It’s true, that the spirit of Christmas is about giving, not receiving. However, that doesn’t mean you have to completely forgo yourself. We’re not talking about a new TV or shoes, but presents for the mind, body and soul. The kind of gifts guaranteed to add value to your life. After the events of this year, it’s fair to say we’re all overdue for a little selfcare, right?!
If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that a little wellness goes a long way. Remember, selfcare isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. Whether you’re already well versed in selfcare or feeling inspired to practice, we got you. Put your wellbeing first this summer and indulge in some well-deserved ‘me-time’ with our round-up of the best wellness presents.
1. An adult colouring book
The phenomenon of adult colouring for stress relief and enjoyment has proliferated over the past year, with it becoming a popular pastime for many adults across the globe. It’s no wonder that its popularity has continued to surge this year. Dr Nikki Martinez, a trainer counsellor in mental health, believes it helps to re-focus attention away from distressing thoughts by providing positive distraction from negative habits and facilitating a mindful connection with the present moment. Colouring converts praise the selfcare practice for its ability to prompt the brain to rest, relax and reset.
2. Bath salts
The ritual of bathing is nothing new – it stems right back to ancient history, after all. Depending on how your do it, a bath can be beautifying, detoxifying, relieving or reviving. Modern research has found it beneficial in clearing negative energy and tension in the mind and body. The simple act of cleansing for 30 minutes is a positive way to manage stress after a hard day. Try adding lavender bath salts, renowned for their stress-relieving properties.
3. A puzzle
Puzzle-solving shouldn’t just be reserved for kids. Many adults turned to puzzles this year while in lockdown to help relax and disconnect from the stresses of life. The exercise of puzzle-solving provides a rewarding challenge for the brain, helping to release tension while you focus on the present moment.
4. Vitamins and supplements
Whether you’re suffering from burnout or chronic stress, there’s a supplement for everything, literally. 16 per cent of adult New Zealanders have been diagnosed with a mental disorder at some point in their lives, and combed with a vitamin or mineral deficiency the problem can be exacerbated. While supplements can’t specifically treat conditions like depression or anxiety, they can provide an incredible boost to your recovery or ongoing mental health hence are a great healthy habit to establish in your daily routine.
For an easy way to unwind, try aromatherapy via essential oils. You can use essential oils by popping a few drops in your evening bath or into an ultrasonic diffuser. High-quality candles also harness the relaxing properties of essential oils. Furthermore, the act of burning a candle has been found to be a selfcare ritual in itself.
6. A weighted blanket
You’ve no doubt seen them popping up all over your social feeds this year – and for good reason. Weighted blankets can quite literally take the weight off your mind, release happy-hormones and promote restful sleep. How do they work? In a nutshell, they utilise pressure therapy findings originating from psychiatry clinics. Pressure therapy is used to calm neurological arousal and stimulate the release of serotonin and dopamine to evoke a calming response.
7. Wellness books
If you’re in need of some TLC these holidays, try to steer clear of heavy reading. Browse the aisles for books that promote positive self-talk and support your wellbeing. Better yet, buy local and seek solace in the pages of wellness books close to home, like Dr Libby’s latest book, Women’s Wellness Wisdom, or Wellness by Jess Blair.
8. A journal
For an achievable New Year resolution that will truly enhance your perspective on life, try journaling. Practicing gratitude for all the small things that make you happy each day, can seriously change how you view and respond to the world around you. Try keeping a journal and noting down the little things that spark joy, like a text from a friend wanting to catch-up or a loving embrace from your partner when you get home from work. Also, use this space to reflect on your goals and microhabits.
9. Step-up your skincare regime
Aside from the obvious beautifying benefits, skincare can be as rewarding for your mental health, as it is indulgent. Don’t underestimate the simple act of setting aside 20 minutes in the evening to slather on skincare. Time out to yourself, with some calming music and botanical skincare, could just be the therapeutic addition to your routine you never knew you needed. Our go-to right now? The re.skin two step system.
Main image: Free People