There’s no sense in repeating the dozens of mentally exhausting and heartbreaking events that took place throughout this long-ass year. What does need to be said, though, is that everyone on your list could use a self-care gift this holiday season.
So instead of gifting sweaters a size too small or pricy single-use kitchen gadgets (c’mon, you know you’ve done it), stock up on these self-care gifts, which are designed to give the recipient's mind, body, and soul all the TLC it deserves. Ship them to the millennials in your life dealing with a major case of burnout, gift them to the parents, teachers, and essential workers who've had their lives completely upended, or even treat yourself to a feel-good present or two. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Bright street lights, headaches, and anxiety have got nothing on your zzz's thanks to this sleep mask. This self-care gift features a scalloped edge to fully cover your eyelids, effectively blocking out all the snooze-disrupting light, as well as microbeads that apply a gentle pressure to your eyes and temples, making it feel like a soothing “hug for your head.” The eye mask can even be chilled in the freezer before use to relieve the dull pain in your head.
FOMO is so last year. This coffee- and cedar wood-scented candle will remind you that staying in and getting snuggled up under the sheets with a good book is a much more enjoyable experience than meeting up with your college friends for a socially distant, outdoor drink (or in the Before Times, standing around a crowded bar). Plus, the candle is made with a coconut-soy wax blend, so you can expect it to burn for up to 50 hours.
You already wear thick, extra-large sweaters and spend your free time baking banana bread, so why not fully embrace your inner grandma this year and pick up knitting? (More motivation: Knitting comes with some legit mental health benefits.) This chunky knit blanket kit contains all you’ll need to create the ultimate throw: Hypoallergenic and ultra-soft merino wool yarn, a gigantic knitting needle, and video instructions to teach you how to craft your masterpiece. It’s a two-for-one deal of getting crafty and feeling cozy that’s way too good to pass up.
When you’re in a serious funk, pull out these activity cards designed to encourage self-care, personal development, mindfulness, and more. You’ll do everything from reflect on your skill-set and strengths during challenging times, to plan out your course of action to achieve a lofty goal. As one reviewer put it, this self-care gift is “fabulous to have as part of your wellness toolkit.” (Related: The Self-Care Items Shape Editors Are Using to Stay Sane During Quarantine)
Think of this self-care gift as a booster shot of serenity. The essential oil stick boasts a blend of peppermint, sage, ginger, cardamom, and fennel oils designed to help you feel calm AF and can be effortlessly applied to the neck, ears, and temples, thanks to its roll-on applicator. And with more than 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, you know it has to be good. Seriously, just take it from this obsessed shopper: “If I start to get stressed or my anxiety acts up I'll smell my wrist and the scent helps calm me down, and I also have successfully used this on my temples for headache relief,” they wrote. “It literally eases my head pain in minutes.”
If you’re a chronic Nervous Nellie or know someone who is, this self-care book is the perfect little gift. Penned by Sarah Knight, author of 'The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck,' this book will give you all the tools you need to stop needlessly worrying and avoiding the important tasks in front of you. Plus, you’ll find pointers on how to manage anxiety and finally overcome your fear of failure.
After spending an entire Sunday slowly piecing together a puzzle, the last thing you want to do is tear it all apart to reclaim your coffee table. And with Jiggy, you don’t have to. The puzzle company partnered with Anthropologie to create display-worthy, 800-piece puzzles featuring artwork by emerging female artists. Once you’ve placed the final piece, use the accompanying glue and straight-edge tool to transform your colorful bear, pile of dogs, cherry blossom, or cheetah puzzle into wall art. It's the self-care gift worth humble-bragging about. (Related: The Best Hobbies to Pick Up During Quarantine — and After)
Sure, these merlot-colored furry slippers look a little ~extra~, but the second you slip your tired, frozen feet into them, you’ll never want to take them off. The insole is made from high-density memory foam that provides just the right amount of cushion, while all the fuzz keeps your feet toasty. The best part: The slippers have a waterproof, anti-slip sole, so you won’t have to swap them out for sneakers to make a quick run to the mailbox.
Following a bonkers workday, settle in for the night with this soothing herbal tea from Harney and Sons. The vibrant, caffeine-free mixture of yellow chamomile flowers, blue lavender, and cornflowers not only creates a drink that’s aesthetically-pleasing, but also one that helps you unwind before bedtime; research shows that a particular flavonoid in chamomile tea may have calming, sleep-inducing effects. Melatonin, who?
Buy It: Harney and Sons Yellow and Blue (Chamomile and Lavender) Tea Sachets, $29 for 80 sachets, amazon.com
If the name of this self-care gift implies anything, it’s that you should be prepared to feel cool, calm, and collected following each and every use. Once in the tub, the fizzy bath bomb will effuse jasmine and rose scents to make your bathroom feel like a legit spa. Under the water, the bomb’s jojoba seed oil, safflower seed oil, and hemp seed oil will get to work on your skin. The jojoba will nourish dry skin, the safflower will improve its texture, and the hemp will calm and smooth. Oh, and don’t forget to bring a glass of wine into the tub (it'll fit perfectly in this bath caddy) to round out the luxurious experience.
You know those ah-mazing eight hours of sleep you get on the days you shave your fuzzy legs and put on fresh sheets? Well, this luxurious silk pajama set will help you catch those same deep ZZZs every single night. Made from 100 percent washable silk, these lightweight PJs are thermoregulating, meaning they’ll keep you at an optimal temperature all night. Plus, the top has a slit on the lower back to allow for extra airflow. Cheers to never waking up drenched in sweat again.
If you’re going to get anything for all the busy bees and new parents in your life, it needs to be this temperature control smart mug. The stainless steel coffee mug contains a heating element that keeps your beverage hot for up to 90 minutes on a single charge, or can warm it all day long when sitting on the charging coaster. This perfect self-care gift even connects to your smartphone, allowing you to change the temperature with the press of a button, and automatically turns off when the cup’s empty. That means that even after a 45-minute diversion to take care of a screaming baby or attend to a Zoom call, your coffee, tea, or hot cocoa will *still* be drinkable.