Holiday Shopping Guide: 10 Gifts for People with Anxiety

Holiday Shopping Guide: Gifts for People with Anxiety

gift ideas for people with anxiety

The holiday season can be a source of anxiety for many people. For others, anxiety is a year-round challenge. If you're looking for gifts that can help alleviate anxiety, here's a guide to help you kick off your shopping — and hopefully help a loved one feel calmer and more relaxed in the process.

1.  Aromatherapy Candles

Fragrances can trigger moods and even memories. For example, if your grandmother was famous for her apple pie, the scent of apples might make you feel calm and peaceful.

As it turns out, there’s a scientific reason for this. According to one aromatherapy expert, scent molecules actually fit inside receptors within the brain, which can prompt the brain to release certain chemicals.


Furthermore, specific scents are good for reducing anxiety. One study showed that bitter orange may help lower anxiety in people preparing to undergo surgery. Another study found a link between vetiver grass (found in beeswax candles) and improved brain patterns in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).   

2.  A Self-care Basket

Self-care is more than just drinking enough water or taking your vitamins. Psychologists describe it as “any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.”

Self-care is personal, which means it might look different from one person to the next. For some people, practicing good self-care means taking a daily walk after work. For others, it’s going to a hair salon once a month.

If you know someone who suffers with anxiety, you could try making them a self-care basket. You can check out Pinterest for some ideas for what to include in your basket, box or kit. The items don’t have to be fancy or expensive — what matters is that you put thought into it and choose things designed to help your friend or loved one feel special. 

3.  Fidget Tools

Fidget tools aren’t just for kids. According to Arline Kaplan at Psychiatric Times, anxiety disorders and ADHD often occur together. If someone has ADHD, there’s a significant likelihood they also suffer with some type of anxiety.

If you know someone who deals with restless energy or has difficulty concentrating or staying on task, a fidget tool could be a great holiday gift idea. Fidgets come in all shapes and sizes, from fidget cubes to bean bags.    

an assortment of anxiety soothing teas

4.  An Assortment of Soothing Teas

When you think about it, even the act of brewing and sipping tea encourages you to slow down and relax. Tea is something you’re meant to consume at a leisurely pace — not in gulps.

According to research, many teas also help reduce anxiety. A 2016 study found that chamomile tea can help lower anxiety levels. In a separate study, people who drank valerian root tea experienced less anxiety. Additionally, lavender tea may also help people feel calmer and less anxious.  

5.  Cuddly Plush Toys

Many children develop a strong connection to a favorite blanket or toy. In one study, psychologist Richard Passman found that 60 percent of kids form an attachment to a toy, blanket or pacifier.

And while many children eventually outgrow their attachment, plenty of people carry these treasured items into adulthood. In a survey of 6,000 adults, a hotel chain found that 35 percent of those surveyed said they slept with a stuffed animal.

Weighted plush toys may increase comfort and help reduce anxiety. Research has shown that weighted blankets reduce insomnia and “produce a relaxing and calming effect” for conditions like autism and ADHD.

As researchers note, “Applying deep pressure has been shown to be beneficial for children with high levels of anxiety or arousal and deep pressure touch may also alleviate anxiety. There are also anecdotal reports suggesting that the elderly who suffer from anxiety and dementia may find relief from deep pressure touch…”    

6.  Handwritten Notes

If your budget is tight this year, a handwritten note can make for a deeply personal gift your friend or loved one will cherish. As John Coleman at the Harvard Business Review points out, handwritten notes are an increasingly rare commodity. In 1987, the U.S. Postal Service said the average household received a personal letter every two weeks. In 2010, the frequency had dropped to once every seven weeks.

These days, getting a personal, handwritten note or card in the mail feels a little like discovering a diamond. It’s easy to send an email or a text. Sitting down and committing your thoughts to paper requires time, patience and an investment in the recipient.

If you won the good penmanship award in elementary school, this is your time to shine. If you’re crafty, you can even turn your personal note into a mini work of art by finding inspirational or encouraging quotes online and reproducing them on high-quality paper. You might be surprised how much your note means to someone with anxiety.  

7.  Dark Chocolate

If you ask us, any excuse for chocolate is a good one. While you might think of chocolate as an indulgence or something you should only enjoy on your cheat day, science says chocolate can actually be good for you.

In a study, researchers found that people who consumed 40 grams of dark chocolate once a day for two weeks had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Studies have also linked dark chocolate to higher levels of serotonin, the “feel good” chemical in the brain.    

a note for someone with anxiety

8.  Cozy Socks or Slippers

When the weather outside is frightful, a pair of cozy socks or comfy slippers may help people with anxiety feel calmer and more relaxed. Because anxiety activates the “fight or flight” response in the brain, it causes the body to produce the cortisol. This can direct blood flow away from the hands and feet. This might be why you hear a nervous person described as “getting cold feet.”

When someone is very anxious, the fight or flight response can last for up to 20 minutes. Wearing soft, comfortable socks or slippers may help them feel better faster.

9.  Essential Oils

Essential oils have made a big splash in recent years, and for good reason. People have discovered how beneficial they can be for a variety of health issues, including anxiety. There are a number of essential oils linked to reduced anxiety.

For example, one study found that jasmine oil has antidepressant and antibacterial properties. Researchers have also found that lavender helps lower the heart rate in people with anxiety. Studies have also found that ylang ylang oil helps reduce nerves and boost mood. 

10.  A Weighted Blanket

For years, occupational therapists and other health professionals have used deep pressure touch stimulation therapy to help people with anxiety. This therapy consists of firm but gentle pressure applied to the body, which has been shown to ease insomnia and reduce anxiety

Because you can’t take your therapist home with you, a weighted blanket may help you get the benefits of deep pressure touch therapy anytime you want. At SensaCalm, our weighted blankets are made with 100% hypoallergenic and non-toxic materials. We also include optional cuddle fabric for extra sensory input. 

11.  Deep Tissue Massager

Deep tissue massagers are a valuable tool in alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and muscle tension. One common symptom experienced by individuals with anxiety is tense muscles, which can contribute to feelings of discomfort and further exacerbate anxiety levels. Thankfully, deep tissue massagers can help alleviate this tension by working out the knots and tightness in the muscles.

When using a deep tissue massager, the muscles are given a targeted and vigorous massage, resulting in relaxation and increased blood flow to the area. This enhanced blood circulation aids in reducing the levels of cortisol, which is the hormone associated with stress. As a result, the individual experiences a decrease in anxiety and a greater sense of calm.

Moreover, deep tissue massagers can be particularly helpful in helping individuals visualize the release of their anxiety. By focusing on their breath, individuals can inhale and, upon exhaling, imagine their anxiety dissipating and leaving their body. The combination of the physical relief from muscle tension and the mental visualization of anxiety leaving can have a profound impact on reducing overall anxiety levels.

Additionally, deep tissue massagers come in a variety of styles and strengths, allowing people to find the perfect fit for their specific needs. Some massagers even incorporate heating pads, which provide additional comfort and relaxation to the muscles. This versatility makes deep tissue massagers an excellent gift option for loved ones, as there is bound to be a suitable option that fits their preferences.

In summary, deep tissue massagers offer a multi-faceted approach to tackling anxiety and muscle tension. They work to alleviate tight muscles, increase blood flow, decrease cortisol levels, and provide a tool for visualizing anxiety leaving the body. With various styles and strengths available, deep tissue massagers make a thoughtful gift choice for anyone seeking relief from anxiety and muscle tension.

12. Meditation Pillow

Meditation pillows offer an effective tool for those seeking relief from anxiety and a deeper state of mindfulness. Unlike traditional seated positions, meditation pillows provide optimum comfort and support during meditation sessions, allowing individuals to focus on quieting their minds without distractions. By eliminating discomfort caused by sitting on hard surfaces, these pillows facilitate the release of "self-referential thought processes" that contribute to heightened levels of anxiety. This reduction in anxiety occurs as the pillows promote proper posture and alignment, enabling users to maintain a neutral position throughout their practice. Additionally, meditation pillows are not merely functional but also visually appealing, making them a beautiful addition to any meditation space and enhancing the overall ambiance. With the assistance of these pillows, individuals can experience improved comfort, reduced anxiety, and enhanced mindfulness during their meditation sessions.

13. Noise Canceling Headphones

Noise-canceling headphones can be an extremely valuable tool for individuals experiencing anxiety. One of the most challenging aspects of anxiety is the heightened sensitivity to external stimuli, particularly sounds that can exacerbate feelings of stress and overwhelm. By providing a way to effectively block out or reduce these obnoxious sounds, noise-canceling headphones create a sanctuary of serenity for those with anxiety.

Whether in a busy and chaotic environment like a crowded train or surrounded by loud colleagues in the office, noise-canceling headphones offer a respite from the noise that can be overwhelming to someone with anxiety. By effectively muffling or completely eliminating unwanted sounds, these headphones create a sense of calm and tranquility in even the most cacophonous surroundings.

Moreover, noise-canceling headphones can serve a dual purpose. In addition to shielding the user from distressing sounds, they can also be used to immerse oneself in soothing music or comforting podcasts. By selecting audio content that promotes relaxation, such as calming melodies or guided meditations, individuals with anxiety can further enhance their ability to find solace and peace within their own minds.

Overall, noise-canceling headphones are a thoughtful gift for someone with anxiety who is sensitive to sound. By reducing the impact of obnoxious sounds and allowing the individual to create their own little sanctuary of peace, these headphones help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and provide a tool for self-care in any environment.


SensaCalm Weighted Blankets

Anxiety affects 18 percent of the population. If you have anxiety, or you know someone who does, a weighted blanket can be a wonderful gift. Start your custom weighted blanket order today, or choose from our wide selection of ready-to-ship finished weighted blankets, which ship the next business day after your order.

If you have questions about weighted blankets or how to order, give us a call at 855-736-7222. You can also use our contact form and one of our experienced team members will be in touch.      

Disclaimer: The content on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before undertaking any type of therapy or treatment. 

Back to blog