All too often we push self-care to the bottom of our to-do lists. There are too many things that shout louder, demanding our attention. Having a physical something in front of you can be just the prompt you need to actually do some of the self-care activities that you know would make all the difference in how you feel. That’s why I’d like to suggest these self-care gifts, whether you buy them for a friend, or treat yourself.
1. Soothing Bath Products
I know, I’m kicking off with possibly the most cliched self-care suggestion ever. I’m making no apologies though, because if you can persuade the rest of the family to leave you alone for half an hour, a hot bath can be a truly wonderful way to relax.
My favourite way to take a relaxing, luxurious bath is to use Epsom salt. I usually go for the plain Epsom salt, so that I can add my own choice of essential oils, but I also love this lavender-scented version.
Epsom salt baths provide minerals, including magnesium, which can be absorbed through the skin. That means there’s a tangible health benefit to an Epsom salt bath, as well as the soothing, relaxing powers of the hot water.
2. Super-Comfy Lounge Wear.
Once you’ve enjoyed your bath, you’ll be wanting something soft and cosy to wear. Bamboo clothing is super-soft to wear, and these pyjamas will keep you comfortable.
Don’t underestimate the power of comfortable clothing in making you feel better about everything. Self-care means taking responsibility for your own needs and desires, and warmth and comfort are an important part of that.
3. Essential Oil Diffuser.
An oil diffuser lets you fill your room with scents that calm and relax you, or energise you. You choose the essential oils you love the best, and the diffuser will do the rest. Kind of like the oil burners we all had in the ’90s, but without the crusty stuff in the bottom when you left it to burn too long.
Electric diffusers come in all shapes and sizes, so you’ll find one that looks perfect in your house. Adding scent to your environment in this way is a simple way to increase your pleasure in your everyday life, and that’s one of the ultimate keys to self-care.
4. Self-Care Books.
Amazon gives you a lot of options when it comes to books on self-care.
If it’s a new concept for you, or if you’re looking for self-care gifts for someone, then something like The Little Book of Self-Care might be just what you’re looking for. With 200 different ideas, it’s a great resource for people who don’t know where to start with self-care.
I’d also urge you to consider other kinds of literary self-care.
When it comes to books, self-care gifts don’t have to be the obvious choices. They don’t have to have ‘self-care’ in the title, and they don’t even need to come from the self-help shelf in the bookshop.
Think about the books that feed your soul.
There are books that I’ve read over and over. They keep their place on my shelves because they soothe me, because they draw me in to a different world just for a while. If you have books like that, then they’re definitely part of your self-care arsenal. If not, maybe it’s time to find some.
Consider rereading books you loved as a child, or just picking something from a ‘best books’ type list and see where it takes you.
I like to buy poetry books, and I like to choose them just on their cover, or by picking the fifth one along on a shelf, or some equally arbitrary method. I like the surprise that comes with buying something without checking the reviews first.
(My most recent random poetry purchase, in case you’re interested. We were in a visitor centre on Dartmoor, and it was the only poetry book in the shop. It would have been rude not to.)
5. A Cup of Something Yummy.
What’s the perfect accompaniment to a wonderful book?
Your favourite mug, filled with something delicious.
Helpfully, that also makes the perfect self-care gift for a friend.
Well, don’t give them your favourite mug, because that would make you sad. Give them a mug that might become their favourite.
Okay, so you can’t really give someone meditation.
You can, however, give them something that might inspire them to try it, or help them to make it a regular self-care habit.
A Headspace subscription would make a wonderful self-care gift. Headspace is the perfect meditation and mindfulness tool for people just starting out. You can learn the basics for free, but the subscription gives you more options, and lets you take your meditation practice further.
There’s also The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness, if you’d rather give someone a book to help them get started.
7. Adult Colouring Books.
I definitely wasn’t the kind of child who lost herself in colouring books. My youngest daughter is though, and she loves those really detailed colouring pages that take forever to finish.
As an adult, though, I can see the benefits.
Colouring in takes concentration, but doesn’t really require your brain to be busy and working all the time. It’s an awesome activity for helping to calm an overactive mind.
8. Self-Care Journal.
I’ve written a bit about journalling before.
It’s a self-care technique that I use in various different ways almost every day.
If you need ideas for great self-care gifts for a friend, then the Breathe Self-Care Journal is a good option. It’s a nice mixture of inspiring articles and pages for you to write and draw your way to a better understanding of yourself.
You could also go for a beautiful blank journal that can be used however the recipient chooses. Maybe they’ll use it to start a gratitude journal, or to make some headway in zapping overwhelm by using it as a bullet journal.
9. Help Build The Hydration Habit.
If I could only pick one self-care habit to share with you, it would be to Drink! More! Water!
We all know we need to do it, but most of us are lousy at remembering.
Whatever water bottle you choose, you’re giving a gift that might just kick-start a really beneficial new habit.
10. Something Creative.
We’re all creative beings.
Yes, even you.
Even when you’re so tired you don’t know what day it is.
Even if your teachers at school told you you were rubbish at drawing.
We’re all creative, and exercising that creativity is definitely a self-care habit.
So, how do you translate that into self-care gifts?
If you’re buying for yourself, then you probably know what you’d like to do.
If not, give yourself the gift of a trip to an art supply store, a DIY store, or anywhere that takes your fancy. Let yourself buy something just because you love it. Even if you have no idea how to use it. Let yourself just play for once.
If you’re buying for a friend, consider whether they’ve ever mentioned something they used to do, but no longer have time for, or something they’ve always wanted to try.
Get Set Up For Self-Care Success.
You don’t really need to buy any of these things to build a solid self-care habit, but, let’s be honest, when we’ve got nice new things, we’re inclined to use them.
So, whether it’s you or a friend who needs a little nudge in the right direction when it comes to self-care, think about whether a carefully chosen gift might help.