50 Items to Have in Your Self-Care Sanctuary + FREE Printable Checklist
We all need a little pick me up every so often.
I know I do. Life gets tough, and situations get sticky, and we start to sink under the pressure of our ever growing to do list. Sometimes, when the weight gets too heavy, a simple bubble bath doesn't do the trick.
Depending on our state of mind, what's been going on in our lives, and how much money we have to spend, we might need a pick me up that isn't a part of our usual habits. We might need to splurge (with no guilt)! Or we might need to begin a new self care activity that we've never done before.
In hopes of helping you find a new way to create your self care sanctuary - a place where you can decompress, unwind, and show some love to yourself, I've compiled a list of my favorite self-care items that you might want to include in your happy place.
& yes, some of the links in this post may be affiliate links, which means I'd get commission if you purchase the item. But don't worry! I'm only suggesting these because I personally love them, and I genuinely think they'll be truly helpful to you.
1. Throw pillows with encouraging quotes - Because who doesn't love a reminder to enjoy the little things?
2. Indoor decorative lighting - Lighting can really change the energy of a space. Twinkly lights can make you feel romantic and whimsical even when you're feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.
3. Inspirational quote wall decal - This one takes the throw pillow idea to another level. Putting an inspirational quote on you wall is a deeper level of commitment. You won't be able to ignore this happy place.
The first three books on this list are collections of poems. I freaking love poetry. Especially when I'm feeling stressed out. Something about the rhythm of the words is soothing. The way these three women discuss their pain and happiness and love is like wrapping a warm blanket around your mind. Do yourself a favor and get all three. Read them under the moonlight, or in the sand, or next to a fireplace. You'll emerge from these books a new woman.
4. Love Warrior: A Memoir by Glennon Doyle Melton - I read this book in one day - because I was so obsessed with this story. If you're looking for a book where you can follow a powerful woman's journey out of the depths of hell and into her true, authentic power - this book is for you!
5. Meditations From the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga by Rolf Gates - I flip through this book when I need inspiration to get on my mat, or when I use want to get myself into a calm and grounded energy. You can flip through the book in whatever order fits your needs at the time. I've found that whatever page I open the book up to often has the advice I need in the moment.
6. Osho: The Book of Understanding - Creating Your Own Path to Freedom - This book really speaks to my soul. If you want to dive deep into questioning the world around us, this one's for you. It all help you examine your fear, and practice your truth!
7. Warrior of the Light by Paulo Coelho - This book was written by the author of The Alchemist - and for a quick read it's packed with wisdom and words that make you see the world a different way.
8. Tiny Buddha's Guide to Loving Yourself by Lori Deschene - If you love the Tiny Buddha website, you'll totally love this book! It's filled with tips and tricks to incorporate more self care into your daily life.
9. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed - THIS BOOK IS MY FAVORITE THING! No, really. It's my favorite. You can feel the love and care that flowed through Cheryl Strayed as she wrote such tender advice to her readers. Let Cheryl Strayed hug your soul with this one, ladies.
10. No Beginning No End: The Intimate Heart of Zen by Jakusho Kwong and Peter Levitt - This book got me through so many tough times. I remember preparing to teach a class, terrified and anxious, and gripping this book like the world depended on it. With a forward by Thich Nhat Hanh, this book will take you deep into the hear of Zen Buddhism. It helped me find peace is some of my most anxious moments, and I hope it will do the same for you.
My go to movie list for when I want to have some dedicated me time.
1. Good Will Hunting - Because Robin Williams was a genius. And when you need a reminder to use the talents you were given
2. The Pursuit of Happiness - For feeling like anything is possible
3. The Bucket List - For light humor and deep inspiration
4. St. Vincent - For thinking about the interconnectedness of humanity
5. Ponyo - When you want to experience the power of love through the eyes of little ones in a gorgeous animated film
6. About Time - For realizing that everything happens exactly when it should
7. What Dreams May Come - When you need a good cry
8. I Love You Man - When you need a good laugh
9. Up - Because the love story in this animated film is the absolute CUTEST
10. Eat Pray Love - When you need to feed your wanderlust hunger
11. Despicable Me - For when you want cuteness on overload
12. The Truman Show - When you want to question your place in the world and the reality around you
13. Defending Your Life - When you want to question the meaning of it all, anyway
14. Hector and The Search for Happiness - For when you want a wisdom-filled, wanderlust-influenced documentary in a movie-form
1. Electric warming blanket - It's like giving yourself a hug from head to toe!
2. Positive vibes shirt - I love this graphic t-shirt and the one below because sometimes, you have to put the energy out into the world that you want to receive.
1. Kindle - Take all of your books with you at any time! Read the most wise or uplifting words ever written whenever you want!
2. Drone - Theres something so beautiful about a change in perspective. So when you can attach a camera to a drone, and send it up above the people and the buildings and the chaos, you can see that we are all really in this together. One buzzing mass of energy, a part of the twinkling lights, a little dot running in circles on an enormous mass of land. And when we can look at that new perspective in a visual way, everything else in life makes so much more sense.
3. Fitbit Charge 2: Activity and Sleep Tracker - Everyone talks about how important sleep is. How it recharges our battery and gives us fuel and clarity for the day. But when we're sleeping we have no idea what's actually going on. We just know we might wake up from a 7-hour snooze feeling like we got hit by a bus. With the sleep tracker, you'll finally know why. If you're tossing and turning, waking up in the middle of the night, or not getting to that elusive REM sleep, you'll be able to find out. And then, you'll be well on your way to being able to problem solve so that you can eventually get the best sleep of your life. This sleep tracker also has an amazing relaxing guided breathing feature to help you find your inner calm.
1. Manduka yoga mat - This mat is amazing for extra stability and cushion for a luxurious practice
2. Yoga blanket - Because sometimes you want that soft, cuddly support
1. My favorite stress-relief candle of all time - This smell is one of the most relaxing things I've ever experienced.
2. Relaxing lavender scented eye pillow - Soothes your tired eyes and encourages calming energy.
3. Essential oil diffuser - Helps to elevate your mood, improve your breathing, and is wonderful if you're hesitant to use candles or incense.
4. Essential oils already blended - Because sometimes, you don't want to spend time mixing your own oils.
5. Shea Moisture clarifying mud mask - Cools, soothes, and purifies your skin leaving you feeling renewed.
Meditation & Healing
1. Meditation cushion - If you have trouble staying awake while meditation on a couch or bed, use a cushion instead. It's like giving your pet a designated place to eat or sleep. Your pet knows exactly what to do when they enter that space. The same idea applies here. When you put you behind to the cushion, your mind will eventually associate that space with meditation - not sleep.
2. Sage smudge stick with holder and abalone shell - So that you can clear the energy of a space.
3. Meditation app relaxation bundle - These apps saved me throughout college and grad school, and I still use them today. I would play them before bed so much that my husband knew nearly every word of the meditation. The next five items on the list are some of my favorite guided meditations - all separated by intention. Download it to you phone, and let your subconscious mind go to town!
8. Himalayan salt lamp - Purifies your indoor air, and provides soothing color therapy.
What you put into your body is a touchy thing, and I'm not nutritionist, but I wanted to share with you guys what has made some amazing changes in my overall health. These two items changes my digestive tract, and really helped to strengthen my hair, nails, and teeth. I also had much more energy when I was taking them ( I stopped for about a month to see if I'd notice any differences, and I definitely did).
1. Bone broth protein powder - I LOVE this stuff. I add it to my morning coffee or glass of warm water. If I'm feeling extra fancy I'll add some cocoa powder and a scoop of green superfood. My weight lifting progress seemed to skyrocket after implementing this habit into my daily schedule.
2. Fermented cod liver oil - This supplement was a game changer for me. When I don't have it, I notice a huge difference in my body. I take this every single day. The process through which the cod liver oil is produced allows it to maintain its vitamin D, A, and omega-3 content without heat damage.
3. Probiotics. OMG PROBIOTICS! - So, this is a bonus self-care item because I didn't have it on my original list. I stopped writing once I hit my top 50 things. But... I CAN'T leave out probiotics. If you're not taking probiotics (especially if you suffer from digestive issues or anxiety) you should look into what probiotics might offer you! Probiotics have helped me SO MUCH!
Once again, I'm not an expert on your dietary needs, I simply want to let you know how much these three things helped me really take care of myself in ways that hadn't happened prior to me taking the time and money to include these items in my life. If you find something that makes you feel better physically and mentally, you have to invest in it. It will be worth it in the long run.
If you enjoyed this post, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with your loved ones!
What's in your self-care sanctuary these days? Let's talk in the comments!