Even though we’re almost a year out from the onset of COVID-19, believe it or not, the virus is still creating distance between many people and their loved ones, along with a barrage of other obstacles that continually threaten our peace. If you’ve made an extra effort to prioritize self-care this year, you know exactly how necessary it is. But unfortunately, many of us have not realized how the lasting effects of the pandemic, the never-ending grind, or even just the pressure of the holiday season can eat away at us and how detrimental it can be if we never take the initiative to correct bad habits that perpetuate stress.
According to a study done by Everyday Health, this year, approximately one-third of people visited a doctor about something stress-related, with 57% admitting they’ve been paralyzed by stress. And while we might all be stressing about something different–work, holiday shopping, relationships, etc.– the reality is that the effects of stress are universal. It deteriorates our health in all areas, it puts a greater distance between ourselves and our loved ones, it depletes our motivation, and overall, it just makes us less of our true selves.
And holiday stress gets an honorable mention here because it’s a double edged sword. The pressure of showing our love to our friends and family over the holidays can leave us without any energy to care for ourselves. Conversely, loneliness can hit harder during the holidays. Having a small circle may leave you without many opportunities for socialization and feeling disconnected.
If you plan on spreading some holiday cheer with presents, self-care gifts can be the light your friends and family need. And stress-relief is just one of the reasons why:
Self Care Promotes Self-Love
Setting aside time to take care of yourself regularly boosts your self-esteem. Oftentimes, we go out of our way to tend to others’ well-being, but indulging in self-care shows that you know you deserve to be well too. Give a gift that helps your loved one realize that they deserve to be loved on. And even when they can’t depend on another person to show them the care that they need, your self-care gift will help your giftee shower themselves with some love.
We’ve all heard the phrase “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Now just visualize you holding a cup, pouring into it not only until it reaches the top, but until it’s overflowing. Self-care allows you to recharge and rejuvenate so that the people and areas of your life that require your energy can get the best of you, and not just the worn out leftover scraps.
Licensed clinical psychologist Russell Thackeray notes that “people that look after themselves [and practice self-care] do have better cognitive ability. They do have better focus and they do have better concentration. They tend to actually produce more.”
If you know someone who is always working on something, or always helping someone, choose a self-care gift to bless them while they continue to be a blessing to others.
Help Your Loved Ones Set The Tone For the New Year
No matter what specific New Year affirmations people have on their list, the main point of setting new goals and working to see them through is to discover all the ways you can evolve into a better version of yourself in the next year of your life. What better way to level up than to create new habits that help you feel loved, energized and ready to take on the world?
A lot of self-care rituals just feel so damn good that you’ll start incorporating it into your daily life, and it will become a non negotiable in your relationship with yourself. Your self-care gift will help make the “new year, new you” saying become a reality.
If you have no idea where to start here are some suggestions for self-care gifts that will keep giving long after the holiday is over:
- A Guided Journal
- A Gift Card for Sex Toys
- Yoga or Workout Session
- Aromatherapy Diffuser
- Soothing Bath Time products
- A Weighted Blanket
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Featured photo: ColorJoy Stock
Kymberly Deane is a writer, content creator, and storyteller based in Brooklyn, New York. Her passion for continual self-improvement and exploring new things has led her to become a health and wellness zealot, with a particular love for sexual health and wellness. She uses her writing to share the gems she discovers throughout her journey.