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Six Self Care Gifts to Boost Your Mental Health All Year - Guest Blog Post By Maria Cannon

When a special occasion rolls around, you pour your heart and soul into giving thoughtful, personal gifts to the people you love. But do you put the same thought and care into yourself? Gift giving is a wonderful way to promote positivity and gratitude in givers and recipients alike, but there’s something to be said for treating yourself.

If you have a little extra money in your gift-giving budget, give yourself the gift of self-care with one of these budget-friendly ideas.

1. A DIY Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets are celebrated by people with anxiety and autism for their calming effects. Research has even found that weighted blankets improve sleep duration and quality in people with insomnia. Weighted blankets can run $100 and up at retail stores, but if you’re handy with a sewing machine, you can make a DIY weighted blanket at a fraction of the price. Learn with Emily has instructions to walk you through the process.

2. Herbal Tea

Guzzling caffeine all day is bad for anxiety and stress. If you know you need to kick the caffeine habit but crave something warm to sip, buy a selection of herbal teas instead. You’ll get the comfort of a warm beverage without the stress-spiking side effects. Plus, many herbal teas have additional benefits like improving digestion and gut health (poor gut health can cause shifts in mood as well as bloating), reducing inflammation, and strengthening immunity.

3. A Natural Energy/Relaxation Boost

Okay, so you’ve ditched the six-cup-a-day coffee habit — but now your energy levels are bottoming out, and you need to get things done. If you’re taking all the recommended steps like improving your sleep hygiene and exercising but you’re still low on energy, turn to supplements for a boost. Supplements can help fill gaps in your diet and provide a safe energy boost without caffeine jitters. However, it’s important to be a careful consumer when buying supplements. Look for supplements that address the source of your low energy, not just the symptoms, and check with your doctor to make sure the ingredients don’t interfere with any medications.

On the same token, some people often look for natural supplements/remedies to help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety, which might explain the growing popularity of CBD oil. Although it shares many of the same characteristics as marijuana, CBD oil won’t get you intoxicated. Instead, it can invoke feelings of euphoria while helping you relax. Additionally, some people also use CBD oil to treat inflammation and ease chronic pain. Given the number of oils on the market, reading up on the best brands is almost essential before buying anything.

4. An Art Set

Art is a powerful tool for self-expression and self-reflection. In fact, art is so valuable to mental health that art therapy programs exist to help people heal from mental illness and trauma. A professional art therapist might not be in your budget, but an art set is! Lake Erie Artists offers affordable suggestions to guide your shopping.

5. A Journal

Not much of an artist? Maybe you’ll find self-expression through writing instead. Whether you pick up a gratitude journal to promote positive thinking, a bullet journal to improve your self-management, or a creative writing journal to explore your imagination, you’ll find that putting pen to paper helps you process your thoughts and emotions in a healthy manner.

6. A Yoga Class

Exercise of all kinds is beneficial to mental health, but yoga offers something special. As exercise and meditation bundled into one uplifting practice, yoga has the power to improve mental and physical health in ways other workouts can’t. Taking a few classes from a yoga instructor is helpful for newbies, but even if you can’t afford classes, it’s easy to get started with yoga at home using online videos. Just pay attention to form and take it slowly to avoid injury.

Buying a present for yourself might sound less important than treating your loved ones, but self-care is an important part of managing mental illness. A small gift like one of these ideas encourages you to practice self-care all year, leading to improvements in emotional and mental wellness. The next time you’re shopping for gifts, make sure to put your own name on the list!


Image via Unsplash

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