*this post contains gifted products
I honestly can’t believe that today is the 1st of December; that means Christmas is only 25 days away!
In all honesty, it’s a time of year that I both love and loathe.
On the one hand, I love how happy and festive people become; it makes people nicer towards others and gives you something to look forward to.
Plus it gives me a socially acceptable excuse for eating chocolate in the morning!
But there also a lot of stress involved for me, especially when trying to buy presents for people.
Not only can it drain your bank account (mainly because I feel compelled to buy everyone and their dog a present), but finding something to buy them in the first place can be extremely difficult.
And yes, I do actually get something for my best friends dog – he’s the easiest to buy for in all honesty!
So this year I decided to have a theme for my presents.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while (or, you know, you’ve read the title of this post) then you’ve probably guessed what it is; self care.
Chris’s mum is a nurse and both his brothers have just had babies, so taking some time for themselves to actually relax and recharge is really important – and something I wanted to encourage with the presents I bought them.
I’m not going to say exactly what I’ve bought them, as I’m pretty sure one or two members of his family read my blog; which is slightly awkward since I’ve spoken pretty openly about our sex life in a post before…
Instead, I’ve put together a bit of a guide, full of gifts that you could buy someone to help and encourage them to start practising self care more in the new year.
One of my favourite places to have some self care time (and the place where I actually came up with this post idea) is in the shower.
Bath bombs and bubble bars have become a staple Christmas present over the years, and the one I find myself reaching for most often has to be The Comforter Bubble Bar.
It has a really fruity smell to it and, best of all, its so big that you only need to use a small amount of the bar per bath.
Even though I only have a shower at my house, Chris has a bath the size of a swimming pool; which I steal as often as possible!
On top of bath bombs, Lush also have a huge selection of shower gels. The one I love giving as a gift is Sleepy.
It’s so relaxing because of the lavender in it and can be a great way to help you relax and unwind after a busy/stressful day.
Plus they have it as a gift set, which comes pre-wrapped in a cute little box; which is a bonus for me as I’m rubbish at wrapping presents!
Books can make brilliant Christmas presents, as there’s something for just about any interest a person might have.
I’m not usually the biggest fan of self-help books, but these don’t come across as too preachy or like the author is talking down to you.
They’re like having a conversation with a friend, which is a format I really enjoy.
If it’s fiction you’re after then I can’t recommend the Twisted Tales series enough!
They take the traditional Disney stories and flip them on their head. What if the bad guy won for once? What if the princess had to save herself?
They are brilliantly written and I personally prefer these versions to the originals most times; I finished two of them in less than a day – I just couldn’t put them down!
Wheat bag/Hot Water Bottle
I actually don’t think I could survive without my wheat bags and hot water bottles, especially now my IBS is becoming even more unpredictable.
You can even get them as cuddly animals now, which not only look cute AF but also are comforting to cuddle when you’re ill.
I bought mine from Boots last year (a treat to myself with my leftover Boots points) and I know that other shops like New Look also sell them.
Something else that would make a great present, or even stocking fillers, are mini hot water bottles.
I was sent one from CareCo and I’ve been using is pretty much every day since it arrived.
I started spotting not long after it turned up so I thought it would be the perfect time to give it a try, and it really helped reduce the cramps.
Best of all, it’s so small that it actually fits in the front pocket of my mustard hoodie!
Hot water bottles are perfect for period cramps, IBS flair-ups or even just keeping you warm if your invoices still haven’t been paid and you can’t afford to put the heating on.
If you want something a little more personal, then Matalan has some gorgeous initialled hot water bottles that would make great stocking fillers.
I’m planning on getting one for my mum (as she has IBS too) but every time I go in they’ve sold out of K’s.
I really should just do the smart thing and order one online…
I actually think I have an addiction to new stationery; I’m forever buying new notebooks, coloured pens and washi tape.
Stationery sets can actually make really good self care presents though.
One of the best things I can do when I’m stressed, anxious or depressed is to write things down. It could be to-do lists, things I’ve achieved that month, goals, or even mini diary entries.
Just getting things out of your head and onto paper can be a huge relief sometimes.
Paperchase has some gorgeous notebooks, workbooks and stationery, but they can be a bit pricey if you’re on a budget.
If you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, Wilko actually has a decent collection of stationery – most of which average at £3-£5.
Taking some time out of your day to pamper yourself is a great way to relax and unwind.
I love doing my evening skincare routine as a way to wind down for the evening and signify that the workday is over; something that’s especially important when you’re self-employed.
The four main products I use are No7’s Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum Pump, Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil and Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Night Cream; as well as Clinique’s Take The Day Off Balm to remove any makeup of dirty that might be on my face.
They’re really soothing on my skin and leaves my face feeling smooth and looking really clear.
For the rest of my body, I use Charity Pot from Lush.
It’s brilliant at getting rid of persistent dry skin, and even helps with psoriasis and eczema; Chris buys it in batch as it’s the only thing that helps with his.
Not only is it good for your skin, but you’re also helping out small grassroots causes every time you buy some.
All the money from each purchase (minus VAT) goes straight to the charities involved, which is something I really love about it!
What products would you buy for someone to help them practice self care?