The stressors of daily life can get to anyone and this is even more pronounced now that we’re entering our 6th month of social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic. After all, we’re not only coping with the regular daily stressors of paying bills, going to work, taking care of kids, and maintaining our relationships, but we have to fear a global pandemic on top of that.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many people are worried because of the life changes we have been experiencing. Their website notes: “Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Public health actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety.”
It’s important to mitigate stress on your own, but that doesn’t mean you cannot help others as a good friend.
Simply being there for your friends is a great way to show that you care. Humans are social animals instinctively, but right now, we might not be able to shower our loved ones with affection. Being there for your friends might also look different because of the amount of distance between the two of you.
Whether your friends are stressed out because of a global pandemic or workplace stress, there are many ways to help ease their anxiety (even if you’re across the country).
We can take one queue from the idea that humans have five love languages. These categories express how we desire love and prefer to be loved. These include: quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, and, of course, gift giving.
Many people might see giving gifts as a form of materialism. However, this isn’t always the case. A hand-crafted gift can mean just as much as an expensive diamond ring. The idea behind gift giving is that the person took time out of their day to show their love. Receiving a gift is exciting and it will serve as a reminder of the person you love. It connects to the idea that people form stronger bonds when they do things for one another. Studies have shown that asking people for favors might actually encourage them to like you more out of a sense of need and belonging. Though it sounds counterintuitive — why would you ask an acquaintance for help? — it can actually make you closer in the end. The same can be said for the commonly frowned upon love languages like acts of service and gift giving.
In the midst of a global pandemic, offering a friend a gift is, perhaps, one of the best things that we can do. It keeps both parties safe while ensuring that a level of care and love is still there. Whether you’re trying to buy your stressed-out friend something expensive or making something for cheap, here are some of the best gifts to give a friend when they’re feeling stressed.
Give them the gift of free time
The COVID-19 pandemic means that we’re spending more time with our families. While this is great in some regards, it can cause undue stress in others. After all, it’s hard to be a parent and go to work at the same time in the same house. Now that COVID-19 restrictions are slowly starting to lift, giving your friend a voucher to a day care center can help them get a night to themselves.
Not convinced this isn’t one of the best gifts to give a friend? Check out some of the top reasons we should spend more time alone.
- Spending time alone gives you the opportunity to “reboot” your brain. If you’re constantly running, you’ll need a break sometimes; the same can be said for your brain. Spending time on your own gives you time to reboot and relax.
- When you spend more time alone, you’ll find that your concentration and focus improves. Even if your friend chooses to use that day off to get more work done, the lack of distractions can help improve their work quality.
- Spending time on your own enables you to reflect on yourself, your needs, and what you want. Because you’re able to think more deeply, you can listen to your inner voice instead of all the voices around you.
- Perhaps best of all, solitude will also help you appreciate the time you spend with others all the more.
What’s nice about this gift is that it doesn’t pigeon-hole your friend into a certain activity. Rather, it simply gives them the ability to choose how to spend their day. They might even choose to opt for something to relax, like weed delivery, without kids in the house. Cannabis has been shown to relax stressed-out individuals, making it a fun activity for your day off. Even though there’s not too much we can do during the time of COVID-19, even spending the day on the couch might sound like a gift for a stressed-out parent. It just goes to show that the best gifts to give a friend might be free time.
Give them something nostalgic
Stressed-out friends can get so wrapped up in their work that they forget about everything else. This means that feelings of depression, anxiety, and even loneliness can creep in. If you’re worried that you haven’t talked to your friend for a while, giving them a nostalgic present can help remind them of times where they were less stressed.
The easiest way to bring about feelings of nostalgia is by gifting your friend a photo. Make it a photo of the two of you when you were having fun together. A night playing cards or an old camping trip can be a great opportunity to reminisce and realize that there are better times to come. It can also encourage the two of you to make plans for the future.
If you’d rather go for something really nostalgic, like an old piece of jewelry or an old game from the 90s, you can always hit up your local pawn shops or antique stores for something cool. You never know what you might be able to find in the dusty shelves of your local haunt. There might just be a cool figurine from your childhood or an old album that you used to listen to together. When you’re thinking of the best gifts to give a friend, their needs and interests should take the front seat, not yours.
Invest in their health
If you happen to have more than a couple of dimes in your pocket, you might want to think about improving your friend’s health. Just be sure that this is a gift that they actually want before buying. Nothing says “you’re ugly” more than buying them a plastic surgery procedure.
But if your friend has been experiencing an annoying skin issue, now might be the perfect time to encourage them to get help. Maybe your friend has had acne their entire life but lacked the motivation to do something about it? Perhaps your friend hates a mole and has always wanted to get it removed but never had the funds. Local dermatology services often don’t care who pays for a procedure so long as the bill gets covered. You can also ask your friend if they would want the money for a dermatologist and reimburse them as needed.
Another increasingly popular gift is Invisalign. This clear braces alternative is a little pricey, but it’s a perfect gift for someone who wants to correct their crooked teeth. Because these trays are nearly invisible, it also means that your friend won’t feel self-conscious during their treatment. Of course, this gift is an investment since one tray won’t correct your smile. Rather, it relies on a series of trays designed to gradually shift your teeth over time.
Of course, this is only for people who have ample spending money and want to do something nice for their friend. You shouldn’t feel bad if you don’t have hundreds or thousands of dollars to spend on another person. Something like this might be better saved for a birthday or bought in conjunction with other friends to help ease the cost on your end, too. Some of the best gifts to give a friend often come from a whole group of loved ones to mitigate the cost.
You can also opt for more casual one-off health events. Your stressed-out friend might seriously benefit from a trip to the masseuse. After all, much of our tension and stress tends to accumulate in our neck and shoulders. Eventually, our whole back might feel out of whack. Getting them a gift card to a media spa can be a great treat that they wouldn’t think to get themselves. This is especially true since some medi spas can run the gamut in terms of pricing. Keep their stress under control by giving them one of the best gifts you can give a friend who’s stressed: a massage.
Make their job easier
Coping with the stress of work on top of a global pandemic can make it impossible to feel productive. When each day starts to run into the next, it can be even worse. Helping their jobs become easier might be among the best gifts to give a friend.
If your friend is an essential worker, odds are that they’re on their feet a lot. Retail, food service, and health care workers are running around for at least eight hours a day if not longer. This is made even more daunting if they have foot problems.
Younger people are less likely to experience health issues concerning their feet than older people. But foot pain is known to strike anyone that’s on their feet all day, especially if they aren’t wearing the appropriate shoes. Investing in shoes for foot issues for your friend can help their health and make their job even easier.
If your friend works from home, you might want to consider fun office gifts to make their workday easier. Just about everyone can benefit from a calendar or a desk organizer to keep their pens and pencils all together. Gifts that are unique to their job can also be a good idea! Attending art school when you’re young can lead to certain careers later on as long as you develop a passion for creativity. Giving your friend a new iPad to draw on or a new sketchbook can be a simple way to encourage their work from afar.
Best gifts to give a friend
The best gifts to give a friend are the ones that can help improve their daily life. They will have meaning to the individual, whether that means reminiscing about the good times or looking toward the future. It might be a simple way to streamline their day or a great way to relax. Along with getting them a great candle, there are countless ways to help your friend feel better. Whatever you choose to do gift them, ensure that the best gifts to give a friend are wanted.
Buying your friend a gift is a way of showing that you care about the friendship. If you have a close friend, the chances are high that you know the kind of things they like. Hence, it will be easy to get them a gift that they will love. A good gift for anyone is the one given with love. The way you present your gift can tell much as to whether you bought it out of love. Some people tend to buy gifts because a friend has a special occasion that requires people to buy them gifts. Well, this should not always be the case.
You can decide to buy a unique gift for someone regardless of whether there is a special occasion or not. If you search for a day of presents gift ideas, you will get plenty of amazing ideas to gift someone. In some cases, you might have run out of ideas of the ideal gift to buy. If such happens, a flower delivery would be a good option. Flowers are simple gifts of appreciation, and someone would love it if you send them flowers. Also, you can search for the 10 best gifts to give a person. The kind of gift you decide to buy depends on your budget.
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