We all know the holidays can be a stressful time of year. We celebrate, stay up later than normal, and eat more food than our bodies are used to. The weather can also play a huge factor in our travels, and it isn’t always smooth sailing to get where we need to be. It would be a great comfort if we knew all this stress would vanish along with the decorations—but that’s rarely the case.
Now, a little stress isn’t a horrible thing in and of itself. The problem is constant stress and not having any constructive outlets to release those pent up feelings. Letting stress build up in your body and mind can lead to some less than desirable health concerns.
I’m guessing you have at least one person on your gift list who could use a little nudge in the right direction when it comes to managing stress. Or perhaps you know someone in tune with these things who is always game for trying something new. Why not consider helping them pursue new habits with gift choices that will make it easy to unwind all year long?
Of course, this can be tricky for the newbies, and it isn’t any fun to open a gift you never intend to use (and also appear grateful for it). For these people, it’s important to choose gifts that are tied to conversations you’ve had with them or that you’ve heard them talk about repeatedly. Be sure to include a personal, encouraging note with each gift, in case they’ve forgotten. Go with something simple like, “Dear Paula, here’s a little something to get you started with that yoga practice you’ve been talking about so much.” This way they’ll understand exactly what your intention was, and it will make them feel good to know you were paying attention. Who doesn’t love to be heard?
Here are a few gift ideas that will help melt away the stress of the day—and the year ahead.
- A good pillow. Sleep is the body’s time to rejuvenate on all levels. Resting your head on a pillow you melt into can help sleep come that much faster. But not everyone likes the same kind of pillow, so be sure to include the receipt. You can even offer a trip to the store so your recipient can pick out the perfect pillow for snoozing in no time.
- Home gym items. A few workout items are perfect for those people who aren’t interested in heading to the gym. They’re also ideal for any gym-goers who only have a little time to get in a workout. There are a ton of inexpensive choices for gifts to get a home gym started or make fun new additions to a current one. Consider kettlebells, dumbbells, foam rollers, and jump ropes, just to name a few. While you’re at it, you can search online and print out some 30-day challenges with everything from squats to cardio workouts. For many of us, a 30-day challenge is a simple, doable place to start.
- A yoga mat and package to a local studio. For that friend who, much like me, keeps talking about going to a yoga class but continues to put it off. A prepaid yoga package will help your friend learn the proper form, and a yoga mat will make practicing at home that much easier.
- A guided meditation CD or gift card for an MP3 download: Meditation has so many benefits, and yet so many people think they’re not very good at it. I felt the same way until I gave guided meditation a try. During a time when I was dealing with insomnia, I started listening to some 15–30 minute meditations through headphones—the difference was amazing.
What are your favorite gift ideas to help your loved ones deal with daily stress?
Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/Aaron Neifer