Gifts that Give Health and Happiness

Shopping for loved ones over the holidays can be stressful. You can try to get most of it done early, you can shop online, you can hand-make gifts, or give to a charity in the recipient’s name. These are all great ways to feel healthier and less stressed by the demands of the holidays.

Another way to feel better about your holiday shopping is by giving gifts that enhance the recipients’ health and well-being. You’ll feel better knowing your gift is making them feel better. They’ll get the benefit of better health, and feel warmer each time they use the gift, remembering how much you care.

Before we go any further, a note of caution: Each person’s health journey is different. So if healthy weight, for instance, isn’t something your loved one seems concerned about, getting them a cool jump rope or a new bathroom scale (no matter how full-featured) could send the wrong message and turn a gift meant to be thoughtful into a hurtful one. We’ve confined this list to types of items we think could enhance any person’s overall health and well-being, without suggesting judgment.

Aromatherapy

While studies of aromatherapy’s health benefits have so far shown limited effect, the smells of essential oils such chamomile, ginger, lavender, and lemon have been shown to have positive impact on mood and emotions. When it comes to your health, being in a better mood has very few downsides.

From the oils themselves (which often come in beautifully designed bottles and boxes) to diffusers (used to warm and release the scents) to spa kits, there are lots of ways to make these gifts special and personalize them for the ones on your list.

Balancing Blocks

The art of rock balancing is growing in popularity, not only due to its beauty, but also as a tool to focus attention. Japanese artist Ishihana-Chitoku has worked for years at the art of balancing stones, and speaks of the release of tension that occurs when “the stone comes to rest.”

If you’re concerned that giving someone a box of rocks might make you look a bit cheap—you can find beautifully designed and packaged sets of balancing blocks like these online or at gift shops.

Camping Gear

No matter what your fitness level, everyone can benefit from spending more time outdoors. The fresh air and natural light are good for body, mind, and soul. Encourage your loved one to get out there! Check out these ideas for gifts that make outdoor activities easier, more comfortable, and more fun.

Coffee or Tea

Coffee and tea options have expanded so much over the last several years. And both coffee and tea (black, green, or otherwise) have numerous physical and mental health benefits. If you’re not sure what varieties your loved one prefers, there are always accessory items like teapots, coffee presses, and storage tins.

Journals and Pens

When it comes to processing your thoughts and feelings, there’s nothing quite like putting pen to paper, especially when the paper is encased in a handsomely bound journal. You usually find lots of options at your book or gift store, but here are a few ideas for dreamers, artists, travelers, and more.

Massage Ball

For those who are active, older, or really anyone who experiences the aches and pains of daily life, a massage ball is a very thoughtful gift. There are lots of options: from spiky to smooth to soft, and those with special grips and handles. What they all have in common is the ability to roll out the tension in your muscles.

Plants

Plants are natural air purifiers and microbe filterers. They enhance your mood and can even provide therapeutic benefits to those who care for them. Plant-related arts, like bonsai, can be a calming hobby and enhance one’s mindfulness practice.

This online quiz can help you find the right plant option for your loved one’s health and lifestyle.

Reusable Water Bottle

A loved and relied-upon reusable water bottle is not only kinder to the environment than the single-use bottles you buy at the store—it’s also a constant reminder of the importance of proper hydration. Seems like every year there’s some new innovation in water bottle features and functions: Here’s a quick rundown of the different materials and features currently available.

Or…The Gift Card Route

Of course, if you’re not sure what to get, or if your loved one seems to have all they need for a healthy and happy existence, there’s always the option of gift cards. In terms of what’s most widely available, you may find some options on this list of healthiest supermarket chains. Or search for stores near where your loved one lives and works.

It truly is the thought that counts, so the more thought you put in, the better!