Written by: Caleb Anderson, Recovery Hope
The Gift of Nature – Researchers from Stanford found that spending time in nature results in mental health benefits and reduces the risk of depression. Give your loved one passes to a national park, a local botanical garden, or a flower show. You could also purchase a natural landscape painting for the office or home, or you could purchase an exotic plant for him or her. If you want to give your loved one a more extravagant gift, invite them to a retreat for a weekend in the woods camping, hiking, mountain biking, or fishing.
If you’re low on funds, give your loved one a coupon book with coupons they can redeem to spend time in nature with you. A hike in the woods or a walk on a nature trail can do wonders for their mental health as they take in the sights and sounds of nature, unplug, and give themselves permission to get away from it all and get into nature.
A Journal – One activity that reduces stress is reflecting through writing. When you give someone the gift of a journal, you give them the power to release their thoughts and emotions and understand them better. People who struggle with stress, depression, and anxiety find that journaling gives them control of their feelings and improves their mental health. You also could give your loved one a pen from their alma mater or one of the best pens for smooth writing.
The Gift of Relaxation – When people are stressed, they have difficulty relaxing. Some of the best gifts for relaxation include those that promote self-care and those that stimulate the senses. Popular gifts for relaxation include scented candles, slippers, bath products such as bath salts, bath bombs, and body scrubs, and cozy sweaters or blankets.
If your loved one is a reader, gift them with books so they can take a break from life and kick back and read in a comfortable chair. You can choose from books about their interests, books that will inspire them to travel, or books by their favorite author. If you’re not sure which books your partner will enjoy most, give them a gift card to a local bookstore or give them The Little Book of Mindfulness by Dr. Patrizia Collard; this book helps people reduce stress and find peace in just 10 minutes a day.
Online Guitar Lessons – If you have a friend or loved one who loves music and is a champion air guitarist but has no idea how to play a real guitar, give them the gift of online guitar lessons. Not only will your friend appreciate the thought behind the gift, but they will benefit for years to come by having a healthy outlet when their stress levels climb. Music gives people a way to express their emotions and work through them. As such, music is a coping strategy that helps people change their moods and combat depression.
In fact, music improves people’s mood in many ways. Your friend may learn to play a song that helps them revisit positive memories, or they may put their talent to use by playing with other friends and sharing a night of music, laughter, and good times. Thanks to your gift, they’ll have the ability to improve their mood through music for the rest of their life.
It’s not always easy to find the perfect gift for someone. But, if you want to help a loved one improve their mental health, consider giving them the gift of nature, a journal, the gift of relaxation, or online guitar lessons.