20 Gifts for Burnout

Alright, I understand that burnout has become a bit of a buzzword, but how else am I to describe The Overall Reckoning of 2020 and 2021?

Even without the pandemic stuff, burnout seems to be a recurrent theme of the late 2010s. Who hasn’t had a career burnout at 40, amirite?

Whether it be career burnout, parenting burnout (totally a thing), or overall exhaustion, we’re collectively tired, man. And a little sad.

I hope these 20 gifts will help recipients recover from burnout if just a bit. With the days getting shorter and holidays around the corner, it’s the perfect time to scoop up these gifts for stressed friends.

And stressed boyfriends. And anxious family members. And everyone. It’s been a long two years.

What Is Burnout?

Burnout is more than ordinary fatigue; it’s a chronic stress condition that leads to extreme mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion.

Burnout has typically been used to describe chronic workplace stress. Those suffering from workplace burnout report feelings of depletion, mental distance from job tasks, and an extremely cynical attitude regarding job and employer.

Lately, it’s been applied to other life areas, like parenting and schooling.

In this difficult season of working at home and random school closings, I’ve experienced parenting burnout more often than I’d like to admit.

I don’t want to say I resent my kids (because I don’t), but I’ve caught myself resenting how many hours are left to fill until bedtime. Know what I mean?

Sand slipping through fingers burnout symbolism
Burnout kinda feels like everything is slipping through your fingers

Types of Burnout

According to psychologists, there are three basic types of burnout.

  • Overload Burnout: doing too much on too little, be it career, parenting, relational
  • Under-challenge Burnout: feeling terminally bored, unencouraged, unappreciated, leading to cynicism, avoidance, and disengagement in life areas such as career, personal relationships, etc
  • Neglect Burnout: chronic learned helplessness, increasing feels of demotivation and passiveness

Signs and Symptoms of Burnout

If you observe or experience any of these signs and symptoms of burnout, you should obviously order several of the items on this gift list.

  • Unexplained bodily woes: muscle aches, ice-pick headaches, migraines, stomach issues, pain, insomnia
  • Irritability with co-workers (or, uh, kids and spouses)
  • Forgetfulness
  • Extreme feelings of hopelessness (“nothing I do matters/will make this better”)
  • Apathy about goals and dreams that used to be exciting
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Isolation
young adult student dealing with school burnout
Classic school burnout

What To Give Someone Who Is Burnt Out

I’ve got stuff to help you relax, books filled with tips and inspirations, items that offer convenience and efficiency, and all kinds of pretty doodads to take your mind off your burnout troubles.

How To Deal With Burnout Books

Pretty Little Things

So shiny and streamlined, great to look at and fiddle with after a long day.

This is just so small and cute. Not so small that it can’t be useful, though.

The sound of water is soothing. This is a nice indoor fountain that doesn’t scream “found on the endcap of a big box store.”

Any plant lover would die for this versatile, stylish indoor/outdoor plant stand.

Put all the stress-reducing, smell-good candles in one place: unique glass votives on a natural wooden tray.

Drowning burnout symbolism
I’m drowning here!

Making Life A Little Easier

If it isn’t convenient to have two types of Oreo’s, Chips Ahoy, and Nutter Butters in the same box then I don’t know what is.

Air fryers prepare food so quickly; you’re too stressed to worry about dinner.

Have all the food temp listed in one place.

Never clean your floors again. That’s the robot’s job now.

This inexpensive plastic cover adds inches to the warm, relaxing baths you should be taking.

Relaxing Gift Ideas For The Overworked

These crazy looking leggings offer muscle pain relief, an air compression feature for circulation, and “knee heat”, all at the touch of a hand-held controller.

Lay your way to zen.

Heat this baby up in the microwave; it’s like having a mini-weighted blanket on your neck (not sure I’m adequately expressing how comforting this is).

Drift off to sleep with total darkness (fool those circadian rhythms!) and calm tunes (or a murder podcast or meditation) with these ultra-thin Bluetooth headphones.

Do some art, look at some inspirational messages.

woman faking smile under significant stress and anxiety
That smile won’t need to be faked forever

Hey, while these gifts are great, and will help alleviate burnout, don’t forget therapy. Or, you know, other positive coping skills that don’t involve consumption.

Just saying.

What’s your favorite burnout gift on this list? What would you include? And what do you do about holiday burnout? Let me know in the comments.


megan imhoff


Megan writes everything on Ish Mom. She possesses a bachelor's degree in psychology, a flair for theatrics, and a whole lotta nerve. She lives in the Midwest (and loves it) with her wonderful husband and three young boys.

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