It’s that time of year again, when holiday songs and decorations and gift ideas take over the senses. And whether or not that’s (literally) music to your ears, there’s a good chance that there’s some holiday shopping in your future.
So what’s a savvy gift-giver like you planning to get for the loved ones in your life? Well, if you’ve got a friend or relative who doesn’t get enough sunlight (we all know people who work or play too hard inside), this is a great year to be particularly creative.
Sunlight helps regulate circadian rhythms and hormones that boost your mood and help you sleep. So here’s a list of gifts that help with relaxation, mood, and energy, and a few that might just motivate your bestie to spend some time outside.
1. Winter Accessories
Speaking of motivation to get out of the house, how about some irresistible, can’t-wait-to-put-them-on, outdoor accessories? Hat, scarf, gloves, warm sweaters, thick socks, snow boots, fashionable jackets… the items and price ranges are almost endless, and you can always plan ahead and gift a sunhat and some shades for summer. Any grateful gift receiver would take full advantage and spend some time in the beautiful outdoors.
Computers, cell phones, and TVs are about as far from relaxing mood lighting as you can get. And if you’re using these types of screens before bed, there’s a good chance you’re disrupting your body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep. Without natural light during the day to help boost melatonin, this is like a double dose of snooze-prevention.
So what’s a smart shopper like you to do? Give the gift of some relaxing, flickering candle light. And you know your loved ones best; get the unscented or soy varieties if that’s more their thing.
3. Exercise Gear
You can’t make someone exercise, but you can certainly provide some motivation. Exercise bands, hand weights, sneakers, a one-month membership to a bikram yoga studio, your pick! The goal is just to get your natural-light lacking loved one moving every day.
Why? Because just as natural light can help your body produce the feel-good hormone serotonin, research has also shown a connection between exercise and a boost in mood.
4. Screen-Free Hobby Helpers
This gift idea is another one that might help limit time in front of screens and provide some relaxation. Bonus points if you can promote an outdoor hobby like gardening or hiking, but even indoor ones like reading, cooking, or art have screen-free benefits. And if you know someone who just can’t get away from electronics, they make adult robot building kits. You’re welcome.
5. Spa Day Gift Certificates
A spa day may seem a little unoriginal, but clichés exist for a reason. They don’t have to be “girly,” either; anyone benefits from a nice, relaxing massage. It’s also a gift that doesn’t take up much room, but speaks volumes that you know your loved one needs some me time. If you’re feeling bold, add a hint to schedule some pampering later in the evening to maximize relaxation before bed.
6. Outdoor Sports Gear
Hockey sticks, ice skates, and sleds are a perfect gift for someone who needs more time outside, especially in the winter when sunlight is at a minimum. They also tend to encourage socialization, something that your loved one may lack with too much time spent stuck inside. The best part? Sports means exercise, which means an extra mood boost and easier sleep at night.
7. Natural Light for the Indoors
If you know someone who has trouble getting outside for natural light, then why not bring the outside in? If this sounds like a brilliant idea, that’s because it is. Brilli bulbs can provide cool, crisp light that simulates the daytime sun, and warm, relaxing light that’s like a sleepy sunset. They’re a great way to get the benefits of natural light from the bulbs inside your house. So give the gift that can boost mood and promote relaxation.