We have made it past Thanksgiving. We are now in the home stretch to counting off the days until Christmas comes. In the meantime we have given you some tips for managing your holiday stress and for coping with Generalized Anxiety Disorder during the holidays. Now it is time to think about what to give others as presents. This can be an extremely anxiety provoking activity in itself. There is always that pressure to find the "perfect gift" for our friends and family. Well worry no more. We are going to give you ideas for all the stressed out and anxious loved ones on your list. In fact, these are gifts you might want to give to yourself for the holiday.
Here are five ideas for gifts which soothe anxiety and calm frayed nerves.
1. Give the gift of a massage.
Receiving a massage is a great way to relax the body and the mind. There are numerous studies which show that massage therapy can decrease feelings of both anxiety and depression. There are plenty of how to massage videos on the Internet to teach you how to give your own massage. But it might be best to give a gift certificate for a professional massage. The American Massage Therapy Association has a web page to help you find a qualified massage therapist in your geographic area.
The price of a massage greatly varies. On the low end a half an hour massage can run anywhere from $50 on up.
2. Give a relaxation DVD.
There is a huge variety of all different types of relaxation videos out there. Some people have even made lists of their favorite relaxation videos to share with others. You can find anything from scenic journeys to guided meditation to yoga techniques. I am fond of the scenes of nature or escapes to beautiful landscapes myself. Watching a relaxation DVD is a great way to unwind and let your mind travel to peaceful places.
You can find relaxation DVDs for as little as ten dollars or less. Most relaxation DVDs are within the $15 to $25 range.
3. Give your loved one herbal teas to promote feelings of calm and relaxation.
There are many types of tea which have an anti-anxiety effect. Green tea has been in the news in recent years as being beneficial to one’s health. Some studies suggest that drinking green tea may also reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking five cups of green tea per day may reduce the incidence of psychological distress by 20 percent. Peppermint, chamomile, and lavender teas can also relieve stress according to the latest research. There are also relaxation tea blends you can purchase which combine ingredients for an optimum calming effect.
A gift of calming tea can cost anywhere from $5 or less for a single box or container to more than $20 for a special tea gift basket.
4. Give the gift of exercise
There are numerous studies which show that exercise and physical activity can help to decrease stress and anxiety. On our depression site I shared the results of a new study which says that physical exercise can help to improve your mood but only if it is fun. So the key is to find a gift which incorporates physical activity with something the recipient would find fun. Some ideas include sports equipment, rollerblades, a bike, or hiking shoes. There are also many fun recreational activities and classes offered by your local parks and recreation including anything from belly dancing to aquatic aerobics. One idea is to take a recreational class with the gift recipient so they have someone to accompany them. There are also a wide variety of exercise videos which range from kickboxing to learning tai chi movements. I believe there is something for everybody in the way of fun physical activity.
A themed gift incorporating recreational fun can cost as little as under $20 for a new yoga mat to hundreds of dollars for a gym membership.
5. Give the gift of aromatherapy.
There are certain scents that are known to have a calming effect on many individuals. Some of these scents include the smell of lavender, orange, or jasmine. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center aromatherapy can promote greater relaxation, decrease stress and anxiety, and help to reduce insomnia. There are a wide variety of aromatherapy gifts to choose from including essential oils to candles to diffusers. Just make sure that your recipient is not allergic to scented items, has asthma, or any other medical condition where such scents might trigger an adverse medical reaction.
Aromatherapy gifts can cost anywhere from under $10 for a scented candle to $200 for a gift pack which includes over fifty essential oils.
This is by no mean an exhaustive list of possible gift giving ideas for those people on your holiday list who need a de-stressing. If you have more ideas about great gifts to give to friends and family who suffer from anxiety please let us know. We hope you have a peaceful, calm and relaxed holiday this year. Please keep coming back to visit us here on Anxiety Connection for more tips and suggestions of how to manage your stress throughout the year.