16 Perfect Gifts for the Highly Sensitive Person This Holiday Season
I’m a highly sensitive person (HSP). This doesn’t mean I’m super emotional and whiny (although I am). Being a highly sensitive person means you have a genetic trait for high sensitivity which makes you more susceptible to various external stimuli.
(Not sure if you’re a highly sensitive person? Take the quiz here!)
I learned about high sensitivity a few years ago, and ever since then, I‘ve been doing my best to make my life more accommodating to my sensitivities with things like weighted blankets, ambient lighting, headphones and more.
If you’re not highly sensitive yourself, I know it can be hard to know what helps HSPs and what doesn’t, so I thought I would round up some of my favorite gifts for the highly sensitive person so you can buy them for a friend who might need them this holiday season.
Here are 17 things I honestly can’t imagine life without anymore:
1. Weighted Blanket
You knew this one was coming. A weighted blanket is one of the best possible gifts for the highly sensitive person. If you’ve never used one before, the name pretty much says it all. These blankets are just extra heavy, and that feels good for a lot of people with sensory difficulties, including high sensitivity. The added weight creates deep pressure stimulation, which reduces arousal in the nervous system, which reduces stress and overwhelm linked to high sensitivity (seriously, here’s the research).
This Weighted Idea Weighted Blanket ($55.90) is the exact same one I personally use, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s amazing. It literally feels like a full-body hug and it never fails to calm me down if I’m feeling overstimulated. I also have a soft, minky duvet cover a lot like this one from YnM which makes it even softer and easy to wash. 10 out of 10, would buy again.
2. Dangly Necklace with Metal Tassels
Highly sensitive people all cope with their sensitivity differently. If your HSP is like me, they’re a little fidgety, and often feel calmer when they have something with a good texture in their hands. There are plenty of fidget tools out there, but I prefer necklaces with metal tassels instead. They’re more low-key, people don’t ask what I’m messing with if I play with my necklace a bit, and they’re harder to lose than a fidget tool.
I highly recommend this necklace ($19.95) in particular because of the metal tassel. Something about the smooth, cold texture is absolutely heavenly for me, plus it’s just costume jewelry, so it makes a great stocking stuffer.
3. Panasonic Noise-Cancelling Earbuds
One tactic for coping with my high sensitivity that I’ve discovered recently is the beauty of noise-canceling earbuds. I wear mine any time I go to the grocery store because I find all the people and choices a bit overwhelming, and focusing on music or a podcast, or even just muffled noise, is calming for me.
These Panasonic Noise-Cancelling Earbuds ($179.99) are great gifts for the highly sensitive person with anxiety because they’re wireless. That way, you don’t have to worry about people wondering why you have earbuds in (even though nobody is wondering, but still, whatever helps ease the anxiety).
4. “We Can Do Hard Things” Mug
Like I said before, being highly sensitive isn’t a disorder, but it can definitely make life harder sometimes. But just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible. As the amazing Glennon Doyle says, “We can do hard things.” This adorable mug from Etsy ($18.89+) will serve as a gentle reminder that “sensitive” doesn’t mean “weak.”
5. “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle
Speaking of Glennon Doyle, every HSP needs to own her book “Untamed” ($16.65). Doyle is a champion for every woman who has ever felt inherently wrong, vaguely out of place or unhappy for no reason they can explain. These feelings are incredibly common among HSPs because we process the world around us differently to other people, and that can make us feel isolated or broken. But we aren’t either of those things, and “Untamed” can help you understand those feelings, process them and then start living a truly “untamed” life.
6. Simple Designs Floor Lamp
This might seem like a super minor, silly thing to non-HSPs, but lighting really can make all the difference in the world for sensitive folks. Overhead lighting is often too bright and abrasive to create a calming environment. It might feel like a silly present, but I promise, soft lighting is one of the best gifts for the highly sensitive person. Your HSP will absolutely love this lamp from Simple Designs ($29.99), and if you also get them these warm lighting light bulbs ($8.72), you’ll be gifting them soft, ambient lighting that won’t overwhelm the sensitive HSP brain.
7. Studio Oh! Sketchbook Journal
I’m a big journal fan, and this sketchbook from Studio Oh! ($14.99) was one of my favorite journals a few years back. I’m so happy they still sell it because it ticks all of the boxes to be the perfect journal for an HSP.
It’s aesthetically pleasing, which tends to be very important to HSPs, and it’s technically a sketchbook, which means it has no lines and uses very thick paper. That way you can write any which way, and if you feel like expressing yourself through art, the markers or paint won’t bleed through to the next page.
8. A Soft Blanket
I know I already mentioned weighted blankets on this list, but here’s a little secret about highly sensitive people: we always need another soft blanket like this one from The Connecticut Home Company ($26.99). Soft blankets make great gifts for the highly sensitive person because they help reduce feelings of overwhelm. I’m 26 years old and I still cuddle with a soft blanket whenever I get overwhelmed, which is admittedly pretty often. I promise, if you give your favorite highly sensitive person a blanket for Christmas, they will be absolutely thrilled.
9. Sea Glass Plug In Wax Warmer
Creating a soothing environment is important for HSPs. One of the easiest ways I’ve found to make my home feel more homey, even when I haven’t done dishes and my blogging stuff is all over the counter and my son has pulled out every toy he owns and scattered them all over the whole house, is a wax warmer.
I highly recommend this gorgeous, handmade sea glass wax warmer ($12.99) that you can easily plug into the wall and these lavender wax melts ($3.70). Lavender aromatherapy can’t cure anxiety, but it can help relieve it, and sometimes all we need is a little relief to get through our day. Plus, wax melts make great stocking stuffers.
10. “Everyday Journal for Highly Sensitive People” by Lauren Stewart
If you aren’t an HSP but you’re on this page looking to find a gift for someone in your life who’s highly sensitive, you might be like “What’s with all the journals?!”
Journals make great gifts for the highly sensitive person because HSPs tend to process stimulation very deeply. Journals are such a helpful tool when it comes to that deep processing, and I honestly can’t recommend enough of them. (Hint: there’s another journal coming up later). This one by Lauren Stewart ($9.99) is great because it’s full of daily logs to track sensitivity levels, goals and to-do lists, but it also has sections for gratitude and reflecting on feelings. It’s really an HSP’s dream.
11. Amazon Echo Show
Despite common misconceptions, not all HSPs are actually introverts, and even the ones who are aren’t total hermits. We like seeing people, they can just be a bit draining. The Amazon Echo Show ($104.99) is a great way for HSPs to stay connected with loved ones (especially this year during the coronavirus pandemic) without using up too much of our social battery. My husband and I have used ours throughout this pandemic to stay in touch with parents, grandparents and friends, and it’s honestly been a great way to keep my extroverted heart happy without exhausting my HSP spirit.
12. Holiday Anxiety eCourse
The holiday season is amazing and wonderful, but it’s also overwhelming and full of sensory overload that can cause a lot of anxiety for HSPs. I used to get totally overwhelmed by the holidays and end up barely enjoying them at all. Then I figured out how to plan my way through my anxiety, and now the holidays are my favorite time of year again.
I took all of my holiday plans, tips and charts, and put it together into this affordable $12 eCourse: Reduce Holiday Anxiety with 6 Days of Planning. After just six days of planning, you will be able to really, truly enjoy the holidays again. If you’re shopping for an HSP friend, just send them the link as an early surprise present. I guarantee they will thank you.
13. “Let’s Not Live on Earth” by Sarah Blake
This is another book that seems to have been written specifically for highly sensitive people. I read “Let’s Not Live on Earth” by Sarah Blake (Paperback, $15.95) last year, and the whole time it felt like Blake was using poetry to untangle the knots in my soul. She just gets the highly sensitive heart. Even if you aren’t sure if your HSP is super into poetry, I still recommend this as one of the best gifts for the highly sensitive person. I think even if they can’t explain why the poems speak to them, they will speak to them nonetheless.
14. “The Highly Sensitive Person’s Workbook” by Dr. Elaine Aron
OK, last journal, I swear. But I couldn’t make a list of gifts for the highly sensitive person without including the official HSP workbook ($12.15) created by the researcher who discovered and popularized the high sensitivity trait. Dr. Elaine Aron literally wrote the book on the highly sensitive person, and she also created this workbook to help you identify and embrace your sensitivity.
15. Fidget Cube
Earlier I mentioned how great necklaces are for HSPs who like to fidget inconspicuously, but they don’t offer a lot of versatility when it comes to what kind of fidgeting you can do. If you or your HSP loved one really likes to fidget, then I absolutely recommend Antsy Lab’s Fidget Cube ($23.94). This is the original fidget cube, and it is enormously fun to mess with. I frequently steal my husband’s, especially when I’m super stressed, and it’s somehow simultaneously fun and relaxing.
16. Your Moon Phase Necklace
My mom got me a necklace from Your Moon Phase ($29.00) a few years ago, and it’s honestly still one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. On the site, you can personalize the necklace to reflect the actual phase the moon was in on an important date, like a person’s birthday. This is one of the best gifts for the highly sensitive person with some witchy tendencies. You know, into astrology, maybe reads tarot, and definitely believes the moon contributes to our moods, personalities and more. I love mine, and would absolutely get it for a fellow HSP.
A version of this article was previously published on the author’s blog, Healing Unscripted.
What would you add? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo by Victor Hughes on Unsplash