While the holidays might be considered the most wonderful time of the year, they can be a difficult time, too. Whether it’s the stress of planning the perfect dinner, or the first holiday without a loved one, it’s a season that can be hard on us all.
That’s exactly why it’s a great time to prioritize your mental health.
If you’re looking for the right gift for yourself or a loved one, these 13 self-care steals are sure to add a little cheer when you need it most.
1. For the anxious and overwhelmed: A Dozeology Weighted Blanket
After a long day of juggling holiday plans with demanding in-laws, the soothing weight can help you get a good night’s sleep.
2. When you have too many feelings: A Cheaper Than Therapy Guided Journal
While a journal isn’t a substitute for therapy, this comical Cheaper Than Therapy: Guided Journal will have you laughing out loud while offering a little wisdom along the way.
With thoughtful prompts to get you going, you’ll have a space to process all those pent up emotions, while giving you some personal insights for the year ahead.
3. If you can’t relax: An InnoGear Aromatherapy Diffuser
This aromatherapy diffuser is definitely a “must” for your wishlist. Diffusers can make your home smell amazing, but that’s not all they’re good for.
Aromatherapy is said to help improve pain levels, relieve stress, and boost mood, making it a great self-care tool. Lavender can be great for sleep, while rose and chamomile could help if you’re feeling the winter blues.
As with any complementary health tool, it’s always a good idea to try out a few options and see what works best for you!
4. For when you’re in a hurry: Orgain Nutritional Shakes
Many of us are guilty of skipping meals, especially when struggling with our mental health. I know when I’ve had bouts of depression, just getting out of bed was a challenge, let alone making sure I was eating often enough.
That’s why it’s always a great idea to have some Orgain nutritional shakes on hand. Whether you’re in a rush or just lacking energy, this quick boost can keep you steady.
Free of all preservatives, gluten, and soy, as well as being vegetarian-friendly, these nutritional shakes are a really great option.
With Amazon, you can even set up a recurring order so that they’re delivered to you regularly. I get a case delivered to me every single month, and it’s saved me on the many mornings when I’ve slept through my alarm.
5. When you need to get away: Soothing Aurora Light Projector
Sometimes you just need an escape after elbowing your way through a crowded mall.
This soothing aurora light projector can turn any room into a beautiful light show, bringing the Northern Lights into your bedroom or turning a playroom into an underwater experience. It can also play music for an added effect!
6. For cute comfort: Huggable Sloth Heating and Cooling Pad
Heating and cooling pads are great for tending to any aches and pains you might have. This huggable sloth heating and cooling pad is even better, because it doubles as a cuddly friend.
Just pop your huggable sloth heating and cooling pad into the microwave or freezer (yes, this is the one instance when microwaving a sloth is appropriate), and apply it to the affected area for 20 minutes or so. Bonus: It can also warm your feet up on those freezing December nights!
7. To tame the chaos: Decluttering Workbook
Parents especially will appreciate this decluttering workbook. The holidays inevitably mean accumulating more stuff, which means more clutter, too. This workbook walks you through how to organize your home step-by-step, and includes checklists, worksheets, schedules, and labels to help you out along the way.
If you’re intimidated by a mess and don’t know where to start, this workbook makes the process a lot easier. Give yourself the gift of a more organized life to kick off the new year!
8. A happiness boost for busy people: Bluetooth Shower Speaker
If you think you don’t have the time to fit in a little self-care into your day, think again!
By placing a Bluetooth shower speaker in your shower, you can enjoy uplifting music, a fun podcast, or a guided meditation while your leave-in conditioner is doing its thing.
While a typical showerhead can drown out the sound coming from your phone, this speaker comes into the shower with you, making the audio crystal clear for you to enjoy.
Connect it with your phone, laptop, or other Bluetooth-enabled device, and you’ll build a little more happiness into your day without sacrificing a single minute of your busy schedule.
9. To unwind in the evening: Essential Vitamins (Vegan) Bath Bombs
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that warm baths can do wonders for our bodies. A warm bath may improve breathing, lower blood pressure, burn calories, and even protect you from illness and infection.
Adding a bath bomb to the mix is even better. Combine that warm bath with some vitamin E, and you’ve got a moisturizing bath that can help nourish your dry, winter skin!
These essential vitamins vegan bath bombs, which include vitamin E essential oils, are the perfect addition for a spa night that your skin will almost certainly appreciate.
10. For scrubbing the stress away: SheaMoisture Lavender & Orchid Sugar Scrub
Speaking of skin, SheaMoisture Lavender & Wild Orchid sugar scrub is your best friend when it comes to the crisp winter air.
Exfoliation can leave your skin looking brighter, improve the efficacy of your other skin products, prevent clogged pores, and increase collagen production overtime, leading to more vibrant skin.
Lavender is especially great, as it’s thought to potentially improve sleep, anxiety, and even menstrual cramps. Put them together, and you’ve got a scrub that your body and mind can both enjoy.
11. To keep your mind occupied: Adult Inky Adventure Coloring Book
Mindful coloring is popular these days, and for good reason. As part of art therapy, it can reduce stress and anxiety, becoming a healthy coping tool for a hectic day (or week). It also makes an amazing gift, either to yourself or a loved one.
This adult Inky Adventure coloring book is easily one of the best, too. Not only is the artwork beautiful and soothing, but it also includes “hidden object” games throughout the pages to keep things interesting.
12. When you need some quiet time: Rainy Night Puzzle
Do puzzles have health benefits? Absolutely. Puzzles are great for brain health, especially in older adults. It can also be a soothing activity, distracting us from the stress of everyday life.
When things get hectic as the holiday season approaches, take time to slow down. Pull out a puzzle (like this rainy night puzzle), make yourself some hot cocoa (cocoa has health benefits, too!), and remember to breathe.
13. To bust the stigma: The Sun Will Rise Mental Health Awareness Tee
For some, it can be empowering to speak up about mental health. If that describes you or someone that you know, this mental health awareness tee is for them.
It reads: “The sun will rise and we will try again tomorrow.” It’s an encouraging reminder that we aren’t defined by our bad days, and that doing our best to cope with life’s ups and downs is more than enough.
The more we speak out about mental health, the more we can normalize these conditions that touch us all! And inspiring that kind of hope — especially in someone who needs it — is an incredible gift to give.
Sam Dylan Finch is a leading advocate in LGBTQ+ mental health, having gained international recognition for his blog, Let’s Queer Things Up!, which first went viral in 2014. As a journalist and media strategist, Sam has published extensively on topics like mental health, transgender identity, disability, politics and law, and much more. Bringing his combined expertise in public health and digital media, Sam currently works as social editor at Healthline.