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As the world tries to find a new normal amid the coronavirus pandemic, so many friends, family and loved ones are practicing social distancing. Others are self-quarantining. These are overwhelming and isolating times. So whether you have a loved one who is finding things tough or want to mark a very unorthodox Mother’s Day, birthday, anniversary or other occasion, these gifts could make a real difference in someone’s day.
By Kevin Larue • Published Nov 24 2021
Understandably, sleep is likely not so easily found in the current news cycle. Weighted blankets provide just the right kind of pressure to help that. They’re designed to create a sense of calm and to help people have a longer, better quality of sleep. These all-natural bamboo ones are extra smooth.
It's almost impossible to avoid some level of anxiety creeping in but meditation and apps are here to help, kicking off or ending a day with moments of calm or helping get better sleep. Headspace is among the pick of the bunch and provides numerous options to send a subscription a loved one's way.
Go big or go home? How about go big and #StayHome. Jigsaw puzzles are having a renaissance. Given free time and the appetite for distraction, your loved one will likely thank you for as many pieces as possible. Ravensburger are the market leaders for a reason.
Essential oils might be finally about to live up to their name because anything that can bring the stress levels down right about now feels very essential indeed. This 'whisper quiet' diffuser has a 12-hour night mode that will keep things ever so misty while you catch up on badly needed slumber.
Contrary to the belief of some (the no-fun brigade basically), there is no age limit on colouring books. MantraCraft's extensive catalogue of kaleidoscopic designs are specifically produced to help you get relax, destress and express your creativity.
There are few moods that can’t at least be boosted even just a little with the right Motown playlist. With live music in precious short supply right now, reconnecting with some classics or catching up with what’s hot can be a voyage without leaving the house.
Some people find Stephen King comforting. Some people find Dan Brown relaxing. Hell, some people just want a one-way ticket back to Hogwarts. The simplest (and perfect) solution is to pay a loved one's way on Kindle and have them decide for themselves.
The nails salons are closed. The hairdressers are shut too. But self isolation can still involve some self indulgence. This ultimate pampering bed, bath and body works spa set is 100% pure and full of pear-scented goodness.
Sometimes your loved one just need that guy from Gilmore Girls (Scott Paterson) to tell them everything is gonna be OK. Maybe having Brett Favre check is just what your buddy needs to put his mind at ease. Dive into Cameo's roster and surprise them with a personalized message from a star.
This feels like a very fitting time to be growing your own but for many, it isn't as simple as that. This great system brings the garden indoors and promises. The LED lighting system is tuned to the specific needs of plants to maximize photosynthesis, resulting in rapid, natural growth and comes with a herb seed kit.
Fittingly perhaps, it's celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and Claire Weekes groundbreaking self-help guide for anxiety sufferers has rarely felt so necessary. "A cultish devotion to her simple and direct advice means that today the book is prized," say the New York Times. Good enough for us.
While so many media outlets have dropped their paywalls for coverage of the Coronavirus pandemic, there has rarely been a more compelling time to buy in and support their coverage. With so much misinformation circulating, the brilliant journalism served up by The Guardian, The Washington Post and The New York Times, among so many others, is invaluable.
Gifting new hobbies that leave your loved one with a usable and relaxing end result arguably covers more than one occasion (hello birthday and Mother's Day combo). This super intuitive step-by-step kit includes pure fragrances such as lavender and eucalyptus.
There has never been a more fitting moment to carve out time to chill. A Netflix gift card is a perfect option for shorter-term enjoyment without having to make any long-term financial commitment. (Just please remind them to avoid Pandemic and/or Contagion if it's distraction they're after.)
As the days all seems to blur into one another and time passes at an unorthodox pace, there is comfort in knowing that it's definitely wine o'clock somewhere. No one will ever be disappointed with getting a fresh supply of the finest fermented grapes juice delivered to the door each month. In the US, Winc's curated offerings are particularly good.
Adding a new string to your bow seems a much better use of all this time cocooned at home than just grazing on social media. And if your loved one is going to learn, well it may as well be from the best. Take filmmaking with Martin Scorsese, creative writing with Margaret Attwood or chess with Garry Kasparov. Why not take the class together?
Distractions are the order of the day and Nintendo do them better than anyone else. With seemingly every sport on the planet on hiatus, gift a friend some FIFA or Mario Kart (it's definitely a sport, we checked) to fill the competitive void.
No gym? No problem. Help your loved one take the crossfit studio into the living room with one of the best-selling fitness and training systems on the market. Learn and master the seven foundational moves of the TRX system: push, pull, plank, squat, lunge, hinge and rotate. And then...rest.
Hold the phone...there's Friends Lego? Yes there's Friends Lego. Lego's adult range has expanded hugely in recent years and there's something for everyone now — the Tokyo skyline; the NASA Apollo Saturn, a vintage Aston Martin. Get gifting and let them get building.
Now would be a very good time to pimp that WiFi service. Depending just how many people are socially distancing under the one roof, this six-antenna router provides high speed service for up to...wait for it...55 devices. Perfect for those peak hours when streaming, scrolling and gaming all converge.
Sometimes functional trumps fun. This feels like one of those moments in time. A Prime membership can be used for so many home and life essentials that it's likely to be used early and often by whoever is on the receiving end. Bonus: it includes even more streaming options.
Of course a global pandemic isn't something we can just 'let go'. If only. However journal writing remains an excellent way to decompress and process some pretty chaotic times. Monica Sweeney's unique journals promise to be 'zen as f*ck'. You must know someone who needs a bit of that.
Saying it with flowers remains timeless. And brightening up a room can go a long way to brightening up a day. BloomsyBox is a subscription service that promises to deliver handpicked, hand-tied bouquets sent from sustainable farms around the globe.
Hell, they're sitting around the house a whole lot more these days so why not make your loved one that bit more comfortable. These fleece Nordic print onesies are extra roomy and machine washable. Just tell them to make sure they're not wearing it when it comes time for that working from home video call.
Finding the time to concentrate might never have been easier but finding the space to do it for some might never have been harder. Many houses are filled with people staying home. So giving the gift of noise cancellation is a saintly act. These wireless Bose headphones are Alexa-enabled too!
Working from home is one thing. Trying to get the day going without your morning latte is a whole other thing. With so many coffee shops temporarily shuttered being able to get that caffeine fix in-house is a dream. With an in-built grinder, digital temperature control and impressive steam pressure this machine delivers with a kick.
It's only temporary (we all hope) but there's no denying that life runs on video calls now. So pimp that picture with a HD webcam. This super compatible camera has 100-degree wide angle lens and noise cancellation microphones to ensure that even on chaotic conference calls, they will be heard.
Reaching a zen state may be a little too aspirational but encouraging a loved one to at least stretch themselves towards it is a start. One of the most eco-friendly mats on the market, Manduka promise their products are free of all chemicals and are 100% sustainable.
How long we are all cooped up in our homes remains to be seen. Whether distancing becomes a new norm has been debated. Candy, never a bad idea, is a particularly good idea in such circumstances. CandyClub tailors a package to a particular set of taste buds (sour over sweet every time!) and then puts together a delectable selection to land at the door every month.
We all used to have that one germaphobe friend. Now we only have germaphobe friends. And that's no bad thing. But all of those 20-second scrubs are leaving paws cracked and raw. This luxurious balm with 20% Shea Butter will find its way to very, very grateful hands.
Much as we keep our distance, staying connected has rarely felt so important. But not everyone's loved ones have access to Skype and Zoom at the drop of a hat. Helping make those precious long-distance calls that bit easier is a godsend.
The panic purchasing that was such a feature of the early stages of the pandemic has hopefully slowed by now. Bulk buying bottled water remains one of the least environmentally friendly habits. These ultra durable, hard-sided personal bottles with built-in filters are super handy and so cost-effective.