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Birthday Gifts for Friends with Anxiety or Stress

Buying a birthday gift can often be difficult or stressful, even when the person you are buying for is a close friend or relative. However, that difficulty is compounded when there are other considerations that you need to take into account. One such factor would be that the recipient of your gift experiences a lot of stress or anxiety in their life, and you do not want to faze or overwhelm them.

Why something different?

On the surface, you might not think that somebody with anxiety needs a different present than anybody else. That will be true in some cases, but there are nuances and variables when it comes to the personalities of your loved ones. Somebody under a large amount of stress might not want a gift that requires work and attention, such as a plant, while a friend with anxiety could be less likely to want you to throw them a huge party.


If you’re struggling with ideas for what to buy your friend, think first about what they already use. For example, if they already use products to relax them from Bloom & Oil or other vendors, then you could look into purchasing them a new product from their range. This will show you are thoughtful and have taken notice of their wants and needs.

This sort of present also abides by the general rule that you should aim for something small and not overwhelming. Large gifts can be stressful, especially if you are meeting the recipient outside of their own home and they will have to transport it themselves. Getting them something small and something they are familiar with will set them at ease and put a smile on their face. Unless you have agreed to or are extremely close to them, spending a large amount of money on the present could also cause further stress or anxiety, as they will feel pressure to return the favor.

Give them their gift in a secluded place, preferably their or your home, especially if they have bad anxiety. While you might be tempted, a surprise party probably isn’t a fantastic idea, so a small, quiet gathering of friends is your best bet. If there are lots of you, and you wanted to buy something more expensive for your friend, then chip in together. This could be a gift voucher for a store or a product you know they like, as this puts the present in their hands, allowing them to buy what will help them most.

Indulgent, cozy food or household items are superb ideas for those who are stressed out or get nervous in large groups. Your friend might like nothing more than being at home, watching TV or reading a book with a bar of chocolate. In this vein, consider a subscription to a streaming service such as Netflix or Disney+, as this, too, will allow them to enjoy their gift in peace.

Whatever you end up buying, complementing it with a thoughtful card should be the cherry on top. A handwritten, caring message for your friend will soothe and calm them if they are having a tough time at work or in their personal life and give them something they can hold onto long after their present has been used.