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5 Gift Ideas to Help Encourage Self-Care (& Alleviate Stress)

The holidays can be a time of stress while constantly feeling swamped. There are concerts to attend, people to serve, families to visit, and traditions to do. Overall it is often overwhelming and stressful (while also magical and fun).

On top of your never-ending to-do list, you also have to buy gifts for your kids, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, your dog, third-grade teacher, and great aunt twice removed. The list of people feels never-ending. More often than not, deciding what to buy can make you feel overloaded and burnt out.

Rather than gifting the classic socks and chocolate this holiday season, consider giving things that can help encourage self-care. These things can help alleviate stress because the holiday season can be stressful for everyone. Self-care is essential, especially after a demanding year. Utilizing these simple gift ideas and taking care of yourself (while also encouraging others to do the same) can make a real difference this Christmas season.

What is Self-Care?

Self-care can be a complicated topic to tackle. Let's start by understanding the definition. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines self-care as "the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider." This means that self-care is doing things that encourage you to promote and maintain your health and cope with any disability.

Self-care looks different for everyone. It is important to note that self-care is not indulging in things you don't need or being selfish. It is a way of taking care of yourself, so you can be a better friend, family member, employee, parent and fulfill your responsibilities.

We each do small things to take care of ourselves every day. These can be little things like: getting enough sleep, brushing your teeth, eating healthy, going on a walk, exercising, reading a book, watching your favorite TV show, or anything else that you do throughout the day that helps you feel recharged and helps you cope with the challenges you are facing.

To be the best versions of ourselves, we have to do those little things and care for ourselves. These little gifts can help encourage self-care in others and in yourself. It is essential for everyone to find effective self-care practices that can help them.

Self Care Gift Ideas (For Others & Yourself)

While some self-care practices are small and don't require any additional things (like brushing your teeth or going on a walk), some self-care practices are more effective with the help of certain things.

Some of these gifts can even help people begin taking care of themself in the way they need to. These make great gift ideas for anyone you know and can help them improve their mental health.

1. Bath Bombs

Sometimes, at the end of a long day, the first thing you want to do is take a hot bath. Bath bombs can be an exciting way to spruce up your bath, help it smell good, and feel like an exciting extra reward for you.

The bath bomb can make taking a bath more exciting, but taking a bath can be fantastic self-care. Baths are a great way to take time for you. They are often quiet, and you are alone, which makes it a safe space to detox your mind and body. Baths also have significant skincare benefits, and they are soothing. Taking a bath before bed can help you get more restful sleep. Bath bombs as a gift can help encourage someone to take much-needed time for themself. Lush is selling a perfect Christmas bath bomb gift set that would make a fantastic gift.

2. Blankets

Especially during Christmas time, there is nothing better than wrapping up in a nice blanket, sitting by a fire (or the fireplace you turn on your TV), and just existing for a minute or two. To do that, though, you need a nice blanket.

Blankets can help you feel relaxed and provide you a much-needed minute to yourself. If you are feeling really groovy, weighted blankets are a great option. Weighted blankets actually have health benefits. They can help soothe anxiety and depression, ease stress, bring peace, calm your nervous system, and improve sleep quality. If you take a warm bath and then sleep with your weighted blanket…that is the recipe for the best sleep of your life.

Amazon has lots of nice weighted blankets, and Target has hundreds of options for soft, fuzzy blankets!

3. Self-Development Books

Self-development books can be a fantastic way to take care of yourself. They help you want to be better while also making you feel good about where you are at. There are hundreds, even thousands of good self-development books out there, meaning there is a book tailored for you. These books allow you to take time to focus on learning and growing yourself (plus, if you are going to curl up in your weighted blanket, you need a good book to read).

Self-development books can help you perceive your surroundings more positively. They can help you improve your mindset and break free of the limitations you have put on yourself. They can also help you set better goals, focus on what matters, become more self-aware, and continuously learn about yourself and what you want. Choosing a self-development book for other people can be overwhelming because there are so many out there. Some of our favorites include:

4. Positive Affirmation Cards

It is too easy to get up in the morning, brush your teeth, and catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror as you're brushing. Often, the first thought about yourself may be negatively thinking about your hair, the zit on your face, or your nose. Whatever it is, we have all done it, and we need to change those thoughts about ourselves.

Positive affirmation cards can help you change your mindset about yourself and your life. Each day, pick 3 cards and then find a time throughout the day to say the cards out loud while looking at yourself in the mirror, 3 times. Saying these positive statements can help you challenge negative thoughts and even increase your self-esteem. Part of self-care is allowing yourself time to change and work on your mentality towards life. Amazon has many options for positive affirmation cards, including these specifically geared towards women.

5. Back and Neck Massager

Finally, a back and neck massager is a great gift to encourage self-care. A considerable percentage of the population holds stress in their necks, shoulders, and back. These areas become very tense and can cause severe pain down the road. No one wants that. A back and neck massager can be a great gift to help encourage self-care in those around you. This requires someone to sit down, relax, and take time to take care of themself for 15 minutes.

There are many benefits to taking this time for yourself and using a massager. It can relieve tension, allow you time to sort through emotions in your brain, and ultimately help you take care of yourself so you can continue taking care of others and the responsibilities you have every single day. There are hundreds of options on Amazon, but this is one of the best for the best price.

Everyone's self-care journey will look a little bit different. But, no matter who you are or what stage of life you are at, it is super important to spend time taking care of yourself. We all have things we would like to improve on, and taking this time can allow you to grow as an individual. While these make great (and simple) gift ideas for others, they also make great gift ideas for you. To take care of everyone else, you need to care for yourself. The holidays can be a time of stress and anxiety; taking time for yourself can help you combat these emotions.

If you have questions or need someone to talk to, contact us. You are not alone, and at Jackson House, we want to help you.


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If you’re a provider and need to send us information on a client, please feel free to fax us at 619-303-7044. If you need help immediately, call our 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-766-4274. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Jackson House is licensed by the State of California Community Care Licensing Division and certified by the Department of Health Care Services. We are also CARF Accredited. If you have any client or quality of care concerns, please reach out to us at (888) 255-9280. If your concerns need further attention, you can contact the Department of Public Health at 619-278-3700 or the Community Care Licensing Division at 1-844-538-8766.