We all need fuel to navigate life's ups and downs. Treating ourselves — and others — to nourishing, fulfilling and calming self-care gifts won't smooth over all of those peaks and valleys, but it can help us weather the ride.
Both giving and receiving a gift of self-care creates joy. There's power in making efforts to care for yourself, as well as showing others you care for them; it helps to "normalize how someone is feeling," whether that someone is you or not, says licensed psychologist Melissa Boudin, PsyD.
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Take a look at some of the best self-care gifts below — whether you're shopping for yourself or a loved one.
How We Chose
We spoke with Boudin for her advice on gifting self-care items. She shared that when selecting a self-care gift, it's important to know "what you want the gift to accomplish." That means it can be helpful to know your audience before giving a self-care gift to someone else.
Before buying, consider:
- Personal aspect
Keep in mind the price of a self-care gift does not define its quality. Some of the most valuable gestures are free.
1. A Meal or App Subscription
Subscriptions can be helpful to people (including you!) who "just need to get through a hard day," Boudin says.
A subscription to a meal-delivery program like Hello Fresh, which delivers pre-portioned ingredients to your door, eliminates a trip to the grocery store. A subscription to a meditation app like Calm allows for a moment of mindfulness from a very convenient tool — your phone.
2. A Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets make great self-care gifts for a friend if you can't physically be there to comfort them, Boudin says. Pick their favorite color for a thoughtful touch.
We like this weighted blanket from Amazon because it comes in a wide variety of sizes and weights and it's machine-washable, all for a reasonable price.
3. Coloring Books
Tapping into your creative side can be an effective form of self-care. And a coloring book can be personalized: a food-themed option for a friend who loves to cook or an animal-themed pick for a family member who dotes on their pet.
Coloring books aren't only for children: Boudin says there are plenty of entertaining options for adults. We like this relaxation-focused coloring book for adults from Etsy.
Buy it: Etsy; Price: $15.69
4. An Experience
For people who recharge by being around others, an experience can be the way to go, Boudin says.
This self-care gift can look different depending on their interests (or yours, if you're treating yourself!). Some examples are:
- Dinner at a new restaurant
- Sports game
- Spa day
5. A Journal
Journals offer creative, emotional and artistic outlets, Boudin says, making them a thoughtful gift to encourage someone to express themselves. We love this one because of the encouraging messaging on the cover.
Buy it: Amazon; Price: $12
6. A Candle
Treating yourself to a new candle can help you cultivate a cozy, calming environment at home.
If you're gifting a candle to someone else, consider a custom option, like this one from Etsy. A personalized touch like a photo of their dog or your best inside joke on the label will go a long way in brightening their day.
Buy it: Etsy; Price: from $24
7. Acts of Service
A powerful way to show you're there for a loved one is gifting them some of your time. You can get creative with how to spend it — and how much to give — but focus on knowing "how you can best help this person," Boudin says.
Some examples of acts of service include:
- Delivering a homemade meal or groceries
- Spending quality time with them
- Doing their laundry or other chores
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