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December 1, 2021
Shift's 2021 Gift Guide

Shift Team

Beautifully wrapped gifts place around on the ground.

Continuing With Last Year’s Tradition; Gifting Mental Wellness

Guide to Shift's Mental Wellness

The intention of creating this special guide is to focus on the positive impact that we could have in each other’s lives. This year, I went to our amazing team to ask for some recommendations for gifting things with mental wellness in mind. We hope that these suggestions help you and your loved ones be merrier and find deeper connection together.

(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.)

Calming & Relaxing

A man walking down the street with noise cancelling headphones.

Isayah shares, “I love the idea of gifts for mental wellness! I'm a fan (and user) of the Calm app which has guided meditation and wilderness/nature sounds for de-stimulating after a busy day. It's free to use but you could gift a subscription gets some extra special features. White noise machines are also great for sleep and noise cancelling headphones are so great to help with concentration.”

A woman pouring essential oil into a defuser.

Mia is a big fan of aromatherapy. “It helps to calm the mind and set a mood.  A self-care package is a really nice gesture if you include some candles, essential oils, or a diffuser. Another version could be a bath-theme with bath salts, skincare, a good book, and a bath rack. It sets a really nice scene for them to enjoy.”

Jennifer, our clinical Director, says “Ditto!” to aromatherapy. “I use Sleep Tight from every night to relax and ground me before bed.”

Reading & Writing

A woman start to write in her day planner.

Eden shares, “For me a must-have is a sturdy, fun weekly planner/organizer and then I put in all my tasks daily, important reminders or appointments, goals for the week. Helps you stay less anxious, more organized. Indigo has great ones!” Robert seconds this idea, “My wife and I use Passion Planners and we really like them!”

Jacqueline is a big fan of book subscription boxes. Some subscriptions also include other goodies to encourage self-care practices (i.e. candle, bath salts, etc.).

Sean is a fan of Trauma is Really Strange, a graphic novel that explores trauma, anxiety and pain. Other good reads include, Call of the Wild: How We Heal Trauma, Brene Brown’s The Gift of Imperfection, and How to Do Nothing.

Conversations & Connection

A family gathers in the kicthen for some fun.

Looking to connect with your family more? The School Of Life, The Family Game is expressly designed to help family gatherings live up to our highest hopes. Kick-start the best sorts of conversations: ones in which we reconnect, say things we always meant to, laugh warmly together – and remember why family counts.

Mitch recommends, the card deck Where Should We Begin, A Game of Stories. Creator Ester Perel says, "The pandemic left us missing intimacy and play. So I created a game that helped us do both. The game is designed to help us connect and reconnect in a time of social atrophy."

Cool To Connect is designed to help you bridge the gap between the feeling of loneliness and disconnect. They also have an After Dark version to spark more unusual and playful conversations and connections among adults.

Mindset & Purpose

Co-Founders Megan and Jordan recommend trying the Weeks of My Life poster. It puts things into perspective and can help motivate you as you mark off the days. (To minimize with shipping, you can download this digital version to print and frame on your own.)

A lady wearing a sweatshirt that says "period".

Here For Her is a social enterprise that promotes health education with a focus on menstrual equity advocacy. You can show you support in their swag and all profits support health education and advocacy efforts.

SoYoung is a Canadian, female-owned company that makes sustainable bags and lunchboxes. Their brand identity is about appreciation in the little things after overcoming addiction.

Crying Out Loud is a local Toronto company that promotes mental wellness through their curated products and care packages. The four founders met through the shared experience of losing a partner at a young age.

Collage of photos of clothing by Mini Mioche

Mini Mioche, donates 50% from their Kind Human Club apparel to support of SickKids Hospital.

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. Have an animal lover in the family? Donate to a local shelter!

We hope that this guide inspired some ideas to help connect and share love with the important people in your life.

(Last year’s list still has some really relevant ideas too. Click here to check out our 2020 Guide)

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