The holidays are a joyful time, but they’re also one of the most stressful phases of the year. If you have family and friends, you’re probably swamped with parties to attend, gatherings to host, cooking goals, gift lists, and outfits to decide. Managing family politics is also a tough task; you have to make sure not to offend anyone or touch upon sensitive subjects.
For those who are relatively alone on the holidays, the stress is of a different kind. You may feel lonely, isolated, and pressured to compensate for missing out on the family fun.
In both these situations, it’s important not to forget yourself. The stress and strain can take a toll, so make sure to take out some time for self-care and grounding. One surefire way to do that is to gift yourself something. It may seem a bit unusual, but self-gifting can help you overcome those stressful periods. No matter how tough things get, you have something to look forward to at the end of the day. Plus, who would be better suited to choose the perfect gift other than yourself?
Gifting Choices for Yourself
There’s no shortage of useful, de-stressing items on the market, so finding a gift for yourself can get a bit confusing at times. Let’s streamline the process with the guide below:
1. Food: The Ultimate Gift
Some people might look upon food as being the best gift ever. It offers immediate self-gratification, doesn’t take up space for too long, and helps to create a holiday mood.
You might be tired from decorating cookies and other baked goods. After packing them all up to gift to other people, why not get some treats for yourself as well? Here are a few ideas to play around with first:
- Book a reservation at a restaurant you’ve wanted to try out, or perhaps stick with an old favorite. Choose one or two people you would like to go with; if no one is available, enjoy your own company!
- If you’re on a diet, plan a cheat meal or cheat day
- For those who want to stick to their diet, this is the right time to indulge in diet-friendly items that you may not get otherwise. Examples include high-quality dark chocolate, exotic fruits, gluten-free artisan loves, etc.
- An assortment of chocolates, dried fruit, nuts, gourmet popcorn, chips, or whatever else you love snacking on
- Get seasonal holiday snacks that are usually the first to go at a party–these may include special cookies, pastry cakes, donuts, etc. You can also check out this guide to cheese snacks for more savory ideas.
2. The Gift of Rest
It seems like everyone’s schedule is jam-packed all the time. Whether you’re a young professional, a student, a stay-at-home parent, or have a full-fledged career, your life is probably full of tasks to do. You make sure to fulfill every responsibility to others, but your own mental and physical health might be getting neglected.
This is why one of the best gifts you can probably give yourself is a day of rest. Here are a few easy you can go about it:
- Take a day or half-day off work, or set aside a day on the weekend that’s just for you
- Ask someone to look after your kids if you’re the primary caretaker–you can pay a trusted babysitter, go for extended daycare, or request a family member for the job
- Schedule a few hours of uninterrupted sleep to regain your mental and physical stamina
- Hire a cleaning service to save yourself from household chores
- Turn your phone off or delete any apps that may consume your precious me-time. Instead, focus on something that will benefit you and your body–this could be a long walk, an exercise session, making (or ordering) a healthy meal, chatting with a good friend, etc.
3. Unusual Clothing Items
You buy clothes for yourself all the time, but they’re mostly practical and useful choices for work, parties, etc. The holidays can be that one time when you go for something that provides comfort and joy for yourself alone. These may not be the most professional choices, but should make you happy above all. Some examples include:
- A warm fuzzy sweater with holiday designs, bright colors, or whatever your prefer
- Pairs of socks with funky patterns and unique designs
- A funny hat, bonnet, cap, etc.
- A shiny jacket or any other shiny clothing item (wear it at home if not in public)
- A blanket with sleeves or a pocket for your legs (perfect for snuggling in while you watch a movie or read)
- A pair of soft, cozy slippers to wear around your home
Of course, a clothing gift doesn’t have to be of an unusual kind. You can also look around for clothes that help you stay comfortable while also being on the practical side. These include:
- Large T-shirts especially for sleeping in
- Comfy flannel or linen pajamas
- Silk pajamas for a luxurious sleep
4. Investing in Skincare
We may spend a lot on makeup, but those expensive products won’t do much unless our skin is taken care of. Many makeup experts suggest working on your skin first and then using makeup to enhance features instead of hiding blemishes.
If you’re not very familiar with skincare, check out the following ideas:
- Sheet face masks for a convenient yet refreshing facial
- Clay masks, peel-off masks, or whatever kind suits your face
- Facial serums
- High-quality moisturizers
- A facial cleansing brush
- Lip scrubs, body scrubs, face scrubs, etc.
Skincare is a very personal thing, so it’s unlikely that anyone will gift you the perfect product that’s absolutely suited to your skin. This is why it’s probably best to choose skincare based on your unique needs.
Before splurging on skincare, you may want to set aside some time and money for a trip to the dermatologist. A skincare specialist can guide you about the best products with the proper concentration according to your skin type, skin issues, medical history, sensitivity, and so on.
Of course, you can always go and get yourself pampered at the salon. Invest in a facial done by a professional, or check out these ideas for holiday manicures.
5. Plan a Trip
It might be hard to plan a getaway around the holiday season–prices are high, there’s a lot to do, and you have work to catch up on soon after. However, you can always plan a proper vacation and look forward to it. Whenever you’re stressed out, you can think about your trip and smile! Check out the following ideas before you start planning:
- If you don’t have much of a budget, start with a small road trip. You can go for a long drive with friends or your significant other.
- Plan a camping trip in a gorgeous region where you’re never been before
- Plan a hiking trip that will help you reconnect with nature and get some exercise in
- Go for a day trip to an orchard and enjoy fruit picked straight off the tree/vine
- If nothing else, plan a beach picnic. Make a list of your must-have items for a trip to the beach; the thought of the sand and sun will warm you up soon enough.
A trip might sound like an expensive gift. You may not have much left over after the holidays, so make sure to budget accordingly. Even if you’re broke, the promise of a trip in the future can keep you going.
Gifting yourself might be an unusual practice, but it can be a very useful one. When you’re choosing a gift of your own, you know just what to do and what will help you out the most. Be sure to plan ahead a bit and ask yourself what will help in de-stressing the most.
Lastly, don’t hesitate to make your gift presentable. You’re just as important as anyone else, so go ahead and prepare a gift basket to open later. Wrap up your gifts and decorate them the same way you would for other people. The experience helps in making things more festive and joyful for the holiday season.