Are you still looking for gifts to give this holiday season? Do you know someone in your life struggling with anxiety, and are looking for ways to support them this time of year? We can help!
Below is a list of anxiety-minded gifts that will keep giving even after the holidays are over.
Float tanks have become all-the-rage over the last year, and for good reason, having proven benefits for both mental and physical health. How do they work? We encourage you to read our article to learn more. But in summary, float tanks are pods filled with enough epsom salt water to allow the body to float effortlessly on top of the water. Epsom salts are rich in magnesium, a mineral many of us are deficient in, which is linked to many mental health struggles including anxiety, depression, insomnia, etc. Plus, the tanks are completely deprived of all sounds and sights, allowing your mind and body to enter a state of deep relaxation.
Live in the GTA? We recommend Float Valley, in Markham, Ontario.
If you don’t think float tanks are quite their thing - consider getting them their own bag of epsom salts so they can make their own bath at home (and maybe a bath bomb or essential oil to go along with it).
Another popular tool to reduce anxiety is weighted blankets. These are blankets that appear like any normal blanket, but are in fact filled with beads or pellets that make them weigh anywhere between 3lbs and 20lbs! These beads/pellets create even pressure throughout the body, meant to imitate “deep pressure touch stimulation therapy”, which is shown to relax the nervous system and release serotonin (ie. our ‘happy hormone’). This makes them a worthy tool to managing things like: anxiety, pain, sleep difficulties and mood disturbances.
You can find weighted blankets online on places like Amazon or Etsy, or in stores (ie. Walmart, Canadian Tire, Bed Bath and Beyond).
Essential oils are powerful, multipurpose tools. They can be used for everything from general cleaning agents, to natural remedies for illness and mental health struggles. This makes them excellent gifts for anyone in your life. But, with so many types and different ways to use them, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.
One excellent book to help learn more about essential oils is The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy - by Valerie Ann Worwood. Now, it’s extremely important to find 100% natural, organic essential oils, stored in dark opaque bottles. It is also important to remember to follow all guidelines when using essential oils, especially when applying topically or ingesting, as essential oils are highly concentrated.
If you’re looking for a recommended store for clean and pure essential oils, we recommend Saje, a natural wellness store located all over Canada. Our favourite essential oils? Lavender, peppermint, bergamot, eucalyptus and frankincense.
There are countless books available which support all aspects of mental wellness, including gut health, self-help tips, how to practice mindfulness, breathing techniques, adult colouring, mediation - the list goes on. Many books come in audio format as well, which may be more enticing for some individuals.
Some of our favourite books include:
Digestive Wellness (2nd Ed.) - by Elizabeth Lipski
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** - by Mark Manson
Brain Maker - by David Perlmutter
Forest Bathing, How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness - by Dr. Qing Li
Teach Your Child Meditation - by Lisa Roberts
As we’ve mentioned time and time again, gut health truly does play a pivotal role in maintaining mental wellness. Why? Well when we repetitively consume foods our body is sensitive or intolerant to, inflammatory responses can occur in the body. When our gut is inflamed, it can no longer perform its job properly. This is particularly important when discussing mental health, since as much as 90% of our happy hormone ‘serotonin’ is actually produced in our gut. But if the gut is inflamed, this production is altered.
This is why food sensitivity and digestive stool analysis testing are such incredible tools - as they can examine what foods we might be eating that are disturbing our gut, and therefore our mental and physical health. We recommend consulting a naturopathic doctor to learn more.
There are countless treatments available these days, it may be overwhelming knowing where to even begin. When it comes to improving stress and anxiety symptoms, we recommend Massage therapy, Reiki therapy, yoga and acupuncture. Not only do they improve anxiety symptoms, but they are excellent self-care activities - something we all could use a little more around the holiday season.
Last but certainly not least - one of the most influential and powerful gifts you could ever give someone (especially if they are struggling) is your time. Your undivided, distraction-free, authentic self. Learn all about how you can give the gift of presence this year in our latest article.