Booked and busy. It's the kind of lifestyle that a lot of people inadvertently have these days. And while it can be good to have a packed social calendar or work schedule, an ever-growing to-do list can become overwhelming if you don't come up for air every once and while. "Although it may sound counterintuitive to take breaks when you’re busy, it can actually reduce symptoms of anxiety," says Danielle Roeske, PsyD, vice president of residential services and counselor at Newport Academy, a network of teen healing centers across the United States. "Even if it’s a short break of five minutes, that is enough time to refresh and get back on track."
But it's important to note that break time doesn't just fall in our laps. Roeske adds that if you truly want to experience rest, you have to be purposeful in putting it on your agenda. "Ideally, we carve out a specific window of time each day or week that we hold sacred from the pulls of outside demands that tend to compromise the time," she says. "Unfortunately, unless we make a conscious effort to schedule this time, it often falls to the wayside despite best intentions."
If you know someone who's always on-the-go and could benefit from a good, long pause, you've come to the right spot. We've rounded up the best gifts for busy people that'll help them take a break from the everyday grind or, at the very least, navigate it a bit more easily.
The best gifts for busy people that'll help them hit 'pause'
For those struggling to take a beat from their M-F grind, enter, this Wellness Journal from Papier. It’s basically your planner, diary, and life-coach all wrapped in one. On each page you’ll find encouraging messages, space to journal your thoughts, feelings, and habits, as well as extra room for you to jot down your meal prep for the day.
When you’re constantly in go-mode, it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated. Which is why every busy person should have a HydroJug handy wherever they roam. Built with a whopping 1-gallon capacity, there’s no excuse not to drink water when it’s with them. And while the 1-gallon capacity might seem clunky, it’s actually super portable, built with an integrated handle and a carrying loop, so it’s simple tote along from appointment to appointment.
The last thing a busy bee wants to worry about is doing their makeup. But the beauty buff in your life doesn’t have to sacrifice looking and feeling good for saved time—Merit’s 5 Minute Morning kit takes, well, just five minutes. It includes everything they’ll need to put on a fresh face when they’re on a time crunch, including the brand’s best-selling complexion stick and a brush to blend it in, as well as a blush balm, highlighting balm, lip oil, eyebrow pomade, and mascara. It’s seriously a lifesaver and the products are so good, you’ll want to keep it for yourself.
Anything that helps promotes relaxation is exactly what the booked and busy person in your life needs, says licensed clinical psychologist Bethany Cook, PsyD. And these Bathing Culture bath salts do just that. The mix of different minerals—including Epsom salts, Himalayan salts, Dead Sea salts, and French sea clay— work together to make your skin baby soft and silky smooth. Just pour directly into your bath water and soak it all in for 20 minutes for the best results.
A smartwatch seems like an obvious gift for busy people, but this is no average smartwatch. Yes, it tells time and connects to different devices, but Garmin’s ultra-chic Venu Sq2 Smartwatch goes a step further on all fronts. For starters, it can hold a charge for 11 days straight—11 days! The busy bee in your life will be over the moon to never wake up to a dead watch ever again.
And then, of course, there’s all the features. Its bio-tracking capabilities are the star of the show—with the flick of the wrist, users can track health stats, sleep metrics, breathing patterns, hydration levels, menstrual cycles, and more. From there, they can swipe to access their calendars, check emails, and send texts. Even running errands will take less time than usual—the Venu Sq 2 comes equipped with Garmin Pay, so they can dash through the grocery checkout without even pulling out their wallet when they’re in a hurry.
Originally $129, now $99
Need some help knocking out the chores around the house? Let someone else do the dishes and mop up the kitchen for once. “A clean and organized house helps create a calm environment resulting in feeling more at peace internally,” says Cook. “Not being able to find things creates additional stress and takes valuable time.”
With Handy, you can book professional cleaners to come to your home and do all the dirty work you don’t have time to do. We’re talking deep cleaning the bathrooms, dusting the bedrooms, washing floors—the whole nine yards. Each service last three hours and includes an option to book follow up appointments.
If the thoughts of pressing deadlines and unfinished checklists are keeping you up at night, try snuggling up under this weighted blanket from Bearaby. It swaps the traditional solid design for a knitted pattern that’s a bit lighter. Like most weighted blankets, though, it uses deep stimulation pressure to help trigger the nervous system and ease anxiety. This one is made of breathable eucalyptus fibers and moisture wicking Tencel™ fabric to keep you cool throughout the night.
If a busy schedule eats into meal time, not to worry! Cook Unity’s meal service provides fresh, chef-approved, fully cooked dishes to the dinner table every week. Just pick which one you want from the brand’s exhaustive dinner menu and order up. Each meal arrives fresh (never frozen) and ready to eat. All you have to do is unwrap the packaging, heat it up, and you’re good to go. “Good food fuels the mind and body and they won’t have to stress over cooking or kick themselves for eating unhealthy foods,” says Roeske.
For the friend who’s always on the road, this weekend bag from Beis makes a no-brainer gift. Trust us, it’s got more than enough space to pack clothing, gadgets, travel essentials, and them some. The main compartment can store a 15-inch laptop, plus your makeup bag and weekend fit, while the zip-up bottom component can store shoes or dirty clothes. Talk about convenient.
Speaking of being always on the go, get that friend shoes that go with everything and keep their feet comfortable. Something like Cariuma’s OCA-Low canvas kicks, which happen to be the sneaker of choice for celebs like Pete Davidson and Helen Mirren. Their eco-friendly design and memory foam-like soles is exactly what helps make these a really comfortable everyday shoe. Whoever gets them will be glad they’re on when they’re dashing to catch a train or running to their next meeting.
Originally $60, now $48
We get it. It’s easy to lose track of things when you have a lot on your mind. That said, these Tile Pro devices can help eliminate the panic that ensues when phones and wallets go missing. When attached to a personal item and synced with the Tile app, the app will then track where your device is within 400 feet. And boom, crisis averted!
Few very busy people have time to squeeze in a professional manicure. This holiday, bring the nail salon to them this Mani System from Olive and June. The set has everything they’ll need to make their claws look glamorous 24/7, including: A polish, a cuticle serum, a clean up brush, a nail clipper, and a nail file.
When you’re in “go-go-go” mode all the time, it can be tricky carving out some time to just sit and make plans for yourself. Which is why we love Solluna’s Manifesting Your Goal Kit, which is designed to harness that power of intention as well as the energy you need to make stuff happen. With this kit, you get a custom-designed manifesting notebook with journal prompts, an enlightenment goal meditation and mantra, a clear quartz crystal and bracelet, crystal cleansing instructions, and access to more online. It’s all there for you, so even though you’re a busy bee, you’ll be set up for success.
Originally $50, now $40
After you’ve completed your robust to-do list for the day, enjoy some downtime releasing some of the tension in your body with this InvoSpa Shiatsu Massager. The eight massage balls roll over your neck and back muscles to loosen the knots and stress throughout your body. You can also adjust the temperature of the device to better reduce cramps and stimulate blood flow to your muscles.
So, you only got four hours of sleep last night? No problem. These Live Tinted Rays Copper Eye Masks can help instantly moisturize your under-eye skin to help you look more refreshed before your Zoom call. The magic is in its formula which includes, bakuchiol (a retinol alternative that helps to smooth skin and texture), and copper peptides that help to replenish the skin’s moisture barrier and protect from environmental stressors.
Whether they’re in a rowdy office or a loud apartment with noisy family members, these Sony headphones allow listeners to completely tune out the world and just…focus. The over-the-ear design helps reduce ambient background noise, while the battery provides up to 35 hours of playing time. And those moments when they just need to “unplug?” The automatic noise cancellation will kick into gear, giving them some peace and quiet, or at the very least, their own version of it.
Clutter can easily become the norm when you’re too busy to organize your space. But this cable organizer is a simple way to keep wires from getting crossed, literally. The box keeps cables out of sight and out of mind, leaving a clean and clutter-free desk space to work. It doubles as a shelf, too, built with an elevated surface to store pen cups, staplers, and other desk essentials in one, tidy place.
Work, personal relationships, daily chores—it all adds up. This holiday, give the gift of Headspace, the meditation and mindfulness app that helps listeners let it all go. An annual subscription unlocks access to hundreds of thoughtful exercises to help improve sleep, focus, and stress levels that can be tuned into at anytime. Be it on their morning commute or when they’re sneaking in a quick, mid-day jog, listeners can have a moment to themselves, refreshing them to better tackle the day ahead.
Here’s a gift for the friend or family member who’s always got a cup of coffee in their hand. Mind Energy is The Nue Co.’s functional fragrance version of espresso, blended to wake up the brain and increase focus. A few dabs unleash notes of pink peppercorn, juniper, and clove, which boost mental clarity and stimulation (kinda like a cup of coffee would!) Who knows—this might breakup with their java for good.
On the flip side, what better way to a help quiet the mind and relax than with a lavender-scented candle? Studies have shown that the scent of the popular plant can help boost your mood and reduce stress. This one features notes of hinoki cypress and lavender mixed together with lotus flower to create a subtle scent that is perfect to use for a self-care day.
For Roeske, a sketch pad, an inspirational journal, or even an adult coloring book is perfect to give to your busy friend as a way to help them express themselves away from their work. Or, help them channel their inner Picasso with a painting kit from Creatively. Starting at $40, these curated boxes come with everything they need to unleash their artistic side, including step-by-step instructions, a canvas, acrylic paint, and a smock.
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