There’s been a big shift towards self-care and wellness in recent years, and it feels like we’re doing whatever it takes to ensure our mental and physical health are in check. For some that means eating clean, using safe beauty products, apps that track sleep and heart rate, and practicing things like mindfulness and meditation. Though I don’t personally subscribe to an approach quite that extreme, I do believe in seeking a more balanced and healthy lifestyle by incorporating some similar practices in moderation.
We’re only a week into December and I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling some of the inevitable stress that comes with the season. Between holiday parties, holiday travel, gift shopping, and cramming in as much work as possible before taking time off, there’s no better time to prioritize wellness (especially with flu season in full swing). The holidays always seem to fly by, but setting aside time for a little pampering and mindfulness has really helped me in savoring the season thus far. Whether it’s slipping into some cozy loungewear, diffusing one of my favorite essential oils, or swapping my normal shower routine for a bath, these little luxuries have served as a reminder that the small stuff really does have a big impact.
This gift guide is filled with a few of the aforementioned things that are bringing me joy this season. And while I think any of these would make for great gifts, they’re just as much for you as they are for someone you love.
As someone who struggles with sleep (the faintest sound or light will often wake me up), I have no idea why it took me so long to get on board with sleep masks because ever since I started using one, it’s helped tremendously. Sleep plays such a huge role in your mood and overall ability to function, so taking whatever steps are necessary to get a good night’s rest is so important.
I’m a bit of a candle hoarder, and that’s because I believe they have the ability to transform an ambiance. There’s something so naturally calming about a flickering flame, and I love the romantic mood they set, especially those that deliver a cozy scent throughout the room. I’m generally drawn to woodsy, musky notes, and that’s especially true during this cooler time of year. P.F. Candle Co’s “Teakwood & Tobacco” candle and Jenni Kayne’s “Cedar” candle are two that meet all of my candle needs. It’s tough to find scents that don’t feel artificial, but somehow these have managed to capture that perfect wintery combination of tobacco-meets-cedar-meets-sandalwood – you get the idea. And in addition to their functionality, they’re beautiful to have on display.
Last year I wrote about wanting to start a gratitude journal, and I’m happy to report that I did! I’ve been using The Five Minute Journal, and while I can’t say it’s been life-changing, I have noticed some immediate benefits. For example, prompting me to think about questions like, “What would make today great?” has helped with things like productivity because it’s forced me to slow down and be more intentional about what I want to accomplish each day. It’s also provided more routine for my mornings, and I really enjoy the process of starting my day on a more positive, mindful note.
The NutriBullet is one of those items that leaves you wondering how you ever survived without one. I don’t always have the healthiest eating habits, so sneaking fruits and vegetables into smoothies is my favorite way to incorporate healthy nutrients into my diet. And it’s incredibly versatile, too. I’ve used it to make everything from salad dressings to pureed soups to fresh graham cracker crust.
I’m not a big believer in strict New Year’s resolutions, but I do love the prospect of a fresh start, reflection and goal-setting for the upcoming year. I’m admittedly pretty OCD when it comes to planning and organization, so having an organized calendar and to-do list is crucial in keeping me sane. Call me old-fashioned, but I still prefer to handwrite everything (not to mention there’s no satisfaction quite like taking pen to paper to manually cross off a to-do list item), and transferring me mental to-do list to paper always makes me feel so much better and more productive. Ironically though, finding a great planner can be a task in itself, which is why I’m excited to share a recent discovery called PurpleTrail. Not only do they offer a huge selection of adorable designs, but everything is completely customizable to fit your unique needs and preferences. With the new year just around the corner, a 2019 planner would make a timely gift for anyone. I just personalized this one with my name on it and can’t wait to receive it.
Essential oils are having a big moment right now and after learning about some of the potential benefits, I finally caved. I can’t say I’ve noticed any medicinal benefits from those I’ve tried, but I love diffusing them for the same reason I love scented candles. They can really transform your home into a tranquil space – especially when diffusing scents like eucalyptus and lavender that you might find in a spa.
Warm and cozy layers are top of mind lately, and there’s truly no better feeling than slipping into some luxe loungewear to wind down in after a busy day. I’ve always loved these Eberjey pajama sets (and if you’re looking for a more affordable version, I can attest to the impressive quality of this alternative). And although it’s a bit of a splurge, this cashmere set from Leimere is another great option and is one of the softest things I own (as seen here).
You might be thinking this belongs on a gift guide for tech lovers, but the amount of convenience this device has brought to my life has earned it a spot. I use it first thing in the morning to play jazz music while I’m having my coffee and writing in my gratitude journal, ask it Google search questions throughout the day when I need a quick answer and use it to turn the lights on and off in the evening. It’s honestly one of my favorite gadgets and it still feels so futuristic every time I use it.
Is there anything more relaxing than soaking in the bathtub? The process always feels like such an indulgence, and I love pampering myself even further by adding some bath salts (plus, the bottles double as a beautiful display for your bathroom counter).