Nine Stress-Relieving Gifts to Give This Year

Give your friends and family the gift of R&R with things like CBD oil, acupressure mats, and more.

As if our day-to-day lives weren’t stressful enough, there’s nothing like the holidays to make everyone a little extra stressed out and anxious. Many of us are familiar with the side effects of stress like lack of sleep, headaches, and over or under eating—just to name a few. So what better way to get in the holiday spirit than to bring the gift of rest and relaxation to your friends and family? This year, give them (or yourself) one of these stress-relieving gifts.


CBD oil product shot / photo provided

1. CBD Oil

Increasing research around this cannabis compound has been shown to boost sleep, decrease pain, and relieve anxiety and depression. CBD can be found in a variety of forms such as tinctures, lotions, and edibles. We recommend shopping local and trying out Beam CBD.

2. Essential Oils 

Essential oils don’t just smell nice, but they may also help reduce anxiety and improve your quality of sleep. Lavender, in particular, is known as a calming scent. To use essential oils, you’ll need to purchase a diffuser, which can be found on Amazon, in health stores, and even at Target. After you have your diffuser, try picking up some essential oils at a local health store, like Cambridge Naturals.

Encore Boston Harbor

Photo credit Barbara Kraft

3. Spa Gift Card

Who doesn’t love getting pampered? Whether it’s a massage or a facial, there are plenty of spa options to take the edge off of the holiday craziness. If you’re feeling extra luxurious, treat them to services at the Four Seasons at One Dalton or the Encore Boston Harbor Casino. 

Snake plant / Photo via Getty Images

4. Houseplants

Winter can be hard—but houseplants can actually boost your mood, improve the air quality, and bring some stress-relief into your home. Spider plants, snake plants, and aloe vera are all good options. You can pick up some of these plants at local greenhouses such as NicheBoston Gardener, or Micro Plant Studio.

Photo via Pixabay

5. Acupressure mat

Acupressure has been shown to help reduce psychological and physical stress and ease neck and back pain. Acupressure mats can be purchased on Amazon and used in the comfort of your own home.

spin studio

B/SPOKE / Image provided

6. Gift Card for Yoga or Fitness Classes

Both yoga and working out have proven to be effective in lowering levels of anxiety and can help you stay in the present moment. There are plenty of places to choose from in Boston. This guide, broken down by activity, will help you choose the perfect fitness or yoga studio.

boston coloring book

Photo courtesy of Tree-Free Greetings

7. Coloring Books

Because coloring books help you focus on the present, and only on what you’re coloring, they help quiet the mind and alleviate stressful thoughts floating throughout our brain. There are plenty of coloring books to choose from in craft stores and online, like this Boston-themed one.

8. Weighted Blanket

Often used as a sensory tool to help those with behavioral issues in distress, weighted blankets have increased in popularity over the past couple of years. The blankets stimulate a hug, which in theory can calm the nervous system. These blankets can be bought online or in stores like Target and Walmart.

Canyon Ranch. All photos provided.

9. Wellness Retreat

If you want to go all out this year and give that special someone a stress-relieving gift they won’t forget, give them the gift of a wellness retreat. Often located in the mountains, by the water, or in a rural area, these retreats provide a quiet escape from everyday life. They often include fitness activities, yoga and meditation, and healthy meals.