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December 14, 2020

The Shift Guide To Gifting Mental Wellness

Shift Team

Woman dressed in winter jacket and mittens smiles while holding a sparkler.

Mindful Gifting

The intention behind a gift far outweighs its cost.

I think I learned this in a round-about way from my mother… She has always divulged in these long pre-ambles with in-depth reasoning behind every gift’s practical function and it’s foreseen place in my daily life. It’s always so charming and heart-warming to see the depth of thought that she puts into every gift.

The same is true when my best friend or sister-in-law remark on why they thought of each item for me (“This lavender roller is supposed to help with your migraines!”). It honestly touches my heart and makes the exchange so much more meaningful.

With a year like 2020, our mental health has truly been put to the test. With that in mind, I wanted to create a gift guide that — rather than focusing on material items — would focus on the positive impact that we could have in each other’s lives. I hope that these suggestions help you and your loved ones be merrier, no matter how you celebrate during the holiday season!

(A note: At Shift, we are big proponents of supporting small local businesses — heck, we are a small business! The links in this article are meant as a starting point for our nation-wide audience, but we encourage you to use them as references while shopping locally.)

The Mind-Body Connection

  • A Massage Therapy Gift Card
    Massage can help to lowering the stress hormone cortisol, reducing pain and muscle tension, and activates the part of the brain where we experience feelings of happiness.
  • Virtual Yoga
    Exercise options may be limited right now, but Down Dog will give your loved one access to a variety of trainer-guided yoga practices that range in difficulty levels.
  • Foam Rollers
    A Foam Roller Kit can help to reduce stiffness and pain, promotes circulation, and improve range of motion.

Light Therapy

Light therapy helps to ease symptoms of seasonal affective disorder and depression, as well as increase your energy levels, and help you feel better in just a few days. You can get are straight-forward Light Therapy Lamps, and also Sunrise Lamps that imitate the sunrise to support your circadian rhythm.

A Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets create a swaddling effect that serves to calm a restless mind and body. It provides comfort, security, and a calming effect for people with anxiety, PTSD, depression, and other related disorders.

Daily Reminders

  • Mindfulness Cards: Simple Practices for Everyday Life
    This engaging deck makes it easy to bring awareness, calm, and joy to everyday life. Each card includes an inspiring phrase on the front and a bite-size mindfulness exercise on the back. 
  • Affirmators Affirmation Decks
    Even pessimists like a little positivity, the Affirmators Affirmations Decks are inspirational-but-not-cheesy affirmation cards to supercharge the creative muse within you.

A Grounding Care Package

Nothing is more relaxing or grounding than making time for self-care.  It’s something that those battling mental health challenges often forget to do. Here are some treats to help your loved ones some treats to pamper themselves.

Fun challenge: Focusing on our five senses is a grounding technique that helps a person remain in the present moment. See if you can assemble the care package with all five 5 senses in mind!

Journals

Putting your worries and triggers in writing can help you manage your symptoms and challenge negative self-talk that’s often associated with anxiety. Here are some favourites that make journaling a breeze:

  • The One-Minute Gratitude Journal
    In this Journal, you have flexibility to write down the dates of entry and not feel guilty if you miss a day. There are also pages in this journal where you can just draw something beautiful.
  • The Five-Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day
    It provides prompts in the morning and evening to reflect on your day, with some much-needed affirmations in there too. 
  • Little Book of Mindfulness
    10 minutes a day to less stress, more peace
  • Good Days Start With Gratitude
    A self-exploration journal designed to focus on being thankful for what we have, the big things in life, as well as the simple joys. 
  • Writing Prompts For Depression And Anxiety
    The questions and writing prompts within this unique journal are meant to make you slow-down. It helps you watch your thoughts and pour them out on the paper.
  • Start Where You Are
    An interactive journal designed to help readers nurture their creativity, mindfulness, and self-motivation. It helps readers navigate the confusion and chaos of daily life with a simple reminder: that by taking the time to know ourselves and what those dreams are, we can appreciate the world around us and achieve our dreams.
  • Wreck This Journal
    Through a series of creative and quirky prompts, journalers are encouraged to engage in destructive acts—poking holes through pages, adding photos and defacing them, painting pages with coffee, colouring outside the lines, and more—in order to experience the true creative process. To create is to destroy. Happy wrecking!

Adult Colouring Books

It’s popular lately for a reason! Your brain experiences relief by entering a meditative state, stress levels have the potential to be lowered and focusing on the present helps you achieve mindfulness. Don’t forget to throw in some coloured pencils or crayons!

Fun & Games

Studies have shown that people are more confident, energetic and emotionally positive when they play! As well, they can help support connection & conversations between loved ones.

  • Cards for Calm
    A mindfulness game that encourages positive behaviour while reducing stress, anger, and worry.
  • Unstable Unicorns
    A strategic card game that will destroy your friendships...but in a good way. This game won the 2019 People’s Choice Award for Toy of the Year.
  • Not Parent Approved
    Inspired by Cards Against Humanity, but 100% family-friendly.
  • Scattergories
    This game is a classic for a reason! We love that in this game, it pays to be unique!      

For the little ones:

Giving Back

If your loved one has a passion for a certain cause, make a donation in their name! Studies have shown that when people give back, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust. Altruism can help to strengthen our sense of social connection, especially in times when we may be feeling rather disconnected and remote.

  • CanadaHelps
    A database helping you find gifts feeding people in need, providing education, protecting and caring for animals, and much more!
  • Kiva
    Make a loan to an entrepreneur across the globe for as little as $25. This is an organization that I’ve reinvested into many small businesses through, all from one Christmas present I received over 10 years ago!
  • Donate to a local shelter for the animal lover in your family!

No matter what you choose, try to give it along with the gift of your time. There’s nothing that a person whose struggling with mental illness needs more than the time, patience, and kindness. That’s never more important than now.

This post contains affiliate links. This means that we may get a small commission should you buy something through one of the links, at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!

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