The holiday season is fast approaching, but this year, everything feels a bit uncertain. With Covid-19 lockdown reinstated in the UK, daylight savings taking away an hour of sunlight, and the gloomy winter weather, it is easy to feel sad and uncertain about the days to come. This situation is even harder for people with chronic depression since they are removed from their much-needed support system and without a safety blanket to fall back on. If you or someone you love has depression, you can show them some extra love with our suggestions for thoughtful gifts for people struggling with depression.
A weighted blanket
Chronic depression often leads to insomnia, restlessness, or sleeping too much. All of these symptoms can lead to fatigue and trouble concentrating during the day. A good night’s sleep is so important for your body and mind to relax and recover, and without it, it’s understandable that your body and mind may suffer. A weighted blanket is an amazing invention that assists in a deep sleep. When you wrap this blanket around you, you can feel a slight pressure that simulates touch, which helps your body produce serotonin and endorphins, natural chemicals that help you feel more calm and relaxed. This gift brings restful nights that can alleviate symptoms of depression and assist your loved ones on their road to recovery.
A gratitude journal
Depressed people often have a pessimistic attitude and struggle to find joy in things that they used to enjoy. Practising gratitude is a proven way to help them shift the focus to positive things in their lives. People who practice gratitude are often happier, more productive, and more willing to face challenges that come at them in life. A gratitude journal helps structure a daily practice of jotting down three things they are thankful for, however small, to help them find a positive balance in their outlook. Gifting your loved ones a gratitude journal and helping them get started with this simple practice is a great way to help them cope with depression.
A good book
Depression is associated with feelings of sadness, emptiness, and it is difficult for depressed people to enjoy things in their lives. If your loved one is a reader, perhaps you can pick out a good, invigorating book that helps them feel immersed in another world and escape their reality. Whether it is fiction or nonfiction, anything that helps take their mind off of their current depressed state will count as a win. Readers often have a long wish list of books that they need to read, so perhaps you can browse their current bookshelf or wish list to understand their taste and give them a truly thoughtful addition to their current library!
A companion robot
In a lockdown, everyone craves companionship and love, but a companion robot seal is especially useful for depressed and lonely individuals. Similar to animal therapy but without the logistical nightmare, this piece of adorable technology simulates interactions between you and the robot, which has been shown to reduce stress and improve people’s mood. It may feel silly at first to give a support stuffed animal to a grown-up, but this companion robot has proven its effectiveness worldwide and will surely be beneficial to people with depression.
It helps alleviate many symptoms of depression such as loneliness, sadness, and emptiness. With the lockdown being in place and physical human connections being limited, this companion robot is definitely a worthy replacement that can help depressed people cope with the days to come.
A self-care package
With everyone on edge about the days to come, self-care is an important ritual that you need to incorporate into your daily routine. Self-care includes any activity that makes you feel loved and secured, but it is most often associated with a relaxing bath, a self-administered facial, giving yourself a mani-pedi. A thoughtful self-care package for people with depression can come with a bath bomb, a good book, a few face masks and lotions, their favourite healthy drink and snacks, etc. A self-care package is also a great way to personalise your gift to the receiver’s liking and show that you care about their well-being.
A house plant
There is scientific evidence showing that greenery can improve mood and makes you feel calmer and more relaxed. A houseplant not only brightens up a living space but also helps you find your balance and creates a calmer environment for you to thrive. As many of us are once again stuck inside, having a house plant around can spruce up your space and bring nature into your home. If your loved one has never taken care of a house plant, you can give low-maintenance plants like pothos, which only require watering once a week and very little sunlight. Taking care of another living being is also a surefire way to help depressed people get out of bed and motivate them to get things down around the house.
A hiking or biking trip
With options of gathering outside being very limited right now, choosing a nice, sunny day to go out on a hiking or biking trip can be a great way to jumpstart your physical health and get back to nature. Depressed people often feel isolated and lonely, so having meaningful connections to nature and other people will help alleviate some of their depression symptoms. A hiking or biking trip does not have to be extravagant – you can explore the parks around your neighbourhood or bike to a nearby area where there is a lot of greenery and nature. Basking yourself in sunlight is also a great way to bring back some positivity after a few gloomy days. You can give your loved one a “coupon for a day out” that you can use on any sunny day, and this will be a great gift experience for people who crave human connections and nature.