With last week's unwelcoming snowfall coming to an end, we're headed for warmer days and patio-ready weather. For the glass is half full type, it's time to prepare for the fun of spring and summer -- hooray! For the glass is half empty type... well, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) doesn't stop at the sight of spring. In fact, the disorder typically lasts all the way through April. Friends and family with SAD may need a happy nudge.
Gifting for someone that may appear down and out doesn't mean you need to give them a gift that exposes their current condition -- the best kind of gift is one that makes them feel good. In order to help bring some positivity to your friends or family that may need an injection of happy, here are 11 awesome gift ideas to cheer up sad people.
1. Happy Light Therapy Lamps
Although they may be annoyingly bright for some, light therapy is popular for tickling the brain chemicals that affect mood. It's mostly known to reduce levels of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep and wake times, which improves a person's mood, energy, appetite and sleep efficiency. Especially good for those with seasonal affective disorder.
2. Herbal Tea Sets
For centuries, herbal tea has been the go-to non-alcoholic hot beverage when relaxing after a hard day's work. You may want to explore picking up some chamomile, lemon balm or catnap for starters, although there are many other herbal teas to choose from.
3. Himalayan Salt Lamps
For the recipient that spends a lot of time at home, it may be worthwhile to help transform their home chemically and physically. Household electronics can create positive ions -- some call them "electronic smog" -- which are actually bad for us. What the human body needs are negative ions, which stimulate the flow of oxygen to the brain and increase a person's mental energy, which is what these lamps create. While they are popular for converting those positive ions to negative and making homes invisibly happier, there are many other health benefits to Himalayan salt lamps.
Essential oils are believed to stimulate the olfactory system in the brain through smell, which send signals to the limbic system, directly affecting the emotions and learned memories of an individual. The rewarding effects? Relaxed and calm, which is why it's usually tied to massage therapy and other treatments. It's a worthwhile gift for those that carry a lot of stress.
5. Miniature Zen Gardens
I always found these little gardens ultra cool, but there's actually a reason for playing with the sandbox. The methodical arrangement of stones and sand, and focusing on the repetition of those physical movements, silences the mind and allows the garden owner to live in the moment, rather than get caught up in the past or future. Plus, they look awesome on an office desk.
6. BuddyBox: A Hug In a Box
If you're not sure what to choose to cheer your friend up, consider a BuddyBox. It's a subscription box service that sends out a monthly package full of gifts for those fighting depression -- helping them feel like they're not alone.
7. Super Soft Blankets
Nothing feels better than wrapping up in a warm, cozy blanket. Need I say more?
8. The Book of Awesome
This fun little book of thought provoking suggestions has been known to train individuals to pay closer attention to the smaller wins in life. Many small wins can equal or overshadow the feeling of one big win, and effectively improve a person's positivity. This global bestseller by Neil Pasricha is a must for anyone that needs to hit the reset button and remember what's most important in life.
9. Spa Gift Certificates
I'm not usually a fan of buying people gift certificates, but a spa day? Nobody has a problem with those. Most, including those with stressful jobs, rarely stop to think about their body's needs, and a good pampering is a good reminder for them. It's also great to pair with their favourite bottle of wine, if that's their thing.
10. Order Maid Service For Them
A clean home is a happy home, they say. Remove the burden of mounting dust and filthy interiors by sending a reputable maid their way. This will not only help minimize the allergens, but will also make it a more proactive space to operate in -- whether it's where they work from or where they relax.
11. Funny Blu-ray Movie or a TV Series Box Set
Comedy is a suitable remedy for the blues. Depending on their type of comedy preference, a great gift could be funny movie or TV series in a box set. If they're the slapstick kind, pick up a throwback Chris Farley or Leslie Nielsen movie for them; if they're the dry humour type, you can't go wrong with anything involving Will Ferrell or Steve Carell.
There's never an easy solution to get past the hard times. However nothing helps break out of the funk better than a good circle of friends. As we exit the most depressing season of the year, it's a good time to look out for those closest to us.
If you manage to help a friend out with one of these simple gifts, spread the good vibes and send me a tweet!
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