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.
Video of the Day
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.
Buy it: Hellofresh.com; Price: from $35.92; Calm.com; Price: $14.99 a month
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.
Buy it: Amazon; Price: from $47.99
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
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.