Covering health at Bustle, I read a new story almost daily about how Americans are more stressed out than ever before, more sleep-deprived than ever before, having less sex than ever before, or a combination of all three. It's no secret that people everywhere need a whopping dose of self-care, that elusive exercise that few of us seem to know how to really do. And while many self-care practices don't require you to buy something for them to work (see: showering, getting enough sleep), sometimes the best wellness gifts really can help you destress, or sleep better, or have more sex.
The gifts I've picked for this list aren't meant to replace those classics of self-care — the exercising, the meditating, the showering — that you can do for free. Instead, they aim to make these processes easier, more intentional, more luxurious — turning them into things you actually make time for in your day. Rather than forgetting to schedule that acupuncture appointment, you can lie on an acupressure mat while you watch your nightly Friends episode (or four). Instead of getting tangled in your headphones, you can turn on a pillow that broadcasts white noise directly into your ears. And during a time of year when there's enormous pressure from all sides, self-care really is the gift that keeps on giving. Keep reading for my top picks.
The Tub Kit By Maude
These two recently launched bath salts and soaks are body safe, smell amazing, and promote intimacy — the perfect gift for your bathiest friend.
Vitruvi Terracotta Stone Diffuser
This aesthetically pleasing essential oil diffuser is the perfect desk or bedside table accessory for your friend who wants to live in a Georgia O'Keeffe painting.
Casper's Glow Light
This light slowly dims over 45 minutes to help you get to sleep, and does the reverse in the a.m. to gently help you wake up.
Shakti Mat Original
This acupressure mat is made by women in the holy city of Varanasi, India. Acupressure is purported to have similar benefits to acupuncture (better sleep, reduced stress, etc.), only sans needles.
Duo Couple's Kit By Dame Products
This is an all-in-one kit for sex on-the-go that features Zee, a brand new rechargeable bullet vibrator, Alu, Dame's new aloe-based lube, two condoms, and two pairs of its socks for sex (so you can get cozy with a ~buddy~). The kit comes in a washable tie-dye storage pouch, Stash, that's perfect for storing sex toys at home, or slipping into your bag for a night out.
Smoko Toasty Heatable Plushie
This adorable heating pad comes in four styles — corgi, dumpling, heart, and sloth — that will warm your heart as it soothes your cramps.
Muse 2 Meditation Tracker
Sure, this may seem like a lot of money to drop on something that will help you meditate (which your brain can do for free), but this high-tech wearable tracks your brain waves, heart rate, posture, and breath to help you maximize your meditating experience and see the tangible results, quantified.
Musical Sleep Pillow
This memory foam pillow lulls you to sleep with your favorite music beamed directly into your ears. No more getting tangled up in your headphones or draining the battery on your AirPods.
Grove Collaborative Essential Oil Burner Set
This stylish display piece works as both a candle and an essential oil diffuser, at a lower price point and with a smaller footprint than some other options.
Crossrope Starter Set
Remember skipping rope as a kid on the playground? The Crossrope takes that experience up a notch with its app, which has live workouts and cues you can follow along with and a customizable weighted rope system. Plus, it takes up way less space than a bike or a treadmill, with just as many cardio benefits.
Check out more of our Bustle’s Most Wanted holiday gift guides here.