What Does Anxiety Feel Like?
Like you can’t breathe even though there’s nothing outwardly wrong with you.
Like your insides are crumbling inward and churning themselves over and over again in your stomach until you have to puke.
Anxiety is the dread of having to do absolutely anything at all and not being able to and then hating yourself for not being able to.
Anxiety is persistent nail biting, skin pinching, overeating, can’t sit still, but can’t do anything productive because you’re too wound up in your own head.
Anxiety is being unable to eat even though you’re hungry.
Anxiety is an invisible, exhausting mental disease.
Here are some gift ideas that may really help de-stress your loved ones struggling to calm down.
1. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson
One of the best books on learning to remember the little things that are important, while letting go of the tiny griefs we make mountains of. This no-nonsense, calming read is perfect for bouts of anxiety and is small enough to carry around easily.
2. Rose Quartz & Amethyst
Did you know there are hundreds of healing crystals available for soothing anxious thoughts? Two of the most popular (and effective) stones for quelling anxiety are amethyst and rose quartz. You can find tumbled stones at your local metaphysical store, online, or elect to purchase a necklace or bracelet your loved one can wear.
Check out this stress relief crystal set.
3. Lavender Essential Oil
Dive into the wonderful world of essential oils for anxiety and grab your loved one a bottle of “Lavandula Angustifolia.” That’s the botanical name of lavender— make sure to check the bottle you choose contains lavender as the only ingredient. (The ingredients should list the herb in its botanical name.) Stay clear of any essential oils marked as “fragrances,” they are not pure and will not work as intended.
Other essential oils for anxiety include chamomile, bergamot, frankincense, neroli, and geranium.
4. Soothing Teas
Herbal remedies for anxiety have been used since ancient times, and they’re wildly popular today! You can easily look up brands of “anxiety tea” or you can tackle herbs from the source. Choose teas featuring: chamomile, lavender, rose, lemon balm, peppermint, and Valerian root.
5. Classical Music
Whether it's tickets to see the local symphony or a compilation of the best in classical music, classical music is scientifically proven to reduce anxiety. Choose from classics like The Greatest Classical Masterpieces, Mozart for Meditation, or 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music.
Nag Champa is the supreme of all incense. And incense helps quell anxiety. Give this gift of atmosphere! As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, lighting incense always helps subdue my episode— if not entirely, it is greatly lessened.
Thank you olfactory system.
(I personally recommend this variety pack.)
Just like incense, candles can help reduce anxiety through scent. There are hundreds of anti-anxiety candles on the market. Pick up scents imbued with lavender, rose, and chamomile. If you want to diverge in the expected anxiety candles, pick up a dual treasure with healing crystals hidden inside the wax! There are also these handmade varieties.
My favorite candle ever in the entire universe is Happiness by Aloha Bay.
Prefer wax melts? This handmade anxiety and stress relief wax melt is a beautiful find.
8. Bath Kit
9. Anxiety Journal
Journaling difficult feelings is a technique often taught in therapy. Purchasing (or even re-gifting) a handsome journal is a wonderful gesture for someone struggling with anxiety. You can encourage them to journal by hiding secret entries about how much you love and support them throughout the book.
Or you can opt for an official anxiety journal filled with activities meant to reduce stress and anxiety on the spot:
- The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety
- The Anxiety Workbook: A 7-Week Plan to Overcome Anxiety, Stop Worrying, and End Panic
- The Anxiety Journal: Exercises to Soothe Stress and Eliminate Anxiety Wherever you Are
10. Adult Coloring Books
Adult coloring books are becoming more and more popular and are commonly used to distract from anxiety, depression, and unrest. You can find an adult coloring book for any subject matter imaginable. Ranging from flowers, birds, swirls, inspirational quotes, anime, and themed editions like Dragon Age, and Edgar Allan Poe.
11. 5 Smart Books on Understanding and Coping with Anxiety
If you want to provide your loved one with some insight on understanding and coping with anxiety, gift them a book from the experts:
- Badass Ways to End Anxiety & Stop Panic Attacks
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: 7 Ways to Freedom from Anxiety, Depression, and Intrusive Thoughts
- First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety
- Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World
- Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
12. Relaxing Herbs
Encourage the DIY in your loved one and purchase them this convenient herbal kit. It includes the staples of any DIY anxiety busting tea, soap, balm, and herbal infusion. The herbs included are lavender, rose, chamomile, and marigold.
13. Picture Frame with a Special Photo
It’s the small things that make us smile in seas of anxiety. Pick up a photo frame you think your loved one would enjoy and place a photo of the two of you together. Encase a note inside encouraging them to persevere and overcome any overwhelming situation. Sometimes small mementos go a long way.
14. A Series of Notes Written for When Anxiety Strikes
Nothing can replace the comfort of a friend or loved one during hard times. Take a moment to write some heartfelt notes expressing your support, unending love, and reassurance they will get through their moment even if everything seems like it’s falling apart.
Double points if you purchase some cute stationery. If you opt for this route try to find designs that will appeal to your recipient— not necessarily your favorite. We recommend choosing tiny cards with envelopes. That way your loved one can easily carry them around for when anxiety strikes!
If you prefer writing long-form letters, this is my favorite stationary pack.
15. Weighted Blanket
Give your loved one a hug when you can’t be there with the gift of a weighted blanket! These marvels are made to soothe and swathe and are scientifically backed. Weighted blankets help ground the body and reduce its ability to produce cortisol— the source of anxiety. Some carry these blankets with them in an emergency bag to sedate panic attacks.
16. Your Perfume/Cologne/Body Spray
If you’re the person your loved one comes to when they’re having a rough time, give them a bottle of the perfume, cologne, or body spray you wear often. “Your” scent will offer comfort during times you cannot physically be with them.
Conversely, you can “share” your bottle by liberally spraying your scent onto a pillow, sweater, blanket, or an alternative fabric gift.
17. Honey Sticks
Did you know honey helps reduce anxiety? It’s true! Gift your loved one ever-popular all natural honey sticks! Honey sticks also come in a variety of flavors including lemon, peach, and raspberry. (Or spring for jars of all-natural honey to mix with early morning teas over a longer period of time.)
18. Scented Herbal Sachet
Herbs to the rescue yet again! (They’re effective, okay? I’m not crazy.) Give your loved one a microwavable aromatic sachet to calm bouts of anxiety. Their olfactory system will take over from there and will ease stints of anxiety with soothing warmth. Check out this handmade soft lavender silk pad.
19. Anxiety Smudging Kit
Smudging is the art of eliminating negative energy. Many find it useful in lifting negative moods. Typically smudging is performed with white sage, but this beautiful anti-anxiety kit features blue sage, lavender, and heather smudging stick, an anxiety-relieving essential oil, sodalite necklace, and a large blue calcite.
20. Rose Quartz Worry Stone
Worry stones are tiny palm stones (sometimes made from crystals) used to thumb anxiety away. The crystal varieties are common to combat anxiety and satiate the need to fidget. Rose quartz is superior in calming troubled thoughts and soothing the mind. Worry stones are easy to carry around and small enough not to draw notice— making them the perfect gift for a chronic worrier.
Check out these handmade worry stones!
Alternatively, take a peek at these fidget pets.
21. Therapy Sessions
Trying to get someone to go to therapy to deal with their anxiety at the crux? Why not give them a gift that will change their life? Although you won’t be able to make the appointment for them, offer to fund the first (or perhaps the first few) sessions to get things rolling. This eliminates any financial excuses to avoid treatment.
You can approach this with a gift card once the costs of treatment are calculated, or offer to reimburse them. (But do live up to your word!) Of course, there’s no way to 100% ensure a gift card will be used for its intended purpose, but if you trust your loved one, don’t hesitate to make the offer.
Do so carefully and pair your gift with a well-thought-out note. Consider including real-life benefits— as the stigma of going to therapy deters many from getting help.