Mental Health

Stress-Busting Gifts for the Holiday Season


Still searching for gifts for everyone on your list this holiday season? You’re definitely not alone. 

One gift that everyone can appreciate is the gift of less stress. We’ve put together a list of stress busting gifts for your family, friends, and coworkers. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Cat and dog photo printed pillows: Pets have the power to reduce stress and anxiety, and to lessen feelings of depression. Give your loved one a reminder of their pet that they can bring anywhere!
  • Scented candles, lotions, and soaps: Certain aromas and smells can provide benefits like relaxation and better sleep. Look for calming scents like lavender or bergamot, or get festive with a holiday-themed fragrance.
  • Tangle toys and thinking putty: The perfect gift for someone who frequently fidgets! Tangle toys and silly putty keep hands occupied so the mind can focus. Some putty is even available in fresh scents for an added relaxing benefit.
  • Coloring and drawing books: Adult (and kid) coloring books are popular tools for de-stressing – and for good reason! Coloring engages parts of the brain that help with focus and concentration, and the practice can help develop fine motor skills. Coloring books are available in lots of different themes – get a book of cats for your feline-obsessed friend, or mandalas for a colleague who’s passionate about mindfulness.
  • Bound journals: Journaling can be a particularly helpful practice for anyone who experiences anxiety – writing by hand can slow down any spiraling thoughts. A journal with a beautiful design on the cover makes a thoughtful and helpful gift.
  • Tibetan singing bowls: These brass bowls are often used in meditation practices and in conjunction with deep breathing or guided imagery.
  • Ponder stones: These small stones are etched with encouraging and affirming words, and are the perfect size to keep in a purse, on a desk, or in a pocket.
  • Chocolate: Flavanols, which are found in cocoa and dark chocolate, may boost brain function thanks to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Plus, a small sweet treat is a delicious way to brighten someone’s day!

Make sure to stop by the Gatehouse Gift Shop at our Towson campus to snag these presents for a stress-free holiday season – all of these items are available for your holiday shopping needs!