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Thoughtful Christmas gift ideas for a friend with anxiety

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Megan Murray
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Our edit of the kindest gifts to give this Christmas to a friend or loved one dealing with stress or anxiety. 

Do away with the budget bath salts and leave the Quality Street chocolates on the shelf this year. The point of giving a Christmas gift is to pick out something you think your loved one will truly love. 

But the last-minute hassle we often find ourselves in can mean we panic-buy: wrapping up something we know we haven’t put huge amounts of thought into. 

With self-care at the forefront of everyone’s mind and mental health being talked about more than ever, Christmas gifts can take on a whole new meaning.

There are so many great products and ideas out there that can not only benefit your friends materialistically, but mentally, too. Whether you’re buying for a friend who’s dealing with anxiety or stress, or like all of us they could just do with some more me-time, we’ve put together a considered list of self-care present ideas - with the help of our guest editor, Katie Piper

We hope you find something that works for the special person you’re buying for this year, and can gift them with something brimming with thought and kindfulness

Self-care books

Self-care has become a bit of a buzzword in 2018. And as the term becomes an increasingly large part of our lexicon we’ve seen books dedicated to the science of it, teaching readers exactly what self-care is, why it’s so important and what it means to practice it.

If you have a friend who would benefit from being introduced to self-care, a book like Self-Care for the Real World: Practical self-care advice for everyday life by Nadia Narain gives practical tips, while The Self-Care Project: How to let go of frazzle and make time for you by Jayne Hardy gets to the crux of the practice. 

Check out our edit of self-care books to give as a gift below: 

A year’s subscription to the Calm app

Meditation has become a go-to suggestion for those who are struggling with stress and anxiety, with apps providing a gateway to information and education on what it’s all about. 

Calm is one of the most well-known meditation apps and offers users over 100 guided meditations covering anxiety, focus, stress, sleep and relationships all with exclusive music to go with them. It also adds new masterclasses from experts every month to help teach users more about meditation and has a library of sleep stories for those struggling with insomnia. 

Calm is £46.88 a year billed annually, which if bought as a gift would benefit your friend all year round. 

A self-care box

In this digital age receiving some good ol’ fashioned snail mail is a lovely thing. And although there are plenty of ways to gift someone with a self-care aid through Kindles, apps and podcasts, getting something to your door just feels extra special.

Enter: self-care boxes

These monthly subscription boxes are similar to the likes of Birchbox and Glossy Box, but instead of just providing beauty products they equip the recipient with items that are conducive to me-time. 

Opt for The Box Of, which comes with aromatherapy candles, mindful tools, stationery and edible refreshment products, or A Box of Happiness which is stationary-focused. Either options are a small reminder to simply look after yourself. 

Check out our edit of self-care boxes to give as a gift below: 

Inspirational quote cards 

We’ve all seen the reams of inspirational quotes on pastel backgrounds that populate Instagram hashtags and Pinterest, but seeing as too much time in front of a screen is proven to have a negative effect on your mental health, it would make sense to have some tangible options, too. A great way to start your day, these different types of happiness cards and mantras are best placed next to the front door, so you can say one every morning before you go out to remind you, or your friend, to be kind. 

Check out our edit of inspirational quote cards to give as a gift below: 

A bullet journal 

If you haven’t already started a bullet journal then we definitely recommend you do before the year ends. These non-lined journals allow you to create your own system of list-making and journaling by blending mindless doodles with deliberate tasks. The bullet journal helps you to mentally refresh, and, in the process, relieve anxiety levels. Any creative pal would no doubt love this (show them the wealth of inspiration on Instagram tagged as #bujo) but it’s an especially good present for a friend that suffers with anxiety, and finds it difficult to quantify their thoughts coherently.   

Check out our edit of bullet journals to give as a gift below:

Relaxing scented candles 

Research shows that taking a daily warm bath can have a positive effect on your mental health, and that taking this time to be calm and relax is really important if you’re going through an anxious time. Our beauty team swear by introducing relaxing beauty products to their self-care routines, one of which is a scented candle. 

Gift your friend a thoughtfully chosen meditation or aromatherapy candle and remind them to take an evening to themselves, filling their quiet place with wafts of relaxing lavender and soothing cinnamon. 

Check out our edit of relaxing candles to give as a gift below:

Images: Getty 

For one day only on Thursday 15 November, Katie Piper has taken over stylist.co.uk as part of The Kindfulness Project, packing the site with articles on what she’s learned about empathy and the importance of self-care..

For similarly inspiring and uplifting content, check out Katie Piper’s Extraordinary People, available on Apple Podcasts now.


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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.

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