Ultimate Gift Guide for Anxious Teens (and Adults!)
While this is called the Ultimate Gift Guide for Anxious Teens, there are many gifts you can give that aren't tangible. The greatest gift you can give an anxious teen is the “gift” of understanding. Just letting your teen know you're there when they need you and that they can count on you is a great gift that many teens never had. These gift ideas for anxious teens will give you other ideas of tangible gifts to give, for birthdays, Christmas, or any other time. Sometimes they just need a “pick me up” gift.
Most of the gift ideas I've found just include relaxing bath bombs, eye masks, you know, the usual. This list is a bit different as teenagers helped me compile it. The gifts are fun and/or practical. While you're here, check out this list of Gifts for Anxious People by my friend Jennifer. I actually ordered one of the gifts on her list for myself!
Ultimate Gift Guide for Anxious Teens
I want to give a huge shout out/thanks to everyone who helped me with ideas for this gift guide! From Jenelle's friends to my own friends on Facebook, everyone pitched in and I really appreciate it. Claims made in this post are not medical claims. I'm not a medical professional nor do I claim to know what I'm doing. :) However, I have experience with my own anxiety and want to share it with you guys.
Don't forget! I wrote a post about our favorite apps! 11 Free Apps for Anxious Teens.
I've used worry stones for ages, without even realizing they were worry stones. Anything can be a “worry item” (didn't know what else to call it). Whether it's a paper clip, a rock, or a rolled up piece of paper, the item can be used to help ground you. Fidgeting is a natural habit for anxious teens (and adults!). If you can channel that fidgeting into your worry items, they can help take your mind off of whatever is making you anxious.
Worry rings like this one keep your mind off of the stress that's infiltrating your brain and making you anxious. I enjoy fidgeting my spinner rings, and interlocking worry rings are also pretty awesome.
Colorful worry stones are my favorite! “Storms make trees take deeper roots”. Plain black worry stones serve their purpose, even if they aren't as bright and colorful as the others. ;) Faith stones are very popular, even if you don't subscribe to a particular religion. Besides, peace and love are universal!
I'm a firm believer in the healing power of crystals and their powerful properties. Each crystal or stone will work in a different way, for different things. With that being said, if you feel drawn to a particular crystal, regardless of its stated properties, you should keep it near! Giving crystals as gifts is rather easy: I stick to the basics like amethyst and clear quartz.
I have one of these Seven Chakra palm stones in my own mini anxiety kit. While I favor amethyst, I love having the rainbow within my reach. Another great gift idea would be a beautiful rainbow necklace. If your anxious teen isn't really into jewelry, the 7 Chakras figurine can sit on their night stand. Anxiety tends to hit at night before bed. Allow the crystals to provide a calming atmosphere.
Mood and Lava Lamps
Who wouldn't love a jellyfish mood lamp? I know I would! Light Ion therapy lamps are used for depression more often than they're used for anxiety, but many times teens that have anxiety also suffer from depression. These can be gifts to help with depression, too.
I loved lava lamps when I was a teen, but I didn't realize they could help with anxiety until I was much older. Much like the other gifts on this list, the idea is that focusing on the lava lamp rather than what's making you anxious can calm your breathing and pull you out of an anxious episode. For the science nerd, there's this electroplasma lightning lamp, and for the diva, there's a gold lava lamp with rainbow glitter.
Salt Lamps for Anxiety
Salt lamps are all over our house! Grace has a salt lamp night light and we have a big salt lamp on our island in the kitchen. The Ultimate Gift Guide for Anxious Teens wouldn't be complete without salt lamps.
The lamp we have on our island is perfect, but if I was going to buy another one right now I'd go with this one just because it looks really cool. :) If you're looking for something smaller, try the ones Grace has in her room.
Weighted blankets are popular, but I didn't realize there were other weighted items available to help with anxiety and sensory issues. Weighted blankets can help reduce anxiety in teens and adults. The blankets also simulate deep pressure touch (DPT), a type of therapy that uses firm, hands-on pressure to reduce chronic stress and high levels of anxiety.
Weighted eye masks are perfect for taking a quick break, and for getting more restful sleep. Nodpods offer gentle pressure, making it easier to fall asleep – and stay asleep. If your teen is having trouble sleeping, Nodpods are a good option. Get a 4 pack of lavender eye pillows and use them to put together anxiety kits for your teens or a few friends. Bonus: they can be warmed up or frozen for headache relief.
Weighted blankets can be pricey, but you can buy smaller blankets if you're on a budget. The price goes up as the weight and size go up. This XL 12 pound blanket would be an amazing gift, but a small lap blanket would be just as great.
Have you ever played with a mermaid pillow? If so, you already know how amazing these things are. I don't know why it took so long for the mermaid sequin people to create them, but I sure wish I could've had one when I was a kid! My girls all grab my Mom's pillow as soon as they get to her house.
Coloring Therapy for Anxious Teens
You can find free coloring pages online, or purchase affordable adult coloring books on Amazon and put together a little coloring therapy basket. I personally prefer to color with pens, markers, or colored pencils. Crayons get on my nerves LOL but if you insist on including crayons in the coloring gift basket, give them a sharpener as well. If you're looking for gifts for anxiety sufferers, coloring gift baskets are easily customized and affordable to give.
Coloring has many benefits, and can really help anxious teens and adults relax by putting their brains in a meditative state. I don't know if “Calm the F*ck Down” is a book you'd give your teen, but I'm pretty sure I would be okay giving it to an older teen – or myself! Island Dreams and Stress Relieving Animal Designs are both safe choices if you're not so sure on the other one. ;)
While not quite as fun or colorful as coloring books are, logic puzzles are still a way to get your mind off of anxiety. Crosswords for Teens, mysteries and other logic puzzles, and Ultimate Mind Games all look promising. I'm sure you're sensing a theme here: focus the mind elsewhere to relieve anxiety. Anything that can distract your brain for even a few minutes can help.
Essential Oils for Anxiety
No, I'm not going to try and sell you essential oils through a direct sales business; essential oils are one of the most effective tools I've found for managing my own anxiety.
An essential oil fairy necklace would make a cute gift. I really like the diffuser pads because they seem to hold the essential oils longest. Teens love lockets like this one! I haven't tried the necklaces with the plush balls but it seems like they'd hold the oils well, too. Another great option is this personalized monogrammed diffuser necklace. I don't know about you but I LOVE anything personalized.
Lavender is known for its calming effects, so most people use it as their go to for anxiety. Chamomile, rose, and bergamot are used by many for anxiety. I actually like peppermint and lavender mixed because it's calming but invigorating at the same time. Lavender is great if you want to fall asleep, but when you have anxiety during the day I think it's nice to have the peppermint or spearmint mixed in.
A peppermint lavender eye pillow can help create a relaxing environment at night or even during the day, just like the weighted eye pillows do. Turning your teen's room into a relaxing oasis is easy with aromatherapy diffusers. Don't forget to stock up on this stress relief blend!
Stress Relievers for Teens
Slime, kinetic sand, and ooblek are all favorites in our house (well, unless you ask my wife… she hates them!). Even if you aren't crafty, you can easily DIY these items and use them to create an anti anxiety gift basket.
Help your teen get zen with a DIY zen garden kit. While there are many options to choose from, I like to keep it simple. A Buddha Zen Garden that is also a candle holder would make the perfect addition to any bedroom. I like this mini zen garden, too.
Yoga for Teens
Yoga isn't something that everyone will love, but it can be extremely relaxing if used as a tool for mindfulness and easing anxiety. There are different types of yoga, of course, and teens can do them at home or you can purchase a gym membership to give as a gift. Sometimes being alone and doing yoga is nice, while other times doing it at the gym surrounded by like-minded individuals can be soothing.
Yoga is nice because it doesn't require a lot of equipment like some exercises do. Also, it doesn't FEEL like exercise! :) Grab a mat and DVD (or YouTube vid) and you're good to go. Yoga cards are a nice alternative to DVDs. Cards don't require quite as much concentration because you can do one move at a time whenever you want.
Beauty Masks for Anxiety
My teen's favorite thing in the world to do? Use face masks! It's become quite the obsession, but it's a good one so I don't complain. Plus, it makes for a good mother daughter activity when I want to join in. She makes her own masks (I'll have her share some recipes soon), but her favorite masks to buy are:
Sheet masks are Jenelle's favorite, but I prefer the masks in a jar. Another option is to give your anxious teen a DIY beauty mask kit. Not only will they reap the benefits of the mask, they'll calm their anxiety in the process of putting it all together.
A friend told me her anxiety is caused by a hormonal imbalance, which causes her face to break out. An added benefit of face masks: they deep clean your face, so you can have less breakouts and higher confidence. Higher confidence can (sometimes) help with lowering anxiety.
Other gift ideas for anxious teens
If you have other gift ideas for friends or teens with anxiety, please leave them in the comments! I'll be updating this post on a regular basis. My Anxiety Journal for Teens should be complete by the end of the year (just in time for Christmas!). Sign up for my weekly email list if you'd like to be notified when it's available.
I hope these ideas help you get started figuring out gifts for anxious teens. They work for grown ups, too, but there are so few resources for anxious teens, I wanted to create a gift guide to help parents (like me!) navigate gift giving year round.