What to Gift Someone Who Is Stressed
Finding the perfect gift for someone who is stressed can be a challenge. You certainly don’t want to go overboard and assume someone is extremely stressed only to give them a gift that screams “stress reducer” (like a self-help book) and insults them. While it’s not always insulting to assume someone is stressed, it may very well be that that person wants to keep their anxiety to themselves. In this case, the better way — if you think someone close to you is excessively stressed — is to offer a stress relief present that would be just as useful to someone who wasn’t stressed as to someone who is.
Here are some ideas to get your stress-free gift shopping spree started:
6 Meaningful Stress Relief Products
1. Essential Oils
Essential oils are natural products derived from the leaves, flowers, stems, fruits, or roots of plants. Essential oils are used in aromatherapy, a type of therapy that treats common ailments with the smelling, inhaling, or massaging of varied combinations of oils. For example:
- Headaches are often treated with peppermint, helichrysum, and eucalyptus oils.
- Stress is often treated with lavender, ylang ylang, and marjoram oils
- Sleeplessness is often treated with chamomile, vanilla, and bergamot oils
If you’d like to expand the gift, consider also gifting an essential oil diffuser, also known as an aromatherapy diffuser. These can be placed in any room and used with any essential oil or combination of oils — as well as water. Turned on, the diffuser will fill the air with a soothing mist that will allow you to inhale the oils and let them absorb into your skin.
2. Calming Body Lotion
When you’re looking for stress relief gifts for her, a calming scented body lotion is always a winner (and great in a pinch!). If you know her favourite scent, you’re already one step ahead. Otherwise, lavender, rose, honey, lilac, coconut and other natural scents are all great options. To add to the gift, offer a candle or bath salts in the same scent, and place all of these stress relief products in a colourful bag or basket.
3. One Free Meditation Class
Give the gift of meditation. A meditation class is a stellar stress reliever and can even spur someone to take up meditating as a regular practice.
If the recipient of your gift already has their meditation practice covered, you might consider a related meditation gift, such as one of the following:
Meditation cushion: The traditional meditation cushion is the zafu. It is a round, firm cushion that’s perfect for meditation practice. That’s because it allows you to sit on its edge and let your legs descend off so that your knees are lower than your hips. This allows for a more natural curve of the spine and is the ideal meditation position. You can also kneel on a zafu.
Zafus are often used with zabutons, which are commonly used as a general seating cushion for sitting on the floor in Japan. With a zafu, the zabuton offers extra cushion for the knees and feet.
Meditation timer: In order to time a meditation session, it’s helpful to have a designated timer. Many timers and stop watches, however, can be loud and obnoxious when they go off, which isn’t conducive to a calming meditation session.
To make the end of meditating a bit calmer, choose a timer especially made for meditation or one that has soothing alarm sounds.
4. A Better Bed Pillow
Lack of sleep is a major cause of excess stress. When you don't get enough sleep, it can build up over time and lead to a foggy mindset all day. Additionally, those small things that annoy or frustrate throughout the day can have a bigger impact.
There are many sleep-related stress relief products that can help someone in your life who is dealing with excess stress, but a better bed pillow is a good place to start. Many people use the wrong pillow for their sleeping style, and it makes it more difficult for them to fall asleep and stay asleep longer.
There are numerous different types of pillows on the market — from memory foam and buckwheat pillows to feather pillows and down pillows. Essentially, “stomach sleepers" should sleep with a low pillow so that they don't strain their neck. "Side sleepers" need the thickest type of pillow to support their head as it extends from where their shoulder hits the mattress. And finally, “back sleepers” need a pillow somewhere in between.
5. A Gift Certificate for a Massage
Looking for stress relief gifts for him? A gift certificate for a massage could be just the ticket. Tired muscles and achy joints can all benefit from a deep massage.
You can either give a general gift certificate for any type of massage, or choose what type you want to give. Here are several popular types of massage:
Deep tissue massage focuses on problem areas called adhesions or knots. It is "deep" because the strokes are more intense and the massage therapist applies more pressure. They also go against the muscle grain. Deep tissue massage is excellent for individuals who are struggling with repetitive strain, tightness, problems with posture, recent injuries, and painful muscles.
Swedish massage is the standard type of massage that you'll see offered at most wellness centers, spas, gyms, and medical clinics. Massage therapists often use oil or lotion with Swedish massage and address problem areas through unique strokes: tapotement (rapid tapping), petrissage (lifting and kneading), effleurage (long even strokes), friction, and vibration.
Hot stone massage uses rocks made out of basalt that are warmed to a relaxing temperature and applied to specific body points. The core function of a hot stone massage is to loosen up the muscles and relax. It's perfect for someone who could use some tension relief.
6. A Punching Bag
And lastly, for that person in your life who could truly do with some stress-relief in the form of “burning off steam," consider a punching bag!
Everyone handles their own stress differently, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to punch out some stress occasionally. Most people will do fine with a smaller bag called a speed bag, but heavy weight bags for serious energy combustion can also do the trick. Most people don’t have the infrastructure in their homes to hang a serious punching bag from the ceiling, however, so opt for one that comes with a stand.
What Should Be in a Stress Relief Kit?
A stress relief kit is the perfect way to show you care and want to help someone relax and take their mind off of something that may be troubling them. You can make your stress relief kit your own way, or use these ideas:
- A calming candle
- Scented body lotion
- Essential oils
- Dark chocolate
- Headache balm
- A bound journal
- Hand massager
- Chamomile tea
- Cooling eye mask
- Bath salts, oils, or bubbles
Does Yoga Help You Destress?
Yes! Yoga is one of the best practices you can do for reducing stress. If someone in your life is struggling with stress or anxious about a particular situation, consider inviting them to a yoga class with you. It’s the perfect stress reliever for the body and the mind.
Give the Gift of Stress Relief!
Everyone can benefit from a kind gesture from a loved one or friend. A stress relief gift can help someone you care about feel appreciated — and, of course, it’s practical at actually reducing stress! Chat with an Anahana Wellness Advisor to create a stress-free gift that can help someone in your life live more stress-free.
Written by Clint Johnson
Clint teaches Yoga, Pilates, breathe, and mediation to students and teachers all over the world. Prior to joining the wellness world, CJ as his friends call him, started his career as a MBS derivative trader and portfolio manager on Wall St. Clint is the founder of Anahana, and holds an MBA from INSEAD.