I’m pretty sure we all agree that while joy is at its peak this time of year, stress is also on a major upswing. Whether it’s a crazy to-do list stacked with shopping trips and baking marathons, financial strain, family tension, or grieving the absence of loved ones, there are about a million reasons to feel frazzled.
With that in mind, I decided to curate a list of gifts that offer real (techy) solutions to the holiday crazies.
You can think about it from two angles. First, consider buying one of these smart, stress-relieving products for a friend or family member you know needs a little calming self-care. For example, how stoked will your CEO BFF (who is also a mom of three) be to unwrap a gorgeous diffuser she can start using immediately after the holiday hubbub has died down?
Second, you can use this list to choose a few gifts for yourself…and start dropping hints. Like, “Honey, you know how you could thank me for not having a meltdown every time you keep me up half the night snoring? How about a pair of noise-masking sleepbuds?!” (Subtle, I know.)
However you use it, this list is filled with my favorite, on-trend calming holiday gifts of the season. May it somehow counteract whatever loud, buzzing toy Santa leaves under the tree for your four-year-old.
A COZY MEDITATION COCOON
This genius Gravity X Calm Holiday collab is a two-in-one meditation-relaxation solution: You get the therapeutic weighted Gravity blanket and a one-year subscription to top meditation and mindfulness app Calm. So you (or your giftee) can sink fully into a (warm) Zen place.
THE AT-HOME WORKOUT GADGET
It’s nearly impossible to take advantage of the stress-reducing benefits of exercise (oh hey, endorphins) when it takes an hour to get to the gym and you keep missing fitness classes when meetings run long. Get the busy, fitness-loving bee in your life one of the coolest new at-home workout gadgets: the Peloton Tread or MIRROR. Both use state-of-the-art technology to make it super easy to sweat at home. Bonus: They even look cool in the house.
Instead of a candle, which will be gone in just a few months, gift the gorgeous Vitruvi Stone Diffuser, which can be replenished over and over with stress-banishing essential oils like lavender and bergamot.
SLEEP (AND WELLNESS) SUPPLEMENTS
Sleep deprivation is one serious contributor to frenzied days. For the person on your list who has trouble turning off at night, wrap up The Nue Co’s Well Rested package. It comes with sleep drops, a magnesium rub, and an adaptogen-spiked powder for balance and energy.
UPGRADED EAR PLUGS
And if said sleep deprivation is related to noise issues (AKA the elevated subway passes right by your brother’s window), Bose’s Noise-Masking Sleepbuds make an amazing gift. They use “pre-loaded, soothing masking sounds” to drown out whatever else is keeping you up.
THE SKIN REJUVENATOR
When life is stressful, your skin suffers. The Foreo UFO is the upgraded sheet mask gadget a beauty buff might be coveting but not buy for herself. It combines spa-level skin-care tech and the popular mask approach for a quick beauty fix: a clearer, calmer complexion in less than two minutes.
AN OF-THE-MOMENT TRACKER
Here’s one of the coolest current biohacking gadgets out there: a health tracker that’s so tiny it fits around your finger. The minimalist Motiv Ring is a great gift for someone who finds comfort in stats. It’s beautifully designed and tracks fitness, sleep, and heart rate for overall wellness feedback.
THE SMARTEST SCALE AROUND
Speaking of stats, if someone in your life is working on a fitness goal (either currently or perpetually), you should give them the QardioBase 2 Wireless Smart Scale. Instead of just measuring weight, it also tracks BMI and body composition, making progress tracking super easy and stress-free.
Dirty Lemon’s functional beverages are cool enough to give as a gift, especially to a wellness-obsessed loved one. The upgraded lemonades come in stress-busting formulas like a turmeric-infused tonic, for calming all that tension-induced inflammation sleep, and a straight-up sleep blend that contains ingredients like chamomile and lemon balm.
THE HEALTHY MEAL SOLUTION
Another major source of stress during the holidays and all year long: getting a nutritious dinner on the table quickly. Tovala is an app-enabled steam oven that pairs with meal delivery. Unlike Blue Apron, which requires you to spend time chopping and sauteeing, you just pop the chef-designed meals (like ginger scallion poached salmon) into the oven, and they’re ready in less than 20 minutes.
Um, this is definitely the most advanced water bottle out there. Larq doesn’t just hold your water, it purifies it. It’s the perfect gift for someone who’s always on the go and is maybe too busy to think about H2O.
THE SMARTEST WATCH
The chic Fitbit Versa is like having a personal assistant on your wrist to help you manage whatever the day throws at you. You get your notifications and can check things like your sched and the weather and it keeps track of your fitness and sleep. More reasons it’ll add Zen to your life? It provides reminders to move (which are good for your mind and body) and guided breathing sessions. Plus, it’s got four days of battery life, and what in the world is more stressful than a battery that’s constantly diving to two percent?
CLEAN AIR FOR DEEP BREATHING
You know what really helps when you’re totally stressed? Deep breathing! Dyson’s Air Purifiers use the latest tech to capture allergens, pollutants, and gases and they keep you posted on the quality of the air in your home, so you don’t have to fret.
Which stress-busting tech gifts are you giving or asking for this year? Add your picks to the comments, below!