What are you doing to take care of your health and wellbeing right now? How are you supporting those around you? We all deserve some special attention at the moment.
If you’re looking for self-care ideas, this post is all about creating self-care gift boxes (which you can gift to friends or family members that need a boost) or a self-care toolkit to keep for yourself so you can make time for YOU.
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Why we need self-care gift boxes now more than ever
Australia is in a very strange place at the moment (at the time of writing, a number of states are in lockdown including Queensland where I live). I’m so grateful we’ve been able to avoid the worst of things up until now, but there have definitely been challenges in the past and there are more to come, unfortunately.
If you’ve been feeling homesick because you can’t travel to see your family, you might like this post with tips to overcome homesickness.
I listened to a Rachel Hollis podcast last week that talked about how the entire world is suffering from communal PTSD from the constant worries that we’ve faced that never quite seem to let up. Of course, we’re so lucky to be facing this pandemic during a time when we have the internet, apps to stay in touch with friends and family, Zoom so we can continue with our meetings, Netflix so we don’t get too bored, easy access to online shopping through Amazon Prime (seriously, I ordered a book the other day through Prime and it arrived in less than 24 hours!) and a million other things that make our lives easier. I feel very lucky to be in the situation that we are in, but there are lots of people in really tricky situations where they don’t feel safe to stay home. Where they’ve lost their jobs and don’t know where the money will come from to pay their bills or buy food. Where they’re struggling mentally with being alone and not seeing people on a day-to-day basis. Where the toll of this ongoing drama just never seems to end. This process impacts everybody so differently, and everybody’s situation is unique.
I wish there was a magic wand to heal the world so we could all move on with our lives. For now though, we’ve just got to do the best we can to take care of ourselves and the ones we love, and if we’re in a position to help others that are struggling now is the time to show kindness and do what we can to help.
Whether you’re looking for self-care ideas for your own wellbeing toolkit, or you’re looking to put together a self-care plan to give to someone you care about, I hope this post gives you some inspiration to get started. And don’t forget, if you’re planning to organise self-care activities and products for yourself, you can buy them bit by bit – you don’t need to order everything in one go! Maybe start by ordering one or two pampering or self-care products every month and before you know it you’ll have a lovely big stash of goodness in your self-care kit ready to go when you need it.
Buy a ready-made self care gifts or make your own self care box
There isn’t only one way to give the gift of self-care – you’ve got a few options. If you don’t feel creative or don’t have the time or energy to put together your own bespoke self-care package, you can just buy one! There are lots of self-care subscription boxes on the market, and some of my favourite online stores like Nourished Life offer beauty boxes that make lovely self-care gifts (either for you to keep or to gift to someone you love!).
If you have the time and energy to build your own self-care box, then I think it’s well worth the effort to create your own as you can make it unique. I’ve gifted self-care boxes many times over the years (they make great teacher gifts and leaving gifts!) – you can totally mix them up and add things you know the recipient will love to make them personal.
Want to find out about sending gift hampers in Australia? This post has you covered!
What to put in your self-care box?
Here are some ideas for things to go in your self-care gift box (or to start building up your own self-care toolkit).
I LOVE having a bath and it’s always my go-to self-care activity when I want some me-time. There are lots of bath products that could go in your self-care pack – bath salts, bubble bath, scented soap – anything that will make the experience of bathing more luxurious and enjoyable. Think about the scents and ingredients of the products and how these can help promote certain feelings or experiences. For instance, magnesium and lavender are both great to aid restful sleep.
There are an endless stack of self-care books on the market. I personally love books about mindset, manifesting and gratitude (Pam Grout has some amazing books – check them out here!). If you’re giving the self-care box as a gift to somebody, think carefully about what type of book they will enjoy. I love spiritual and woo woo books about the universe, but for some people they’d prefer books that are practical and give them more of a self-care plan. Another type of book I love is one that gets people dreaming of their big goals (things like Your Dream Life Starts Here which is utterly brilliant!).
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I think it’s great giving books in a self-care package as a) it’s something that lasts a long time (unlike chocolates which will be eaten quickly) and b) it has so much power to transform somebody’s mindset.
Chocolate gives you a natural feeling of happiness – just remember the best care packages include high-quality products that make you feel good AND from brands that take care of the planet rather than going for cheaper, sickly chocolate or brands where the products aren’t ethically sourced. My favourite chocolate is Green and Blacks (great taste, plus they’re committed to their ethical principles).
Hot chocolate is another product you might include – there is nothing quite like wrapping your hands around a mug of hot chocolate on a winter’s day (if it’s summer in Australia when you’re gifting your care package, another idea is organic iced coffee syrup instead!).
A self-care journal
Journalling is one of those self-care practices that really does boost your wellbeing. Including a self-care journal in your self-care box gives the gift of space to write and dream. Regular journalling is known to help reduce stress and anxiety plus it gives you clarity. You can get a blank self-care journal or one with daily prompts (which is great for someone who is new to journalling).
Pretty affirmation cards
I’m a sucker for pretty things and I really love affirmations – a growth mindset is so important to me. There are literally so many different types of affirmation cards decks available – there’s some for anxiety, new mothers, kids, entrepreneurs… Some are black and white, some vibrant colours, some mostly words and others with graphic designs…Choose a set that makes you happy!
Smell is such an important brain trigger so I think oils are a great inclusion in any self-care plan. You could either buy a small set with a mix of starter oils, or just get one or two bottles of the main ones (I personally love lavender to aid restful sleep and eucalyptus as it’s a comforting, refreshing scent that reminds me of spa days!) It’s a good idea to include a carrier oil too.
I use oils as part of my self-care routine and they just make me happy (even my kids now ask for some lavender at bedtime!).
Candles are a great way to relax – it’s a combination of the amazing smell and the calming, flickering light. They work great when you’re in the bath too so they go well with the bath products in your self-care kit. There are candles to suit all budgets so you don’t need to spend a small fortune on one.
Multi tasking make up
I’m not usually one to suggest buying make up for someone as I think make up is a really personal choice and it’s almost impossible to know what colours or brands someone might like, BUT saying that there are some really pretty bronzers and highlighers on the market and I don’t think you can go too wrong with those (there are bronzers out there to suit all skin tones – light through to dark – so think about the tone before buying).
I don’t wear much make up but I always feel so much more alive and like I’m glowing when I’ve got a few swishes of bronzer on my cheeks!
A sarong wrap if it’s hot weather (or thick, fluffy socks if it’s winter!)
Why a sarong? Because a vibrant sarong encourages you to get outside in the pool or the ocean and getting outside in the water ALWAYS makes you feel good!
For those few cooler weeks of the year though, some cute slipper socks make the perfect addition.
Skincare face mask
Another pampering product you might like to include is a facemask either a sheet mask or a pot of face mask. It’s something that encourages you to slow down and stop for a while making it the perfect self-care ritual. It’s also something that goes perfectly with the candle and bath products!
Gift box or basket
Of course, if you’re posting your self-care box in Australia then go for a gift box instead so you can easily fill it with tissue paper and pack it up.
Extras for your self-care gift box
If budget and box size doesn’t matter, you could also add in some comfortable pyjamas, a lightweight dressing gown, a cosy blanket, a luxury face cloth or towel, probiotic supplements, herbal or flavoured intensive conditioning hair treatments, or even some luxury intensive conditioning hair treatments. Anything that is about turning focus inward and investing back in yourself.
Self-care activities are important
Self-care is essential right now – for you and for those around you. As a mum, I know that I usually put everyone else’s needs first and feel guilty for spending money on myself but over the last few months I’ve been investing in more bits and bobs just for me. Whether that is books to keep my mind healthy and active, bath products to give me some peace and quiet on my own or treats like a new bronzer to make me look and feel fresher.
I highly recommend you gather yourself a self-care kit with the key things that give you a mental and emotional boost during challenging times. And if you can, create a self-care gift box to give to somebody you care about. They will be forever grateful for it, I promise.