Christmas can be a really stressful time for anyone. I, personally, love Christmas, but almost always cry on Christmas day and get very worked up in the run up about socialising, getting gifts, eating… it tends to feel like there’s not time to relax. I try to prioritise time alone at Christmas, so that I don’t get burnt out, and I definitely think this helps. But there have been Christmases when I’ve been right in the middle of a mental health crisis. Some of my lowest points have been around Christmas, and it’s super difficult and very lonely, particularly during a time of year which brings with it an expectation of happiness.
However, I’ve been the recipient of some really thoughtful gifts, specifically aimed at helping me through. Rather than ignoring what I was going through, it felt nice to know that people were acknowledging it and saying “I want to help, and I’m here with you.”
So, I wanted to write a sort of gift guide, for helping those around you who are going through it. Disclaimer: Not one of these gifts will be as good as staying in touch, having a cup of tea with them and asking them how they’re doing. Always always do that. This is just a list of things made to help people through hard times — I hope it serves as inspiration, even if only as little treats you can buy yourself to help you through this tricky season.
Self Care & Me Time
A Date With A Vintage Book -This is a gorgeous gift, perfect for encouraging someone to spend time with themselves. You get a mystery vintage novel, beautifully wrapped, a crocheted coaster and cup warmer, as well as a bookmark and a hot drink to go with. The seller takes custom orders so you can make this a very personal gift. A little reading kit. Lovely.
Lemon and Lavender Bubble Bar -A decent bubble bath is not the answer to all of life’s problems, but sometimes the simple act can make a person feel a little better. If we’re totally honest, when your mental health is at a low, sometimes basic things like getting in the shower are woefully unappealing. So something like this scented bubble bar, made with cocoa butter, can make basic day to day tasks seem a little more appealing. A scent like this has the added benefit of helping a person to feel refreshed.
Self Care Kit -This is literally a load of soothing items in a bag. It couldn’t be more explicitly suitable for somebody going through a shit time. With calming herbal tea, a cute little bracelet, a notebook and pen, and a coaster and keyring, all packed in a cute handmade zip purse, it’s an adorable, portable gift. Plus, £3 from each sale goes to the Friendship Through Recovery Charity, helping them to develop resources and groups. Swoon, right?!
Reminders & Positive Messages
Positive Supportive Bracelet -Hello Stigma is a neat little Etsy shop, whose sole purpose is keeping the discussion around mental health going. This bracelet, for example, has a gorgeously uplifting message, and is the perfect way to show somebody you’re thinking of them.
Empowering Felt Hearts -These hand sewn felt hearts come with an array of uplifting, empowering messages, but the most simple is definitely these ‘Keep Going’ cuties. It’s a message that can be a hugely important reminder, day in, day out. Look through the store if you like the sound of ‘Riots Not Diets’ or ‘Love is Love’ – there are some great mantras on these!
Inspirational Pins I don’t know what to say about these, except, LOOK. LOOK AT HOW CUTE. You want to inspire your friend, but you don’t want to compromise how adorable your gifts are. So get these little pins! Whether it’s for you or a loved one, these are some pretty great reminders to keep with you.
Inspirational Wall Art -Dumbledore always says things better than I can. This is one of my favourite quotes, and so often it’s apt.
Planning & Functioning
Momentum Planner -So, I cope with my illness by being a very keen planner. Which means I loooove planners. This one in particular is geared towards keeping an eye on your well-being. It has pages for mind-maps, reflections, and inspirational quotes and exercises. For those who love to plan, this could be a great gift.
Inhale Exhale Necklace -For grounding on the go! This is such a pretty, subtle reminder, and great for those who get anxiety attacks.
Cat Worry Doll -I had a worry doll as a kid and I loved it. I told it what was worrying me before I went to bed, and then I put it under my pillow. Something about the act of saying what was going on in my head, and putting it away for the night, really helped. So, when I saw these adorable cat worry dolls, I instantly remembered that feeling.
So, if you’re shopping for somebody who’s going through it, or if you need something to help you through Christmas, I hope this gives you some good ideas of what to get. What was the most thoughtful gift you’ve received?