is even named Day Dreaming, perfect! It seems that puzzles may just be a match against unwanted thoughts. And no, you’re never too old for a puzzle, so put on the kettle and settle in for the night. The product itself is 6 Star Quality and you can even lift it up once competed without it falling apart, perfect for framing! *
- Fidget Toys
There is a good reason as to why fidget spinners and fidget cubes are so popular. While aimed at people who just can’t sit still, they have become a great tool for people who have a mental illness, especially if you have anxiety. You can put them in your bag or pocket and take them with you for use at any point. They are pretty affordable too.
- Colouring Books
Colouring is something I am terrible at, but I have to admit, when things get too much, a colouring book can be just what you need to try to break out of persistent negative thoughts. There are so many options out there, for any fandom or hobby. Pair a colouring book with some pens or pencils and it makes a great gift. You may even consider some paint pots and a canvas for those who like to get a bit messy.
No matter what you get your loved one this year, it is the thought that counts and you do not need to spend a lot of money on anyone. Don’t harm your own mental health in trying to help someone else!
And if all fails, sometimes all a person wants is a hot cuppa and some company.