Are you in a holiday pickle wondering what to get your gal this season because the only answer she'll give when you ask what she wants is, "my sanity?" Well, this is the article for you (and her, who is probably too depressed to care to make a list for Santa this year).
If your girl is like me, all she'll say she wants is love and appreciation, so how better to show your love and appreciation than with the things she really wants, but just can't stay awake enough to tell you?
Honestly. Hold her tight because this time of year is the hardest. Well, really, you should hug her all the time because mental illness is really fuckin' tough all day, every day, all year. But if your girl is needy AF like me and needs a constant hug, consider giving her a (big + comfy) sweater covered in your scent that she can hug herself in when you aren't around.
2. An Empowering Pillow/Throw Blanket/Tapestry
LBR (Let's Be Real), your girl probably spends a lot of time in her room, hiding from the anxieties of the world around her. Motivate her! You don't even have to spend big bucks for this (though websites like Amazon, DenyDesigns and society6 will not fail you). I made a tapestry on the cheap with an old curtain I found at a thrift store, some acrylic paint, and inspiration from the Rupi Kaur's Milk and Honey (pictured below).
3. Somethin' Fuzzy
Get her a whole fucking barrel filled with peach skin. Or don't. There's this thing called dissociation that happens to a lot of people with depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc., and one of the strategies my therapist told me about was having something for each sense that helps bring the dissociates back to reality. So grab her fuzzy socks, a scarf, a fuzzy blanket, a small teddy bear, or even one of those cute keychains with a big puffer ball on it. It'll help her more than she'll tell you.
4. Some #sad or #heartful albums on that sweet, sweet vinyl
Nothin' feels more indie than crying while flipping to the B-Side, trust me on that. Sometimes, allowing the sadness to be expressed through song is more helpful than keeping it in, so hold your girl while her tears stream gently. (If you need suggestions, try Bright Eyes, The Head and The Heart, or Sufjan Stevens)
OR if you're not feeling like enabling her tears or the price that comes with vinyl, make her a sick playlist / mix tape with some funky tunes that she can vibe for those times when she's feeling good!
5. Splish, Splash, Some Stuff for the Bath!
Depression really makes it tough to do basic human activities, especially if those activities mean upholding a hygienic standard. Sometimes depression might keep ya girl from showering for an extended amount of time that they don't necessarily want to admit. How to fix this? Get them excited about the prospect of cleaning themselves with a fun new loofah, or some sensual sugar scrub. Better yet, get her a bath bomb or gemstone soap with a little treat in it like the ones from fragrantjewels.com or pearlbathbombs.com. Trick your girl into getting clean; they have to use the soap/bathbomb in order to get a ring or charm, or whatever is in the middle of the 'lil guy. Is your girl not into jewelry? There are POKEBOMBs with COLLECTIBLE POKEMON TOYS. I'm hype about it, in case you can't tell, and your girl probably will be too.
6. Essential Oils/Candles
If your girl does not have an essential oil diffuser, get her one. They are incredible for migraines, stress, or just for hiding the scent of the trash that she hasn't taken out in a week. Not to be a complete and total plug for Fragrant Jewels, but they also have candles with rings in them as well as the aforementioned bath bombs. Does her depression come with a dose of high anxiety? Smack her in the nostrils with some bergamot, lavender, or sandalwood to calm her senses. Is she fatigued? Peppermint, patchouli, and jasmine could be a good way of relieving some exhaustion. Is she lonely when you're gone, but you have to get stuff done? Roman Chamomile does wonders for those who can't cope with solitude.
7. Delivery Service Wine
Wine delivery? Yes please! All the glory of indulgence without the trip to the liquor store or grocery mart. There are subscription services like winc that will deliver wine straight to your girlfriend's doorstep, all she needs to do is prove ID and sign. Make sure you know what she likes-- you can take tests to discover what her "wine type" is. Or be adventurous and try that sparkling red wine that she's never had. Just know that many of these subscriptions continue for an automated shipment every month, so pay attention to what you're signing up for.
8. ~Fancy~ chocolate
And I'm not talking no Hershey's basic bullshit (no offense @Hershey's). Get her some specialty bars like ones with caramel and sea salt, or honey and ginger. An assortment is always good for that variety, but make sure you're there with her to eat the cherry ones that she doesn't like. "Chocolate is metabolized by the body into serotonin, one of our most potent mood enhancing hormones"(thanks, wiki), but this is talking about pure dark chocolate, not the processed stuff.
9. A Homemade Self-Care Kit
This. Kit. Has. Everything. Or anything! Whatever you think would make your girl smile, bundle it up and stuff it in a basket. Some ideas for this would be: love letters for a bad day, a check-list system for all the things she has trouble doing (like showering, eating, waking up on time-- give her a packet of star stickers so she can reward herself for every time she does something difficult, like brushing her teeth or hair). Throw in some indulgences, like artisan teas or a list of things to watch on Netflix, maybe include a journal, and get ready for a day of snuggling and telling your girl that she's worth it, because we all know she is, but she might not.
*** These gifts are totally non-gendered, I was just writing this from a point of what I, as a depressed girlfriend, would want for a gift. People that are not women are also faced with depression and I want this list to be as inclusive to them as it is to me. So don't just get these gifts for your gal, get them for your partner, your non-binary bestie, your boyfriend, your love. 'Tis the season, after all.
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