With the Holidays right around the corner, it is time to start thinking about your Holiday wish lists and what to give your loved ones this season. If you are anything like me, you will find this time stressful. As wonderful as the lights, the sweets, and the movies are, finding thoughtful gifts without breaking the bank feels like a tall order and leaves me with some anxiety. In this blog, I would like to ease some of that anxiety by offering suggestions for therapeutic gifts to give yourself or your loved ones this season. All the gifts offered are under one hundred dollars, and if you don’t find what you need in this blog, I hope it can inspire whatever you are looking for.
The first gift idea is a box of fidget toys. These starter packs are a great way to explore whatever sensory or textures that satisfy you. These boxes are great because you can access so many different fidgets for a reasonable price, and once you find the fidget you like best, you can invest in higher-quality ones that suit you. Fidgets are great for those who are neurodivergent or for those who experience anxiety. These toys can help regulate you and help keep you stimulated when asked to sit for long periods, or you cannot access other coping skills.
This is the priciest item on this list but it is a handy tool nonetheless. Weighted blankets help regulate the nervous system and help people regulate when they are overstimulated, under stimulated, anxious, or even lonely. Weighted blankets help you feel compressed, allowing you to feel as if you are being embraced without needing someone’s physical touch. This is a perfect gift for a loved one who would benefit from a weighted blanket or a cozy accessory at home this Winter!
Books are a great tool to utilize while outside of therapy and a wonderful gift to give our loved ones. At the same time, self-help books are not therapy. They can help us further understand what we are learning or working on in therapy. There are hundreds of great self-help or therapy-focused books, but three great ones are listed here. Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend is an excellent introduction to boundaries work. It clearly defines boundaries and breaks down what they can look like in every facet of life, like work, personal, self, and with loved ones. It is a book I highly recommend. Another great read is The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk. In this book, you will get a comprehensive understanding of trauma and how it is stored in the body. While this book is very dense, it is a wonderful read! My last recommendation is Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller; like Boundaries, this is an excellent introduction to Attachment work and all it in tales while also offering the experience of learning and identifying your attachment style.
Noise-canceling headphones are a great gift for our neurodivergent loved ones who are triggered by auditory stimulation. Some like to cope with music or sounds that help keep them stimulated but drown out over-stimulating things such as white noises or crowds. Other neurodivergent people prefer silence, and noise-canceling headphones are a great way to dampen loud places and over-stimulating triggers.
The final gift in our lineup today is the weighted stuffed animal. It is adorable and has the same purpose as the weighted blanket referenced earlier in this blog. These are perfect for kids but can be used by anyone. While the weighted blanket will give you a whole-body experience of the compression it offers, the weighted stuffed animal will provide similar benefits to a lesser degree. I use these personally because I find the weighted blankets too hot, but the weighted stuffed animals are just right. You can also find some of these weighted stuffed animals in a few of our offices at the Works Counseling Center.
I hope this has either inspired you for your Holiday shopping or helped you wrap up last-minute gift decisions. I hope any of these gifts will bring you and your loved ones some comfort and opportunity to connect. I hope you have a wonderful season with the people you love and enjoy this time.