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‘Tis the season for gifting, but also the season of stress on top of what has already proven to be a stressful year. It's a good time to indulge in some self care hence this self care gift guide with over 20 great gift ideas.
Let's be honest, the holidays are a time to shop for others, but also to treat ourselves. This self care gift guide has presents that are great to give to others but many gifts that are perfect to give to yourself. Hopefully, this list will inspire you but also remind you to care for yourself.
Remember the oxygen mask concept – you cannot care for others if you do not first care for yourself. Be kind to yourself; self-care is never selfish.
A Self Care Gift Guide
There are plenty of fancy electronic devices on the market, but if you want something easy and effective, I can't recommend an ice roller enough. And if you're going to go with an ice roller, this is the one worth your time and money. Pop it in the freezer and it's ready to use. Made with high quality surgical stainless steel, it helps calm inflammation, increase blood circulation and alleviate sore muscles, tension & headaches. This one from Kitsch is less than $20 and gets stellar reviews!
CBD is fantastic for destressing, whether it's consumed to relax and help promote deep sleep, or used topically to help with aches and sore muscles. I find Equilibria CBD to be incredible and consistent quality, it's organic, from a woman-owned company, and products are created specifically for women.
While everything at Equilbria is fantastic for self care, this holiday stress set would be such a lovely gift. With Mushroom Stress Gummies to even out stress, the Dynamic Roller Duo to ease tension, and Mindful Mineral Soak to relax in a bath, the gift recipient will be grateful and relaxed.Use WARDROBEOXYGEN at checkout for 15% off your first order with Equilibria!
I own an Embr Wave bracelet (read my Embr Wave bracelet review) and I find it utterly genius. Chilly this winter in a drafty office or home? Sleep hot and it causes you to be restless? The Embr Wave bracelet generates a series of pleasant cool or warm sensations on your inner wrist, activating a natural brain pathway that helps you feel better. And as someone who has owned one for a year (I just got the new version seen here) it truly works and is worth it!
There are a lot of bath caddies on the market, but a lot of them suck. What if you have a tiny apartment tub, or a vintage oversized one? Why are the slats horizontal, allowing a Kindle to fall into the bath? Why don't they have flat places to hold a variety of things, instead of specific places thinking everyone bathes wanting the same exact items? And why are they so expensive? This one is bamboo, it's less than $40, it's great quality, and fits nicely on both my 1940's cast iron shower tub and my 2010 more modern tub. Hold your book, your Kindle, your tablet, your wine, your La Croix, whatever makes you happy!
A Wardrobe Oxygen reader shared she bought and loved this makeup mirror and when my mirror kicked the bucket, I bought one for myself. And I have to say it is FANTASTIC! Available in four finishes, this mirror has different levels or brightness and multiple colors of light for any situation. It looks elegant, is well made, and it's less than $70 for a mirror that looks far more expensive. I like the removable magnifier mirror for closeup situations.
This kit from popular and highly-rated brand Olive & June has absolutely everything one would need for an easy and effective manicure and pedicure. Tools, products, and polishes to pamper, paint, and protect hands and feet, this is a fantastic gift for a mani/pedi aficionado or someone looking to take better care of their nails. Customize the kit with the number of polishes included (one, six, or the whole winter collection), choice of formula (gel-like finish or quick dry), and color for a kit that is sure to please from tweens to grown adults!
This is self-care in the true and intimate sense. This vibe is powerful, gender-neutral, and doesn't try to replicate a part of anatomy or a children's toy. If found in your drawer or luggage, it almost looks like some sort of skincare device, especially when in its travel pouch. Called Best-in-Show by The Strategist, maude's soft-touch vibe is made with 100% platinum-grade silicone (RoHs passed / FDA grade) and is a discreet, quiet, easy-to-use, 3-speed vibrator. With a runtime of up to 2.5 hours and charged via USB, it’s water-resistant, phthalate- and latex-free and can go anywhere. Comes with a natural canvas travel pouch perfect for storing the vibe and other essentials. All this for less than $50.
I own this exact mat and it has been a game-changer. Dealing with stress, back and neck pain from exercise, and sleeping weirdly, I find lying on this for 10 minutes reduces pain and also relaxes me. I also will stand on it and let it do its magic on sore feet; standing on such a mat is also supposed to help with headaches. Many find such mats help with insomnia, fibromyalgia, sciatica, and more. Acupressure mats are essential all the same - a thin fabric-covered pad of the same general size with around the same number and height of plastic pressure spikes. I chose this one for the price (less than $30) and color and it has done my husband and me well.
I own two pairs of Ettitude sheets and they are BEYOND. Made with 100% organic and sustainable bamboo, these sheets are silky soft, breathable, and cooling (great for warm sleepers like me). They wash up beautifully and don't wrinkle. They are truly decadent while also being comfortable; it's a treat to go to sleep or just spend a bit of time away from the world in bed with a good book. There are 11 colors and prints to choose from; I have Cloud Pink which is a warm peachy glow of a color that you just want to dive into.
This nylon washcloth which costs less than $10 has been by far the best body care purchase I have ever made. It's way more scrubby than a body pouf or washcloth, doesn't harbor mildew, exfoliates beautifully without scratching or damaging skin. I use it with body wash and it makes my skin gleam, better absorb lotion, and I think it helps with allover skin tone and texture.
Wish you could have a sauna on your budget and in the size of your current home? This infrared sauna blanket from Higher Dose is for you. Infrared saunas claim to boost immunity, increase blood flow and circulation, and improve mood by increasing endorphins and serotonin through increasing the body's thermal energy. It also increases your heart rate, and can give your body the experience of a workout while watching your favorite Netflix series, reading a good book, or meditating. Taking up no more space than your spare blanket, this can be used on your bed, couch, or floor and is also known to help improve sleep.
Nécessaire makes some of the most luxe body care products made with skincare ingredients to pamper and nourish. I buy a bottle as a decadent treat to myself. The lotion absorbs beautifully, the shower gels have the most elegant fragrances - sandalwood is sexy and sophisticated, and eucalyptus smells like a spa. This is a great gift for others as well as a treat for yourself.
PROMO CODE: Use ALISON10 at checkout to save 10% on your entire Nécessaire order!
This may look like a weird gift but hear me out. Have you ever gone to a chiropractor or physical therapist and before your session they hook you up to a machine with electrodes that send little pulses to your trouble area to relax the muscles? Well this is exactly the same thing, but the machine is smaller than a smartphone! And I know this specific machine is great because I own the same exact one, bought it a year ago and it's still doing great!
With the ability to add up to four pads and control the pulse strength and style, this machine keeps a charge for weeks and can easily be added to one's back, joints, feet, most anywhere for pain relief and muscle relaxation while you're watching TV or reading a book. It has a timer so it won't go too long, and you can easily adjust the pressure while wearing it. The pads last for months, the machine is easy to use, and it's a great alternative to traditional pain relievers all for less than $40.
All-Inclusive Yoga Weekend Retreats at Retreat in the Pines
A weekend at Retreat in the Pines is a gift for the woman who deserves to take some time for herself, wants to get away, or wants to focus on her wellness. With all-inclusive weekends priced at $599 - $799, gift cards are available in any amount so she can plan the weekend and/or experience that best suits her.
Retreat in the Pines is a women’s retreat center located outside of Dallas, Texas designed to cultivate community, connection, and mind-body healing in a serene, inclusive sanctuary. This intimate retreat offers approachable wellness and yoga retreats for every woman, regardless of her age, background, fitness ability, or income. With an inclusive mission to provide respect and support among all its visitors, Retreat in the Pines has become a safe haven where women can be themselves without judgment.
Many times before I have written about the benefits of dry brushing. It is one of the simplest and lowest-cost ways to perform self-care. Light brushing over dry skin can increase circulation, reduce the appearance of cellulite, prevent K.P., help moisturize absorb better, provide an even canvas for self tanners, and much more. I love the morning ritual of dry brushing, it wakes me up and feels so good. I own this same dry brush from ELEMIS and find the quality stellar, the bristles the right density and firmness, and the long handle helpful for getting my back and other body parts.
My husband bought into the weighted blanket hype several years ago and claimed to have the best sleep of his life with it. I tried his blanket for a nap and got so hot but I loved the feel of the weight on me. So when I found the Tree Napper by Bearaby I was thrilled. Made from natural eucalyptus fibers, this silky-soft and sustainable cooling weighted blanket is perfect for hot sleepers. The weight on your body from blankets like this stimulates the production of serotonin (the happy hormone), reduces cortisol (the stress hormone), and increases melatonin, which helps you fall (and stay) asleep. Machine washable and dryable (FYI it takes me two rounds in my dryer or one round and some time outside on a nice day to get it 100% dry), this has been a favorite for me whether it's sleep soundly or having an uber cozy and chill afternoon on the couch.
There are many e-readers on the market, the one I have is the Kindle Paperwhite and it is one of my most beloved items. It can hold so many books, is easy to read in bright sun and late at night without waking the person sleeping next to me, the battery lasts forever, and it's durable. I have an older generation (here is my original Kindle Paperwhite review) but seriously... I thought I left my Kindle on a business trip and a year later found it in the glove compartment of my car. It was there through below-freezing and over 100-degree temps, plugged in to be charged, and continued to work just as well with just as long-lasting of a battery. The new generations are waterproof, making reading in the bath or a pool that much more relaxing.
Crafted from pure silk inside and out as recommended by dermatologists, plastic surgeons, hairdressers, and beauty experts alike, each elevates beauty sleep to a whole new level. The pure-silk contour sleep mask is specifically designed with delicate eyelash extensions in mind, shaped to sit away from your eyelids and allow additional space for your eyelashes to sit while you get your beauty sleep. The pure-silk hair scrunchies are made with the same silk with a wide surface area to reduce ridges caused by regular hair scrunchies. This set comes in a beautiful gift box and is less than $60.
When I worked in Corporate America, I had a windowless office that someone thought would be a good idea to be painted brown. With super high ceilings having super strong fluorescent lights, the room was either a cave or causing a migraine. I did a lot to make that space comfortable - multiple floor and desk lamps, art on the walls, but the best thing I got was a HappyLight. The perfect size to put on your desk next to your laptop, this light made my body feel happy like it would outside on a beautiful sunny day. Therapy lamps claim to boost energy, improve mood, regulate sleep, and enhance your focus and I have found just that. I regularly place my HappyLight next to me while working in my bedroom or at the office.
You're not alone if this was a year where you felt stuck or wrong or held back or lost. More than once in my life I have felt that way and used this book by Julia Cameron to help me unlock my creativity and find myself. If that sounds like a lot of woo, it is, but so is self-care. If you have wanted to be more creative or reinvigorate your artistic side, this is a wonderful book to help you do so. Gift this with a fabulous pen and a journal to a loved one for an incredibly thoughtful gift for a new year.
This deep conditioning hair mask from BRIOGEO is a clinically proven weekly treatment that strengthens damaged hair and helps prevent future damage. Formulated with rosehip oil, B vitamins, and algae extract, this antioxidant-rich formula restores essential moisture and hydration to dry, brittle, colored, or over-processed hair. Founded by Nancy Twine, Briogeo makes hair products that are naturally derived, formulated 6-Free™, and have a much-deserved cult following and is a four-time Allure Best of Beauty winner.
Drift off to dreamland. Non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated Dream Light is a made-to-mix beverage infused with adaptogens, nootropics, and botanics like Reishi Mushroom, Melatonin, and L-Tryptophan to quiet your mind, release what’s beyond your control, and help you reach a natural circadian rhythm for deeper, more restful sleep.
Simply by holding it in your hand, the Chill Pill quickly relieves stress and improves your ability to fall asleep faster without drugs or supplements. The Chill Pill can be customized to fit one's personal needs. Simply adjust the frequency settings to calm yourself in any situation.
While this is advertised for sleep, many find it also helpful for dealing with anxiety, migraines, and stressful situations like plane travel.
You may also like: The Benefits of Dry Brushing
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I hope this self care gift guide helps you find great gifts for yourself and others that will inspire relaxation, slowing down, and pampering. If you have any great self care items not seen in this list do share in the comments!
This self-care gift guide was originally created in 2020 but updated in 2022 with new products I own, have used, or have heard make for fantastic self-care gifts!
Wow! I want almost everything on the list. Thank you for including so many items that may help lessen the severity of (or at least provide some comfort to) my almost constant migraines. I hadn’t been aware of most of your suggestions. I’ve already ordered two of the facial rollers; I want to always have at least one ready to go. I’ll be getting some of your recommendations now (the hot flash stuff!!), but I also know what to put on my Christmas list.
I have a question about the acupressure mat. I have some neck issues which I think could be helped by it. That area is quite sensitive. Can you feel the hard plastic nubbies, and, if so, do they feel pronounced and/or uncomfortable?
I use light therapy for SAD, so I can put in a plug for the Happy Light. Several months ago, I purchased the Luxe model several months ago. It replaced my very expensive and bulky Northern Lights one; after more than 10 years, it wasn’t performing as well, and its large footprint had always been a sticking point for me. I’m very pleased with the Happy Light. The ability to adjust the warmth of the light is huge for me.
Thanks for such a great post. It’s so useful.
Thanks for introducing me to Necessaire—I am a bergamot fan and love their scent. And I have another similarly-priced body wash from a well-regarded brand but Necessaire lathers so much better. It goes a long way.
I’ve been eyeing the Bearaby blanket for awhile—I’ve used a weighted blanket for a long time and I currently have one from Tempurpedic that is supposed to be temp-regulating, but I don’t notice it and the weights in it shift all over! Something knit that won’t shift is appealing, and they’re so pretty, too!
Melissa L. says
I just learned about these mats from a you tube video and I was immediately intrigued. My husband thinks I’m nuts but I want one – so glad to see this recommendation from you!
Asking more for myself (hehe) — is the body brush light or heavy? I had bought a brush from Amazon, but it was really heavyweight.
Alison Gary says
Uh… medium? I’ve had lighter and heavier. I like the weight of this one, it’s heavy enough to get pressure on my back but not so heavy it’s awkward.
What a great guide Allie! I just got the accupressure mat set (I didn’t even know something like that existed) and if it works on me then I know what my sister-in-law will be getting for Christmas. The tea kettle’s got me thinking too…..
Alison Gary says
Oh I hope you like it as much as my husband and I do. I went to my sister’s house and saw she had the same mat, it’s pretty awesome!
Liz Y says
Alison, you knocked it out of the park!
Alison Gary says
Thank you! It was fun to put together.
Oh my gosh, what a terrific list. I’ll take one of each please!
Alison Gary says
Thanks so much I’m glad you liked it!