Holiday gifts for people with anxietyShare on Pinterest
Product Review, Clothing, Gym, Apparel, Clothing, Footwear, Shoe

If you’re shopping for holiday gifts for a loved one who navigates symptoms of anxiety, there are a few things to keep in mind. Options that carry any kind of implied commitment — think concert tickets, dinner reservations, or even a house plant — may seem like a great idea, but they could inadvertently cause anxiety or stress to the recipient.

Instead, look for gifts that are designed to impart a sense of calm and relaxation. Products intended to reduce stress, increase mindfulness, or promote self-care are all thoughtful choices, and there are all kinds of options out there.

To help you get started, we’ve rounded up 16 of the best holiday gifts for people with anxiety.

As you shop, keep a few things in mind:

  • Designed for de-stressing. Simple gifts like candles, bath salts, and cozy blankets are all about relaxing, which can help people calm down and relieve tension.
  • No added stress. The best gifts come with no expectations, so avoid gifts that come with any responsibility or strings attached. That means nothing that your gift recipient is expected to keep alive — no matter how cute that puppy, kitten, or succulent may be! (Unless of course they’ve been seriously discussing adopting that kitten.)
  • Minimizes triggers. Different experiences, emotions, or events can trigger anxiety. While triggers are complicated and often personal, gift ideas that help minimize common triggers can be a good idea. Weighted blankets, caffeine-free teas, noise-canceling headphones, or even a simple journal are all good choices.

In choosing the best gifts for someone with anxiety, we looked for products that are designed for relaxation and self-care. We prioritized those that are specifically beneficial for managing symptoms of anxiety, and we included options suitable for all budgets and gift recipients of all ages.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $25
  • $$ = $25–$65
  • $$$ = over $65

Toys and gadgets

Best budget gift

Serenilite Hand Therapy Stress Balls

  • Price: $

Stress balls are exactly what they sound like — small balls that fit into the palm of the hand to stretch and squeeze, which can help release tension and energy and reduce stress. Stress balls are often used as a meditation tool, and they’re small enough to stash in a pocket, purse, or desk so they’re around when your gift recipient needs them.

This set comes with two balls, both made with two layers of resistance wrapped in a smooth, nonstick fabric. It’s a good balance of satisfying “squish” and resistance. And here’s a little side benefit — squeezing a stress ball may help strengthen muscles in the wrists and hands.

Best portable gift

Fiona, Alex and Charlie Moment Pebble

  • Price: $$$

The moment pebble from Uncommon Goods is a sort of a worry stone for the 21st century. The smooth, palm-sized touchstone comes equipped with LEDs that brighten and dim, a sequence that can be followed for guided breath work (inhale as the glow increases, and exhale as it decreases).

Your gift recipient can keep their moment pebble tucked away in a pocket or purse and use it as needed to help minimize stress and anxiety. It also comes with a charging station and a small guide that includes helpful meditation tips.

Best tactile gift

Cammie and Kip Weeks Therapy Dough

  • Price: $

A grown-up version of the dough we played with as kids, Therapy Dough is a soft, colorful, and fragrant putty infused with essential oils. The act of squishing, squeezing, rolling, and shaping helps relieve stress and manage anxiety. It’s the kind of thing that can be stored in a desk and pulled out to keep hands busy when someone needs a few minutes to regroup.

Choose from four fragrances — lavender, eucalyptus, orange, and pine — for a gift your loved one will enjoy again and again.

Best brain teaser

Mountains on Fire Jigsaw Puzzle

  • Price: $

We love this 750-piece puzzle for its stunning mountain scenery. Like coloring books for adults, jigsaw puzzles are an effective way to distract the mind from its worries. Many people find completing jigsaw puzzles to be a form of meditation. Since they demand your full attention, you can’t multitask the puzzle with your phone or television. Instead, this full-brain exercise makes it possible to tune out everything but the task at hand. Focusing in this way can help minimize anxiety.

Books and journals

Most helpful book

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… And It’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

  • Price: $

If your loved one is a reader, Carlson’s book is a classic. It’s designed to help people put things into perspective, with useful advice for making small, daily changes. The book is a guide for living in the moment, trusting your instincts, and having gratitude. Carlson shares ways to make one’s actions more caring and peaceful, which can help make one’s life calmer and less stressful.

We like the small size of this paperback edition, which makes it something your gift recipient can take with them on the go.

Best artistic gift

Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Designs

  • Price: $

A stunning mix of animals, patterns, and designs make up more than 60 calming illustrations just waiting be colored in this adult coloring book. The act of coloring can be calming to the mind in much the same way as meditation, and the stress-relieving designs in this book are particularly appealing.

Pair it with a set of beautiful pens for a thoughtful and functional gift that creates a personal piece of art when the book is completed.

Best daily-use gift

The Five-Minute Journal

  • Price: $$

This simple cloth-bound journal is a day-to-day calendar that uses positive psychology to improve mindfulness and happiness. Thoughtful prompts guide your recipient into showing gratitude, prioritizing their day, making daily affirmations, identifying positivity, and making self-reflections. Each daily section is broken into morning and evening routines for inspiration and motivation that lasts all day. It has enough pages for 6 months of journaling.

The Five-Minute Journal is a hardcover for durability, and it’s available in six colors.

Aromatherapy

Best mini diffuser

Aera Mini Diffuser

  • Price: $$$

Diffusing specific scents can be calming — think lavender, chamomile, and bergamot — and Aera’s mini diffuser makes it easy. The smaller, cuter version of the traditional Aera diffuser plugs into any standard wall outlet and dispenses hypoallergenic scents that are completely safe for families and pets.

Like the full-size version, the mini has adjustable settings to dial in the appropriate amount of scent to the space, while the Aera app makes it easy to set schedules and control strength. The mini nightlight is another bonus, as is the price — the smaller diffuser is less than half the price of the original.

Aera diffusers work exclusively with their own scent capsules though, so this is not the kind of diffuser you can add pure essential oils to. The company’s aromatherapy line includes fragrances specifically designed to promote de-stressing, relaxation, and focus.

Best portable aromatherapy set

Saje Pocket Farmacy Physical Edition

  • Price: $$

With the Pocket Farmacy, your gift recipient has all the benefits of aromatherapy at their fingertips. This best-selling essential oil kit comes with five blends, including one specifically for stress relief, in a compact, zippered, washable pouch. The blends can be applied topically for calming aromatherapy and include:

  • Peppermint Halo
  • Fortify
  • Gutzy
  • Stress Release
  • Pain Release

The kit is available in four stylish colors, including a beautiful botanical print, and gift your loved one a kit that will travel with them wherever they go.

Best bath salts

Herbivore Calm Soaking Salts

  • Price: $

A soothing scented bath can help relieve stress and tension, and Herbivore’s soaking salts are particularly calming. The Himalayan pink salt, ylang ylang essential oil, and vanilla oil in these soaking salts infuse bath water with minerals like magnesium, selenium, zinc, and iron.

In addition to their aromatherapy benefits, Herbivore’s bath salts can help soothe dry skin. Plus, in their transparent glass jar, these large-grain, pale pink and white soaking salts look beautiful in any bathroom.

A happy bonus? All Herbivore products are natural, vegan, and cruelty free.

Lifestyle

Best blanket

Casper Weighted Blanket

  • Price: $$$

While a cozy blanket can be calming, weighted blankets are specifically designed for relaxation and anxiety reduction. This version from Casper is made with a microbead fill for a hugged sensation and even distribution. Choose from three weight options (10, 15 and 20 pounds), and keep in mind that the rule of thumb for the best weight is 10 percent of the user’s body weight to ensure optimal comfort.

Casper’s weighted blanket is available in three colors.

Best clock

Hatch Restore

  • Price: $$$

The Hatch Restore is billed as a sound machine, sunrise alarm, alarm clock, and meditation app rolled into one. It’s specifically designed to help people fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake in the morning in the least disruptive manner possible.

The Hatch includes a soft-glow reading light with no blue hues, an array of soothing lights and sounds, wind-down meditations, and an alarm clock. The bedside device works with a free companion app, so your gift recipient can personalize a bedtime and wake-up routine that calms the mind and minimizes early morning anxiety.

Best wearable gift

The Comfy Original Sherpa Wearable Blanket

  • Price: $$

This cozy, oversized, wearable blanket can help wearers feel more secure. The one-size-fits-all design works for most sizes and shapes, and includes a generous hood and pocket for extra coziness. The wearer can roll up the sleeves to move about freely or curl up on the sofa to be completely covered. The Comfy Original comes in a variety of colors, with a quarter-zip option, and it’s machine washable for easy cleaning.

Best gift set

Life in Balance Gift Set

  • Price: $$$

This gift set includes items designed to inspire balance, promote calm, and encourage mindfulness.

  • A Life Balance journal includes space for daily thoughts, soothing artwork, and Q&A sections designed to inspire thoughtful responses.
  • An eraser set designed in the shape of stones is inspired by the meditative practice of stacking stones. Zen reminders are imprinted on the sides of the erasers, which increase in size from 1 to 4 inches.
  • Dream Catcher herbal tea blends floral rose petals, chamomile, and lavender for relaxation, and this keepsake tin includes 15 sachets.
  • The Paddywax ceramic candle is scented with matcha tea and bergamot. A glass vial of mini matches is also included.

Most unexpected gift

Aku Mat

  • Price: $$$

It may look intimidating, but this little mat combines the benefits of acupressure and reflexology for big benefits. Over 2,500 tiny metal spikes are designed to stimulate nerve centers for improved blood flow and lymphatic circulation, which releases endorphins. Stepping or laying on the Aku Mat can help relax muscles and joints, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve sleep quality.

It’s a great option for loved ones who are interested in reflexology, yoga, or acupuncture.

Best jewelry

Komusō Shift

  • Price: $$$

The Shift is a natural tool designed to improve breathing. Proper breath work can help manage symptoms of stress and anxiety. Since shallow breathing can trigger anxiety, this wearable breathing prop is a stylish, functional gift idea that guides your loved one to more effective breathing.

It’s available in four finishes and sized for men and women, with an optional chain upgrade. Easy directions mean your gift recipient understands exactly how to breathe slowly and evenly, which will slow the heartbeat, decrease blood pressure, release tense muscles, and reduce stress hormones.

Shopping for others can be tricky, and that’s particularly true if you know your gift recipient deals with symptoms of anxiety. Keeping a few things in mind for the most appropriate, appreciated gifts for people with anxiety can make all the difference.

Jessica Timmons has been working as a freelance writer since 2007, covering everything from pregnancy and parenting to cannabis, chiropractic, stand-up paddling, fitness, martial arts, home decor, and much more. Her work has appeared in mindbodygreen, Pregnancy & Newborn, Modern Parents Messy Kids, and Coffee + Crumbs. See what she’s up to now at jessicatimmons.com.