10 Gift Ideas for Your Loved One With Depression and Anxiety

Some of these are things you can buy or make, others require nothing but time. If you know someone who struggles with depression or anxiety, any of these would be appreciated. I know I would appreciate them.

1. Create “I’m Fine” cards.  They can say “I’m Fine” on one side and things like “I’m totally falling apart,” “I’m about to have a panic attack” or “I desperately need a hug” on the other side. Then, your friend could just hand them out and people would know what “I’m fine” really means that day. Get creative and take the pressure off them having to say “I’m fine.”

A card that reads: In Japan, broken objects are often repaired with gold. The flaw is seen as a unique pieces of the object's history, which adds to its beauty. Consider this when you feel broken.
Screenshot via emilymcdowell.com

2. Empathy cards.  These are a real thing and you can get them here. Sometimes, they say just what you were thinking.

3. Stop by for a visit. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Remember your friends with depression and anxiety may not get out much. Ask them if you can stop by. You may be the only person they see all day and it could likely cheer them up to feel part of the holidays.

4. Kind text messages. This one is huge and only takes a second. Letting people know you’re thinking of them is a big help. Depression and anxiety are often isolating and lonely. Any kind word that lifts their spirits even for a moment is appreciated.

5. An understanding companion. Just because someone has anxiety doesn’t mean they don’t need to buy gifts for others. Offer to go with them. Understand they need you to help them feel safe. Be there close by and be ready to help them escape if needed. Sometimes we cannot do this alone.

6. Self-care packages. When depression and anxiety are at their worst, self-care seems to suffer. Gifts like bath salts, nail polish, warm blanket, fuzzy slipper-socks, hot chocolate, a journal with pens or a beanie to hide “bead-head” would all be appreciated.

7. A shoulder to cry on. The holidays are extra hard for some. Just be there. Sit with them. Hug them. Bring Kleenex and tea. They may not be able to explain their feelings, but it helps not being alone.

8. Get them out of the house. Again, depression and anxiety can be isolating and lonely and friends may need your gentle encouragement to get out of the house. Keep it low key. Anywhere quiet will do, even if you just drive around and look at holiday lights together.

9. Set up a movie or game night. People with anxiety often feel safest at home. Bring the party to them. Keep it small. Bring a movie and popcorn. If your friend struggles with depression, make it a pajama party so they won’t be the only one in PJs. This can bring a small sense of normalcy.

10. Make a good mixed playlist. The saying “Where words fail, music speaks…” couldn’t be truer. Put together some songs you find make you happy or inspire you. Even a collection of silly songs to distract your friend can make them laugh and that would be great.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Image via Thinkstock.

10 Gift Ideas for Your Loved One With Depression and Anxiety

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Depression

man looking in the mirror, holding his face in his hands

The People Who Came to the Rescue When I Was Battling Depression

“Look me in the eye,” he screams. “Look at me!” I shudder, gazing at my untied shoelaces. “I can’t look up. I can’t look you in the eye.” But why? What’s stopping me? Guilt? Shame? Embarrassment? Vulnerability? The man staring back continues to berate me, taunt me, challenge me in ways that make me want [...]
illustration with a woman

I Don’t Know How to Be a Person Anymore

I don’t know how to be a person anymore. I pretend like I know. I go through the motions of what I imagine “normal” to be like. I try to fade into the background. And maybe that’s my problem. I’m not supposed to blend. My anxiety worries that people can tell that I’m not normal. [...]
A gloomy and disheveled man walks through the rain eyes downcast and bottle in hand.

Alcoholism and Depression: How I Recovered After a Suicide Attempt

I grew up wondering why I was different than everyone else. What I was dealing with was depression and anxiety, but of course back in the early 60s there was very little talk or understanding of mental health. I found later in life (my teens) that alcohol temporarily changed the way I felt about myself. [...]
illustration of a Woman sitting on an armchair

I Am Not Like You: Life With Mental Illness

I am not like you. Why can’t you see? I am not like you. Everything terrifies me. I can’t be “normal” like you want me to be. I am not like you. I struggle to get up every day and face even the simple tasks a person should be able to do. I am not [...]