Are you struggling to find a gift for an introverted, highly sensitive friend, spouse, co-worker, or family member? Then this list is for you. Featured here are practical presents for those of us who are overwhelmed by social and environment stimuli, sensitive to temperature, uncomfortable in the workplace, and who cherish solitude and peace. Presenting: the Highly Sensitive Person & Introvert Gift Guide!
(Note: Introverts and HSPs are not the same thing. All introverts are not HSPs, and vice versa. But just for the sake of this list, we have lumped them together.)
For people who love peace and quiet
Introverts’ energy is sapped when they are in social situations for too long, and they yearn to escape to “recharge their battery.” Highly Sensitive People experience environmental (and emotional) stimuli intensely, which can leave them feeling worn out; thinking about things deeply and thoroughly is mentally tiring. So, give the gift of relaxation and tranquility!
Floatation/Sensory Deprivation Tank Experience
When floating in sensory deprivation tank, you experience the feeling of your senses melting away into pure weightlessness. Google the nearest tank and buy a gift certificate for a meditative and relaxing experience–they’re especially great for pregnant ladies. Here’s my float experience.
Bucky 40 Blinks Ultralight Sleep Mask
This ain’t your grandma’s sleep mask. The Rolls Royce of eyeshades, its contoured cups conform to fit comfortably on most faces and it doesn’t put pressure on the eyes, allowing the wearer to blink freely in the delicious darkness. Company Website | Amazon
The Ostrich Pillow
The brilliant and hilarious Ostrich pillow’s padded sides allow the wearer to take a comfortable nap at their desk, at the airport, in the library, or on a plane. The eyes and ears are covered and pockets provide a cozy place for hands when resting on a desk. Somehow, this invention screams “Look at me!” and “Leave me alone!” at the same time.
Audio Technica ATH-ANC7B Noise Cancelling Headphones
The ambient noise of the outside world can distract HSPs and introverts, sap their energy, and leave them grumpy. These noise-cancelling headphones have excellent reviews, with claims they are as good as the gold-standard Bose QuietComfort (for less than half its price.) Company Website | Amazon
just added: LectroFan Fan Sound and White Noise Machine
I prefer the sound of a fan over white noise, and this little powerhouse has 20 fan and white noise sounds.
For people who are always hot
HSPs are sensitive to heat and cold—in fact, they are often very sensitive to it.
Travelon 3-Speed Folding Fan
A little less intense than the mini A/C is this battery-operated fan, which can be hung around the user’s neck or placed on a table or flat surface. Great for travel in hot countries without A/C. (See my HSP travel tips here.) Company Website | Amazon
Neck cooling “Kafka Tie”
You can find iterations of this item everywhere, but I like the Kafka Tie from REI—plus, it’s on sale for $4.83. Soak the scarf in water and the pellets inside absorb the liquid and feel cool for hours. (Or, you can make your own.) I used a similar neck cooler on trips to hot and humid destinations, and while I wasn’t going to win any fashion awards, it really did help. The only problem is that I’m ashamed to show anyone my embarrassing travel photos with my little neck tie.
For people who are always cold
The Secret Sweater is the alternative to the ugly sweater hanging on the back of your office chair. It can be hidden under jackets and blazers without adding bulk (secret sweater, get it?), but it’s cute enough to be worn over a lightweight top or a dress. Made of cotton & modal blended interlock fabric, it’s easier to care for than a regular sweater and packs into a small pouch. Clever.
We all know someone who always has ice-like hands. Fingerless gloves allow the user to warm their hands with the freedom to type and do other activities. If you’re crafty, you can knit or crochet a pair for an extra thoughtful homemade gift.
For people who hate working in a cubicle
HSPs tend to have a greater response to pain, discomfort, and physical experience. Sitting in a cubicle or office for hours can wreak havoc on your wrists, elbows, neck, and back. Alleviating some of this pain can make a big difference in quality of life. Nothing says “I love you” like an ergonomic mouse.
Kinesis Freestyle2 Keyboard
If you get a kick out of confusing your co-workers with your weird ergonomic gadgets, try the split Kinesis keyboard. I will admit, it took me a while to get used to it, but it’s great. It keeps your hands farther apart than a standard keyboard, putting less strain on your joints. Company Website | Amazon
Ok, honestly, this would be a weird gift to give someone, but I couldn’t leave it out. The bright lights in an office drive me bananas, and the only solution was the CubeShield. It attaches to the top of cubicle walls and helps block out the lights to reduce eye strain and headaches. (You can read about my personal battle with bright office lights here.)
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Susan Cain’s best-selling 2012 book took the world by (quiet) storm and kickstarted the current worldwide interest in introversion. It’s beautifully written and researched.
Meditation for Beginners by Jack Kornfield
A fantastic introduction for people who’ve always wanted to try meditation but didn’t know how to start. This book helps you stick with a daily meditation practice and create tranquility in your everyday life.
The Kindle Paperwhite eReader
Your favorite introvert will love spending many a quiet hour devouring book after book on their Paperwhite ($139). This amazing little eReader has a long battery life and doesn’t cause eyestrain.
Adult Coloring Books
Coloring is very popular right now. I even saw a coloring Meetup the other day! It’s meditative and relaxing. A set of colored pencils and a coloring book is a great gift. There are beautiful books in so many styles and patterns.
Other thoughtful gifts
Story of an HSP Print by Eamon Reilly
This lovely print can be ordered as a photo, on canvas, or as an art print.
Table Topics Conversation Starter Cube
It’s a myth that all introverts are shy and hate parties; some introverts enjoy social situations, but only for a certain period of time before they feel spent. However, introverts do hate the social necessity of “small talk.” This set of cards features fun, clever conversation starters for people who struggle to come up with appropriate party banter. Check out the Foodie Edition, Dinner Party, and Girls’ Night Out sets. Company Website | Amazon
Headspace Meditation App Subscription
Give a gift subscription to Headspace, an app that can lighten stress, improve sleep, and give users a calmer, clearer, happier way of life through unique daily guided meditations. (My friends rave about it.)
There is something about a brand new journal that makes my heart skip a beat. The crisp, pristine pages, the leather cover, and the promise of brilliant thoughts caught on paper. The Italian company Moleskine has developed a cult-like following for their elegant notebooks’ classic rounded corners, ribbon bookmark, and elastic closure. You can’t go wrong with a journal. Company Website | Amazon
What is your ideal gift?
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