the holiday gift guide for the anxious friend in your life

I love the holidays, but my goodness the pressure of gift-giving is stressful.

I pride myself on being a good gift-giver, so naturally I put pressure on myself every holiday season to crush the gift game for my family and close friends. In the past, that’d mean spending a ton of money and using my credit card more than I’d like to. As of last year, while I still take pride in my gift-giving skills, I’ve taken a more practical approach and ask myself a few questions before hitting the stores … What does my family need? What will they use and benefit from on a regular basis?

Working for a vitamins and supplements company has definitely changed the Christmas-gift game for my family and friends, as I have easy access to a lot of amazing products (turns out, including probiotics in homemade self-care kits goes over really well!). And while my loved ones definitely appreciate my new holistic style of giving, I also feel good giving them things that they will benefit from and enjoy.

I’m sure many of you are deep into holiday shopping already, but I’m hoping I can still inspire a few! Let’s dig into my favorite products that I use to help balance my emotions and tame my anxiety that I think would make great gifts for anyone struggling with similar symptoms.

Without further ado, these are a few of my favorite things

Brené Brown book(s): I was fortunate to hear Brené Brown speak and meet her at HubSpot’s 2017 INBOUND Marketing Conference – her speech changed my life. Then, I immediately purchased her book Rising Strong and that changed my life all over again. Rising Strong touches on what it takes to get back up after falling down – how owning our stories of disappointment, failure and heartbreak gives us the power to write a new ending. Brené writes that struggle can be our greatest call to courage, and rising strong our clearest path to deeper meaning, wisdom and hope.[1]

I have many, but one of my favorite quotes is:

“The opposite of recognizing that we’re feeling something is denying our emotions. The opposite of being curious is disengaging. When we deny our stories and disengage from tough emotions, they don’t go away; instead, they own us, they define us. Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending—to rise strong, recognize our story, and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes. This is what happened. This is my truth. And I will choose how this story ends.”

I truly believe this book allowed me to see the bigger picture in life, and helped me to dwell less on my problems, and instead own them and move forward. I’ve heard Daring Greatly is amazing, too!

anxiety-busting supplements: What better way to treat your best friends, parents or siblings than with the gift of health? I hit hard on this in one of my first blog posts, but a holistic approach to anxiety disorders definitely makes a positive difference. Also, quality vitamins and supplements can be expensive! I highly recommend a good probiotic for digestion, an adaptogen such as ashwagandha, and a magnesium supplement to help support a good night’s sleep.

skincare for self-care: Daily stressors can add years to your skin through wrinkles, blemishes and dark circles. The stress hormone, cortisol, is known for breaking down collagen, which is bad news for your skin.[2] So, what better way to treat a stressful week than pampering yourself with green beauty products? Pouring a glass of wine while I let a face mask work its magic is one of my favorite evening rituals to relax (my go-to mask is only $19 and the jar lasts forever!).You know that friend who doesn’t make enough time for him or herself? Well, this makes for an affordable, great gift for that person in your life.

essential oils diffuser: While I touched on lavender specifically in a previous post, there are so many essential oils with a variety of health benefits, including stress relief. Scents like frankincense, clary sage and of course lavender = stress relief in the form of aromatherapy. I got my mom a pretty diffuser and an essential oils starter kit last year, and she uses it daily to help her relax! I highly recommend this gift for anyone in the fam. There are a ton of options on Amazon!

herbal tea gift set: Coffee is a trigger for me and for many who struggle with anxiety. Caffeine stimulates your “fight or flight” response, and studies show that this can make anxiety worse and can even trigger an anxiety attack.[3] So, encourage your anxiety-ridden gal pal to try replacing a cup of joe for some herbal tea! My personal favorite is this ginger and turmeric blend. Make it a gift set with a cute mug (because who doesn’t love a good mug?).

Considering anxiety is the most common mental health illness in the U.S., affecting over 18 percent of adults each year[4], I’m hoping at least one of these products will be a fitting gift for a friend or family member in your life! Also, don’t forget to treat yourself to something too. 🙂

Do you have anything to add to this gift guide? I’d love to check some new items out.

Happy holidays!



As many of you know, I work for a vitamins and supplement company, so I’m fortunate to have easy access to some of the products in this blog post. I did discover many of the mentioned items through simple research and/or family and friends. I hope you enjoy!





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