For May is Mental Health Month, MHA celebrated the benefits of social connection and recreation, animal companionship, spirituality, humor, and work-life balance to an individual’s overall health and well-being.
This holiday season, MHA wants to continue its #4Mind4Body message because promoting mental health awareness doesn’t end in May.
Your time and support are wonderful gifts to share with a loved one, and we prepared a list of experiences you can gift to help them care for their mental health year-round.
1. Social Connections and Recreation
Spending time with people who share interests and doing things that bring you both enjoyment are great ways to improve mood and overall mental health. Plan an activity that gets the body moving or lets the creative juices flow.
Get active by gifting class passes for two to try dance, barre, or rock-climbing. It’s important to incorporate exercise daily to ensure the body and the mind are healthy.
Learn a new skill together by taking a painting, knitting, or other DIY workshop. Creating art can be a great outlet for emotions, and it could turn into a new hobby!
If you are on a tight budget, you can show you care by organizing a volunteer activity that you both can participate. Volunteering is a great way to form meaningful connections with others, make new friends, and brighten others’ holiday.
Stocking Stuffer: “Thanks for Helping with the Heavy Stuff” Poster by Gemma Correll
2. Animal Companionship
The company of animals can have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life and ability to recover from illnesses. A pet can be a source of comfort and can help us to live mentally healthier lives.
On a cold winter day, snuggle with a warm kitten with a visit to a cat café. Starting with a search in your area, you can (purr)chase reservations in advance to gift to your loved one. Oftentimes, the café doubles as an opportunity to adopt a new friend!
Stocking Stuffer: “My Snuggles Soothe Struggles” Pet Tag
3. Spirituality and Religion
Whether it’s going to church, meditating daily, or simply finding time to reflect over cup of tea each morning – it can be important for your loved one to connect with their spiritual side in order to find that mind and body connection.
If your loved one loves yoga, a subscription to the app Down Dog ($60 for a one-year membership) will give them access to a variety of trainer-guided yoga practices that range in difficulty levels and last anywhere between 5-minutes to one and a half hour sessions.
If your loved one enjoys meditation, Headspace is an app that offers hundreds of themed and mini guided sessions that focus on stress, sleep, focus, and anxiety ($12.99/month or $95/year).
The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie
Okay Fine, I’m Grateful Mini Inner-Truth Journal by Knock Knock
Sometimes life is far from funny but finding humor in a situation can lift moods with laughter and help people to better deal with and overcome difficult experiences. Purchase your loved one tickets to a local comedy show to help melt away the stress that the holidays can oftentimes bring.
Stocking Stuffer: “Stigma is Poop” Sticker
5. Work-life Balance
Finding the balance between work and play, the ups and downs of life, physical health and mental health, can help you on the path towards focusing both #4Mind4Body.
After a long day at work, help your loved one unwind by creating and enjoying a healthy meal in the comfort of their home. Take the stress out of grocery shopping and have a new recipe and fresh ingredients sent directly to their door using a meal subscription service such as Hello Fresh, Sun Basket, or Blue Apron.
If you don’t mind splurging, you can treat your loved one to a spa service. A massage or manicure can remind them that relaxation and self-care is essential to a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Stocking Stuffer: Work Life Balance Pad:
6. Goodies that Give Back
Finally, a classic but still great way to show your support to a loved one is to buy gifts that give back. Visit the Mental Health America store to browse mental health merchandise where 100% of the proceeds are used to directly grow MHA’s programs and further its mission to address mental health concerns #b4stage4. You can also make a donation in any amount directly to MHA in honor of a loved one living with a mental illness.
Awareness Pin Set
Bell Bracelet – A Symbol of Hope