16 Stress-Relieving Gifts to Make 2020 More Bearable

If there's a silver lining to 2020, it's that we've all realized how much our loved ones mean to us. Whether they're close enough to be in our quarantine bubbles or on the other side of a border, these are the people you've leaned on for support and they've leaned on you. You can't buy them a reprieve from 2020, but you can turn them onto healthy habits that'll persist long after the world goes back to bustling restaurants and family holiday meals.

Michelle Obama recently spoke on her podcast about how important it was for her to maintain daily rituals to cope with a tough year. I took it to heart, and bit by bit I picked up new habits, such as bullet journaling. I also rediscovered old ones, such as meditating and reading a book every morning over coffee. This gave a sense of structure to a weird year of formless days. Hopefully, the gift ideas below will help your loved one find their own rituals and de-stress.
If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Learn more . Please also consider subscribing to WIRED .

For the Mind

Photograph: Amazon
  • Lemome Cork Bullet Journal Notebook for $13: Bullet journaling can be a meditative experience to help make sense of all the thoughts, desires, and accomplishments that swirl in the head. If you turn someone onto bullet journaling, give them a notebook with a dot grid layout. It makes it easier to create lists, sidebars, and divisions among the text on the page. The all-natural cork fabric cover makes for a vegan notebook, and the silk-bound pages mean it lays flat when writing. The pages are thick—even fountain or gel pen ink won't bleed through.
  • Uni-Ball Jetstream Three-Pack of Ballpoint Pens for $10: No sense in using a fine notebook if they're going to scratch at the pages with a cheap Bic Cristal. The Jetstream uses a hybrid ink that writes silky smooth like a gel pen without any skipping, but with quicker drying time akin to a ballpoint, so it won't smudge.
  • Blue Lotus Kapok Zafu for $78: A good zafu, or meditation cushion, is useful for keeping good posture without killing the back and rear end while sitting on the floor. Kapok is a fluffy fiber that's long been the traditional stuffing for zafus, but there's a buckwheat-hull version for $60 if your special someone prefers sitting on firmer cushions. All of Blue Lotus' cushions are made in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • The Strand Book of the Month Box for $35 per Month: I made sure to begin each morning by silencing my phone, putting it in another room, and reading a paper book while glugging down coffee—it's one of the best habits I've developed, and I credit it with maintaining my sanity this year. This subscription delivers a book curated from master book mongers at the Strand. Order by December 14 to be a part of its first-ever Book of the Month shipment in January 2021. Good things come to those who wait.
  • Core Essential Meditation Trainer for $169: Synced to the Core meditation app, this Bluetooth handheld orb will vibrate and light up to guide the user's breathing and focus. It's made of natural wood, packs two ECG biometric sensors to track stress levels during meditation, and has enough battery life to last up to two weeks between recharges. There's a Core Premium package for $229 that includes a year of instructor-led classes and special app content, too.

For the Body

Photograph: Wild Flower