What do you give to someone who is depressed?
If you’re thinking of buying a loved one or friend with depression a gift make sure it’s personal to their current situation.
People who are suffering from depression (in many cases) have a tough time doing basic daily tasks, such as getting dressed or washing their hair.
Others may put on a brave face and seem to function normally even though they are experiencing long-term depression.
Therefore here’s what I recommend:
- Focus on buying (or creating) gifts that will make their day a little easier and more enjoyable.
- Encourage them with gifts that relate to their interests and hobbies (even if they aren’t that focused on them at the moment). By helping your friend engage in activities that lift their mood can be a lifesaver and reduce low feelings.
- Give gifts that someone can enjoy with one of their 5 senses. This allows them to enjoy the simple things in life which is what they need right now.
Related: The Best Cozy, Hygge Gift Ideas
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Journal Gifts for Depression
1. Daily Gratitude Journal
Practicing gratitude is something I mindfully focus on every day and the act of writing down what you are grateful for is a perfect place to start.
Here is a simply beautiful journal to help your loved one begin…
Includes a beautiful quote to ponder for each week of the year plus 3 spots to write what you’re thankful for every day.
Check out the journal here.
2. Mood Tracking Journal
When someone is suffering from depression they are often recommended (by therapists) to track their mood.
This mood journal has beautiful journal prompts and connects mood to daily activities. That way you can focus on doing more of what feels good and avoid what keeps you down.
It includes self-reflection pages, monthly tracking and daily journaling.
3. Self Love Journal
A 30-day self-love journal challenge designed to help practice self-love every day. Each week you’ll find daily self-love writing prompts, weekly reflection prompts, plus inspirational quotes and colouring pages.
Also, includes self-love affirmations to inspire you plus a ‘write your own’ affirmations page and 75 self-care ideas you can use throughout the 30-day challenge.
Thoughtful Gifts for People with Depression
4. Thoughtful Card
Sending a little note to someone when they’re down and depressed can be such a beautiful gesture, especially when your loved one is not expecting it.
Simply saying, I love you, I’m here for you, I’m thinking of you goes a long way in helping someone feel supported.
Here are some of my favourite thoughtful cards you can send…
These are from my new printables shop and are designed to send a caring message to make someone’s day. Easy to print at home and use as often as you like.
Check them out here.
Check out more printable cards:
(I only use printable cards these days. Just get yourself some good quality card stock and print at home. Very easy, especially when you’re short on time!)
Fun, Thinking of You Cards: Pack of 30, 6 designs
These cards are so handy to have a home so you can send a little note to someone when they need a pick me up.
They come with a variety of messages and coloured envelopes to choose from.
Check out the cute designs here.
5. Lend a Hand
When someone is severely depressed they aren’t able to function enough to do normal daily activities.
Therefore by visiting them and lending them a hand with tidying, cleaning, shopping or cooking is the best gift you can offer.
Physically showing up for someone reminds them they are loved and not as alone as they may think. That human contact helps even when your loved one is at their lowest point and has a hard time interacting.
One of the lifesavers for someone with depression is to have something (or someone) to look after. This is where a plant comes in.
Plants are simple enough to look after and have many health benefits.
My top recommendations for easy to look after indoor plants…
- Aloe Vera
- Money tree (aka Guiana Chestnut)
- Boston fern
- Spider plant
- Peace Lily
Self Care Gifts for People with Depression
7. Essential Oils
My go-to essential oils are from Simply Earth.
They have high-quality, pure essential oils and the prices are really affordable. They also have a monthly recipe box subscription (details below) which is my favourite part!
Relaxing Essential Oil Recommendations:
Relaxing essential oils help you unwind at the end of the day and are a great way to calm the mind as well as release tension.
- Lavender – this is a classic blend that I love on its own or with a couple drops of peppermint
- Tranquility Blend – Great for helping ease feelings of stress and anxiety.
- Sleepy Blend – This does what it says! This blend of lavender, grapefruit, howood, & bergamot helps you relax before bed.
Mood-Boosting Essential Oil Recommendations:
Essential oils are also a great way to boost your mood.
- Happy Joy Roll On – This happy blend of refreshing oils is perfect to put in your purse so you can use it anywhere. You can also get Happy Joy in a bottle so you can use in your diffuser.
- Orange and Lemon single oils. I love combining these two essential oils to start my day. The clean smell really uplifts the mood.
Essential Oil Gift Box (Coupon Code below)
The perfect gift for essential oil lovers or yourself! With this essential oil subscription box you get 4 essential oils plus ingredients, containers and extras you need to make 6 natural recipes.
- When you purchase your first subscription box you get a FREE Big Bonus Box from Simply Earth + a $40 gift card with the use of my promo code PUTTHEKETTLEONFREE
8. Essential Oil Diffuser
Using a diffuser is my favourite way to enjoy essential oils. Not only does it bring beautiful aromas into your home but also unique lighting for the evenings that create the coziest of atmospheres.
My top essential oil diffuser picks…
This Simply Earth diffuser has a gorgeous minimalist design and has many colours to choose from to light up your space.
See more product images here.
Available in light wood and dark wood with 7 colour lights which creates a relaxing atmosphere in the evenings. (I have this diffuser in my office!)
Check out the diffusers and great reviews here.
9. Weighted Blanket
A weighted blanket feels like a soft hug and is the perfect gift for people who have trouble sleeping, have anxiety or those who just need some extra comfort to feel good.
Tip: Weighted blankets need to be chosen for different body weights, so make sure to select the correct weight for the person you are buying for.
Check out the beautiful colours and patterns to choose from!
10. Self Care Kit
A self care kit is a great way to show someone you care. You can either make your own or buy a monthly subscription box.
To make your own self care kit I recommend:
- Something to drink: tea, hot chocolate or your friends fave coffee
- Something cozy: Candle, fluffy socks or slippers
- A book or journal (you can get some ideas from the other ideas in this article)
- Something to look after – a small plant is perfect for this
- A caring note or card letting your loved one know how much you mean to them
You can also opt for a self care subscription box where everything is already curated for you.
Some of my favourites:
My Thera Box – Curated by therapists every month to increase happiness and reduce stress.
Goddess Provisions – Perfect for those who love all things new age, the Goddess Provisions subscription box includes crystals, aromatherapy, natural beauty products, superfood snacks & spiritual tools.
Includes 5 to 7 beautiful full-size items every month.
Gifts to Help Improve the Daily Routine
11. Cute Mug with Coffee or Tea
This may seem cliché but something as small as a cute mug can bring a smile to someone’s day. Before I drink tea in the morning I always choose a mug that gives me a happy memory or makes me feel good.
Here are some of my top picks for cute mugs…
3D Cute Cow Mug (Many other animals to choose from!)
The cutest gift for all types of animal lovers, bunnies, pigs, monkeys, cats, dogs, frogs!
Click to find your fave animal at the bottom of one of these cups.
The perfect inspirational gift to lift someone’s spirits. This tea/coffee mug comes in 3 different colours and sayings.
Find the message that will cheer your friend up.
Don’t forget to add in some good quality tea or coffee!
My tea pick…
Taylors of Harrogate Scottish Breakfast, (Many other varieties available)
More Tea Related Gifts: 12 Unique Tea Gifts for the Tea Lover in Your Life
12. Food Subscription Box
Making a meal when you’re depressed can be a real challenge, so a meal kit box is the perfect way to show someone you care. It will also help them get back into the kitchen with ease.
I personally love HelloFresh due to the variety and healthy meal options.
HelloFresh Canada (Get $40 OFF)
Creative Gifts for a Depressed Friend
13. Adult Colouring Book
There are so many benefits of colouring for adults with the main being stress relief. This simple activity is my go-to when I feel heavy stress building up.
Just 15 minutes colouring in my favourite books really lifts a weight from my chest.
Add a cup of tea and some happy music and you can lift your spirits very quickly.
These are my colouring books that I use on a regular basis and absolutely love.
The creator of these books, Johanna Basford also has a gorgeous Christmas colouring book too!
14. Relaxing Puzzle
15. Hand Lettering & Calligraphy Guide
Similar to colouring, hand lettering can be extremely relaxing for many people. This is the perfect gift for someone interested in learning a new creative skill.
Beginners can start with this ultimate guide teaching the basics…
Add this beginner Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen Set which are the go-to pens for many professional modern calligraphers.
Book Gifts for a Somone with Depression
This was the workbook I used when I was going through group therapy for depression. The primary focus in Mind Over Mood is teaching Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
This life-changing book focuses on depression, anxiety, anger, guilt and shame and has been sold to more than 1.1 million readers.
This is still one of my favourite books on happiness.
I’m a strong believer that you can (somewhat) be in control of your happiness – even when going through depression. This means making a choice to add things to your day that feel good – and The Happiness Project is just that.
Gretchen Rubin shares her 12-month journey of testing a variety of methods on how to find happiness. Great read!
18. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, by Jenny Lawson
A funny book about dealing with mental illness. Jenny Lawson shares her personal experiences dealing with depression and other mental illnesses and how she chose to find ways to be furiously happy – taking moments from fine to amazing.
Being furiously happy is “The difference between surviving life and living life.”
19. What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience and Healing
What Happened to You? is a collaboration between Oprah Winfrey and Bruce D. Perry, MD – Oprah shares her experiences with emotional and physical abuse as a child. Alongside co-author Bruce D. Perry, MD shares powerful strategies to rebuild self-worth and happiness in life.
More Gift Ideas for Someone with Depression
20. Light Therapy Lamp
A light therapy lamp is perfect for those with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and anyone who lives in a climate where it’s dark or grey outside for long periods of time. Using a light therapy lamp is a great way to add a little sunshine to your day.
How Do You Cheer Someone Up Who Has Depression?
When it comes to depression you may be able to cheer someone up (temporarily) but healing from depression goes a lot deeper than having a good laugh or fun time.
Saying this, the best way you can support someone with depression is to let them know you are truly there for them
Many people who are depressed assume others don’t want to be around them. This can be a cognitive distortion in many cases.
Therefore, just showing up for someone goes a long, long way.
How do you ‘show up’?
Simply, be in regular contact with that person. Send a text. Make a phone call. Write them a card. Pop by and say hello. And if you want to give them a gift during an especially hard time or an important occasion – make it a personal, thoughtful gift.
*Note: I am not a medical professional, but share this advice and guidance from my own experiences with depression and cognitive behavioural therapy. If you or someone you love is suffering from depression reach out to a family doctor or a mental health facility. Depression doesn’t get better on its own and medical/therapeutic support is often needed.
Related mental health articles & resources:
- How to Set and Achieve Your Mental Health Goals
- 20 Inspiring Quotes to Give You Strength When You’re Feeling Low
- 30 Self Love Journal Prompts to Boost Self Esteem
- How to Love Yourself & Get Rid of Negative Thoughts
- Do You Have a Feel Better Routine? 9 Ways to Reduce Stress Now
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