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7 Christmas Gift Ideas for Someone With a Mental Illness

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This is the time of year where everyone wants ideas on what to get for Christmas. Those of us who struggle with their mental health may not be able to think of anything we want. Here are some easy and inexpensive ideas that will still show someone with a mental illness you care.

1. Candles.

The soft glow of the flame, along with the smell, is relaxing and creates an atmosphere of clam. I tend to focus on my breathing, close my eyes, and take a deep breath of a yummy smell, which immediately helps make me feel better. Other times, I zone out and stare into space; looking at a candle flame is relaxing to me, yet doesn’t make me feel like a “crazy” girl who stares into space.

2. Big, soft blankets.

I almost always have my panic attacks in bed. I am always wrapped in a soft blanket and it feels like my safe cocoon or fortress of solitude; they make me feel safe. I will always take more of these.

3. Fuzzy socks.

When I have a panic attack, my skin feels cold to the touch and I feel like ice inside. Regular socks feel tight and constricting to me. Fuzzy socks are warm and cozy. I don’t feel bound and I feel warm.

4. Cozy sweaters.

Most days, getting dressed is the hardest thing I do. Depression tells me all kinds of bad things about myself. Having some cute, warm and comfortable sweaters I like makes it a little bit easier when I try to get ready.

5. Mindless books.

Young adult romance books are the best. They are easy to read, don’t take much focus and are lighthearted. They are a momentary distraction from what’s going on in my head. Other genres are good too, but their problems are bigger and more real, and sometimes they can cause problems for me too.

6. Bath products.

Not just stuff for a bath, but nice body wash can make showering a little easier. Nice perfume can make you feel good on the days when you just can’t get yourself to shower. A bath bomb or bubble bath makes taking a bath feel like a treat and not a necessity. These are ways to make everyday tasks a little bit easier.

7. Gift cards.

Sometimes, not knowing what you will buy is difficult. I create scenarios in my head where I plan how to react if I don’t like something. Gift cards are always great because I can pick out my own stuff, and you can’t go wrong.

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Getty Images photo via evgenyatamanenko

Originally published: November 24, 2017
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