Self-Care Gifts For the Holidays
Which do you prefer, getting a present or receiving one? Generosity is a virtue. It involves kindness, contemplation, and gratitude. One of the benefits of the holidays is that it gives you the opportunity to flex your generosity muscles. Not only is gift-giving a chance to show you care, but science shows it releases feel-good chemicals in your brain that actually increase happiness. Plus, if the present involves an experience versus a possession, it intensifies the joy for the person on the receiving end. Considering how this year has played out, self-care has never been more necessary. Keeping that in mind, here are some gifts that will help nurture wellbeing all year long.
Light Therapy Lamp
Less natural light in winter can influence your emotions in subtle and profound ways; additionally, decreased exposure to sunlight means less vitamin D production, and studies have linked low levels of vitamin D to depression. Without leaving your home, you can boost your mood with a light therapy lamp. The lamp works with bright light that stimulates the area of the brain related to your circadian rhythms (hypothalamus), thus helping to restore natural balance. For a breakdown, see Verywell Mind's breakdown of light therapy lamps.
Face massage offers a self-care trifecta. It reduces fine lines, gives you a glow as it increases blood blow, and works the muscles in your face. Those languid strokes also boost immunity as the process promotes lymphatic drainage. The feeling alone is truly sublime. Decompress and free your mind of tension. Try facial rollers made from semi precious stones such as rose quartz and jade; cooling to the touch, they also help reduce inflammation and contour. Jade adapts to skin temperature, and can warm quickly, whereas rose quartz will remain cooler longer, beneficial for inflammation and puffiness. Check out Harper's Bazaar's list of face massagers.
Note: When giving a face massager as a gift, consider coupling it with an emollient plant based facial oil, rich in antioxidants and good fats, such as Jojoba, Sea Buckthorn, or Evening Primrose. Although, if you add a facial oil, make sure to personalize it according to skin type.
Breath is life force energy. And clean air has never been more important as we spend increasing amounts of time indoors, and more information comes to light about Covid-19's airborne transmission. According to the CDC, air purifiers “help reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses, in a home or confined space.” Also, while practicing pranayama, or yoga and meditation indoors, the quality of air you breathe makes an enormous difference. Inhale as pure and clean and possible. For the scoop on which ones are healthier, check out consumer reports air purifier buying guide.
Yoga Buckwheat Bolster Set
Enhance your mindfulness practices with an artistic bundle from the Crystal Cove Yoga Collection. Encased in a removable organic cotton liner for easy cleaning, the meditation cushion, yoga bolster, and pranayama pillow are 100% certified Vegan by Vegan Action. The collection is made from soft gray cotton knit with embroidery inspired by the hypnotic tide pools at California’s Crystal Cove State Park. Inside, buckwheat hulls naturally contour to your body's curves, allowing you to fully relax and go deeper. In addition to yoga and meditation, they’ve been known to work magic if you just lie back, cuddle and daydream.
Your olfactory sense is linked to memory in the brain; and research shows that inhaling a certain aroma can provoke powerful emotional responses. Certain scents elicit different feelings; to relax, try soothing lavender, rose, vetiver or bergamot. A few drops in a bath, or a single drop on pulse points offers an oasis of calm. Essential oils also enhance restorative yoga and meditation practice. For a potpourri of sets, see Wellness Dart's 18 Best Essential Oil Starter Kits.
When life gets overwhelming, one way to gain perspective is through daily affirmations, intended to rewire your brain by offering an optimistic POV; appreciating what is already good in your life, shifts awareness, and has been shown to bring transformative benefits. While there are many decks to choose from, Power Thought Cards, by Louise Hay is delightfully illustrated in uplifting colors and playful designs. The deck offers 64 cards, aimed at helping to awaken resilience and inner strength. The cards are also available as an App.
Mandala Coloring Book
Meditate on your center, relieve stress, and embrace your creative side. This Mandala Coloring Book For Adults, is spiral bound on high quality paper, with 50 intricate illustrations, drawn by hand. Use colored pencils, crayons, or markers, on the blotter free surface. For even more fun, take the creative process a step further, with a set of brush pens. In a selection of vibrant pigments, the flowing brush tip makes them more versatile than markers, offering the freedom to add watercolor shadings and painterly details.