You know when you are checking out at a department or drug store during the holiday season and you see those big, pre-made gift baskets filled with lotion and fuzzy socks? Those are fine. I usually get, like, two or three of those as gifts every year, and I have no real issue with fuzzy socks.
But if you’re trying to buy a relaxing gift for someone who is always on the very edge of a breakdown (cough), you can do better. Here are a dozen gifts designed to help them relax, all of them more unique and less tacky than yet another pair of seasonal socks.
We’ve long been proponents of silk bedding around these parts, as they make sleeping a totally luxurious experience, keep your hair from getting matted and tanged, and look and feel amazing. Slowly introduce your stressed-out friend to the concept by giving them some silky pillowcases for the holidays.
The pillow theme isn’t done yet, friends. I can (and do) personally recommend the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. The company offers a variety of sprays, including Sleep Plus and Sleep Together Calming sprays, but the Deep Sleep variety consistently knocks me out and keeps me sleeping all night. Yes, this might be the placebo effect talking, but it’s a placebo effect that smells great.
This suggestion comes courtesy of Lifehacker’s Meghan Walbert, who calls Warmies “the cuddliest thing” and has gifted them before. Warmies are stuffed animals designed to be popped in a microwave and heated up, or stuffed in a freezer and cooled down. Thereafter, they act like heating pads or ice packs, offering soothing relief and relaxation to the lucky person who cuddles them.
Solvasa crystal energy wand
One thing we know about stress: It messes up your sleep. One thing we know about getting better sleep: A nighttime routine is key. One thing we know about nighttime routines: They should be packed with self care and luxurious little treats. That’s where the Solvasa crystal energy wand comes in. Use it with the company’s DeStressance serum to perform a three-minute massage treatment on your face to experience both skin-enhancing benefits and much-needed relaxation.
A little humidifier
Adding some moisture to the cold, dry winter air is a great way to make your giftee’s home environment more conducive to relaxing and unwinding, so consider getting them a wee little humidifier. The clunky, ugly ones of days past are no longer a concern; there are cute, effective models on the market now.
Scented candles are great for relaxing. Massages are great for relaxing. Candles that melt and turn into massage oil? Perfect for relaxing.
A kettle on the stove or fire is already a relaxing sight, but you can make it a relaxing scent, too. StoveScents are oils meant to use heat to spread delicious smells around your home, and they make a gift for the friend who has everything but still needs to relax and also have a better-smelling house.
Bath bombs are extremely 2016. We all have a bunch of old ones slowly flaking away under the bathroom sink; their time has come and gone. For an upgrade on the old classic, consider a shower steamer. Similar to bath bombs, these emit great smells when brought in contact with hot water, but they’re less messy and don’t require a whole bath to use — great news for anyone who’s too busy to fill the tub and carve out an hour just to sit in it. For an added personal touch, you can make your own. Watch the video above to find out how.
For someone who does have the time to draw a bath, you still don’t need to get an massive bath bomb that might only stress them further when it’s time to clean up after it. Consider instead some sleep-inducing “bath tea.”
Obviously, scents are a big part of relaxation, which is why so many of those pre-made gift baskets include lotion. No one needs more cheap lotion, but we could all use a little scent infusion in our homes.
These things have gone viral in recent years, and for good reason; a shower scalp massager has a ton of purposes, some of which are practical, and some of which are just about feeling good. Your friend will get a scalp massage that feels amazing, but using this thing also disperses shampoo and promotes circulation on the scalp, so maybe they’ll get a good hair day out of the deal too.
A gel sleep mask
I use one of these because I can only sleep in the pitch darkness, but a gel-filled eye mask is a great gift for anyone who needs to relax just generally. It can be heated up or cooled down, depending on the wearer’s preference, and thanks to the gel beads, that temperature lingers a lot longer than it would with, say, a washcloth, and provides a soothing massage-like effect at the same time.