My Favorite Self-Care Products from 2018

favorite self-care products 2018

2018 was all about self-care for me.

During my quest to treat myself a bit more than I had been, I purchased several self-care products and services and had other ones gifted to me. Here’s a round-up of my ten favorites (plus a few honorable mentions) that I’ll continue to use in 2019 and beyond. Consider gifting these to yourself or a friend this holiday season.

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Taking Stock: The Importance of Checking-In

Taking Stock

For the past few weeks, I’ve been battling a nasty sinus infection/cold/cough. It hit me right in the middle of my parents’ visit to my new apartment over Thanksgiving and lingered through the first few days of December.

Getting sick is all around miserable (as I’m sure you know.) All I wanted to do was sleep but my dog and congestion had other ideas. I was in a grumbly mood about spending too much money on tissue boxes and cough drops and annoyed at myself for coughing through my little brother’s birthday dinner. I wasn’t getting better fast enough and that just made me more disgruntled.

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Acts of Self-Care to Try at a Coffee Shop

self-care coffee shop

A cozy corner table in a coffee shop can be oh-so inviting. I can spend hours in The Black Cow or Manhattanville Coffee, and it’s because these spaces make me feel really comfortable. Heck, I wrote this blog post at the Peekskill Coffee House.

Maybe it’s the bustle of the morning customers in need of caffeine, the smell of steamed milk and cinnamon, or the endless stream of tunes that keep me coming back. The combination of these factors make the magical coffee shop a perfect place to practice self-care.

From one coffee-love to another, here are a few acts of self-care to try the next time you visit your local coffee shop.

Allow the Environment to Affect You

Why do I love coffee shops so much? The sights, sounds, smells, and tastes are generally pleasant at the majority of shops. One of the easiest ways to practice self-care is to put yourself in an environment that makes you feel good, and coffee shops just do that for me.

My favorite coffee shops emit warmth, play music to fit the mood, and are full of light. What environmental details matter to you when it comes to feeling good? If your ideal coffee shop has free WiFi, serves sandwiches, and sticks to a jazz playlist, then search for that spot and visit it often. Your coffee shop could become a self-care spot for years to come!

People Watch

This tip is related to allowing your environment affect you but deserves further explanation. I’m not suggesting stalking anyone in particular, but people-watching (and dogspotting) can be a wonderful way to reconnect with humanity and ground yourself. Simply grab a table and take in the fascinating human beings and animals around you while you sip your tea.

Relax, you’re not creepy – everyone people watches! Starting by simply observing the actions and reactions around you that catch your eye. Focus on the occurences that bring you joy and let yourself get lost in someone else’s universe.

Check Tasks Off of your To-Do List

In my opinion, the coffee shop is the perfect environment to complete tasks you’ve been putting off at home. Tax prep, studying, or finally organizing your inbox may be slightly more bearable in the presence of pastries. There’s also a good chance other people will be working around you. Let the atmosphere of productivity inspire you.

Complete that nagging task and take a sip of coffee. I always feel so good when I cross something off my list.

If the background noise becomes too distracting, I suggest listening to music, a podcast, or an audiobook while you work. You could try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks or Join Amazon Prime Music and start with a 30-day Free Trial.

Meditate

Some people prefer to meditate in a place that is totally silent, but I actually like to meditate with a bit background noise. Maybe you’ll like meditating in a coffee shop too!

I typically try to meditate alone at a table for a few minutes before tackling that to-do list. I start by focusing on my breath in relation to the various sounds and smells around me. I feel my body touching the chair and my feet resting on the floor. A few minutes of being aware of my environment creates the calmness that allows me to reach that tranquil place.

Order a cup of green tea once you’re done meditating and let the calm vibes flow!

Strike Up a Conversation

If you have extrovert tendencies and social interactions re-charge you, then take advantage of the friendly atmosphere that many coffee shops provide. Connecting with the person at the next table could make you feel really great.

Unsure of how to make that first move? Try respectfully complimenting a stranger, chatting with your favorite barista, petting a dog (with the owner’s permission), or making a silly face if a baby or young child looks at you.

Do you practice acts of self-care at your coffee shop? Share your personal experiences and favorite spots in the comments! 

50 Ways to Treat Yourself for Free

 

50 Ways to Treat Yourself for Free

Admit it: there’s nothing better than feeling pampered and unwinding. Treating yourself can be a great way to de-stress, but the price tag associated with more expensive self-care options like vacations, spa visits, and shopping sprees can be an obstacle when you’re trying to save money.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to practice self-care without spending a dime! Here’s a list of fifty free or cheap ways to treat yourself:

  1. Take a walk
  2. Listen to a podcast
  3. Call a friend and have a heart to heart
  4. Lay in the sunshine (with adequate sun-protection, of course!)
  5. Dance around your room
  6. Write in a journal
  7. Look for a free fitness class in your area
  8. Spend quality time with your pets (or find a friend who has pets)
  9. Check out free events in your community
  10. Meditate
  11. Wake up in time to watch the sun rise
  12. Try a new recipe that features your favorite ingredients
  13. Rearrange your furniture and decorations
  14. Play music that makes your heart sing
  15. Take out a new book from your local library
  16. Plan a day off from work
  17. Find a nearby hiking trail you haven’t been to before
  18. Window shop and make a wish list of your favorite finds
  19. Doodle or color
  20. Get dressed up when you feel like it
  21. Stay in your pajamas when you feel like it
  22. Sing
  23. Search for a new mantra
  24. Take a long bath or shower
  25. Snuggle under a blanket with a cup of tea
  26. Volunteer for a cause you care about
  27. Add new things to your bucket list
  28. Dig up old pictures and put your favorites on your fridge
  29. Stretch your body
  30. Watch silly videos online
  31. Use the beauty products hiding in the back of your cabinet
  32. Hug a friend
  33. Strike up a conversation with a stranger
  34. Nap
  35. Write down your favorite inspirational quotes
  36. Take deep, slow breaths
  37. Make a homemade gift or card for someone special
  38. Water the plants
  39. Water yourself
  40. Visit a museum with free admittance
  41. Look up at the stars on a clear night
  42. Try a new (affordable) hobby
  43. Roll down the windows when you’re driving
  44. Masturbate or have sex with a partner you trust
  45. Find a free crossword puzzle to do
  46. Prepare today for an easier tomorrow
  47. Re-read your favorite book
  48. Go to bed early
  49. Visit a garden and smell the flowers
  50. Practice gratitude

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What’s your favorite way to treat yourself on a budget? Let us know in the comments!

Have a little cash and want to treat yourself? Check out 20 Inexpensive Products to Treat Yourself To.