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Overworked parent survival holiday gift guide

Working from home with kids in virtual school is no easy task. This holiday gift guide can help.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, parents are juggling their childrens' distance learning and working from home. Balancing the roles of teacher, proctor, babysitter, IT tech, and working professional is a daunting undertaking. To get through this stressful time, we've curated the best gifts, from time-management tools to self-care necessities to help the most stressed out parent relax, recalibrate, and get stuff done. 

When you need to focus

HoMedics white noise sound machine

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HoMedics white noise sound machine
Image: Amazon

During the most grueling days, a portable sound machine can block distractions to help you or your child better focus. The HomMedics white noise sound machine features four sounds: White noise, Everglades, ocean waves, and gentle rain. It also includes a 15-, 30-, and 45-minute auto-off timer, and its small size makes it easy to move from room to room. 

$14 at Amazon

When your kid needs a drink

Uber Appliance mini fridge

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Uber Appliance mini fridge
Image: Amazon

A sure-fire way to curb the common refrain of, "Can you get me a drink?" is the Uber Appliance mini fridge. It's small enough to fit in home offices or study workplaces, and it's portable. The mini fridge holds up to six cans, four bottles of water, and countless juice boxes. It also features a low-noise fan, removable shelf and self-locking door handles--perfect for when you want to swipe out the kid drinks with adult beverages.

$46 at Amazon

When you need five more minutes

KeeQii visual timer

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KeeQii visual timer
Image: Amazon

Teach your kids the meaning of "five more minutes" with a visual timer from KeeQii. The timer features easy-to-read numbers and counts down to 60 minutes. To use, kids (or parents) just turn the dial to the desired time, and the colored disk decreases as time progresses. Another bonus: No loud ticking sound.

$15 at Amazon

When you need complete silence

Apple AirPods Pro

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Apple AirPods Pro
Image: Apple

When you need things quiet, as in absolutely silent, enlist Apple AirPods Pro. These wireless earbuds come with a new noise-cancelling feature. While transparency mode lets you hear your surroundings and still hear the audio in your AirPods Pro. Plus, improved design, which includes three sizes of flexible silicone tips to choose from, provides a more customizable fit.

$250 at Apple

When you need a warm, caffeinated beverage

Ember temperature control smart mug

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Ember temperature control smart mug
Image: Amazon

Your cold coffee days are over with the Ember temperature control smart mug. The stainless steel mug enters sleep mode when empty and wakes up when it senses movement or liquid. It keeps drinks perfectly hot for up to 80 minutes on a single charge—or all day on the included, newly redesigned charging coaster. Pair with the Ember App and you can even set your temperature or customize presets.

$130 at Amazon

When you need to relieve tension

HemingWeigh Acupressure mat and pillow set

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HemingWeigh Acupressure mat and pillow set
Image: Amazon

The ancient art of acupressure is used to treat many body ailments associated with stress, such as aches, pains, and muscle tension by gently touching your body's pressure points to release endorphins. For a non-invasive alternative, consider an acupressure mat and pillow set from HemingWeigh. Featuring a total of 8,820 "spikes," which mimic acupuncture, the mat fosters relaxation and improved blood circulation. Just step or lie down on the mat to sooth and energize your body at the beginning or end of the day.

$24 at Amazon

When you really need to keep your kids busy

Nintendo Switch Lite

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Nintendo Switch Lite
Image: Amazon

When all else fails, a Nintendo Switch system is a tried-and-true solution for keeping your kids occupied so you can work. The new version of the Nintendo Switch system, Nintendo Switch Lite is perfect for gamers at home or on the go. Optimized for personal, handheld play, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a small and lightweight system, which can play the library of Nintendo Switch games that work in handheld mode. Controllers are built right into the system for handheld play, and the left side sports a +Control Pad. 

$200 at Amazon