Self Care Gift Ideas for Someone Who’s Had a Rough Year

dog in costume

Life has been tough for so many people lately, and it’s hard to imagine anyone who hasn’t had at least some struggles over the past year or two. These self care gift ideas are perfect for someone who’s had a rough time to give them a little pick me up.

Self care is so important, but it seems like the times we need it the most are when it’s the most difficult to actually do. Little gifts like these can be a reminder to take a few minutes for yourself. They’re also uplifting for someone who’s been struggling with the ups and downs of life.

Note: This is a guest post! There are affiliate links in this post, which means I receive a commission if you click through to these sites, at no extra cost to you.

Here are some self care gift ideas for someone who’s had a rough year:

The Best Journal Ever

Journaling is a great way to process your thoughts and feelings, especially when times are tough. This one is guided; there’s daily spaces for journaling, gratitude, and affirmations as well as habit trackers and guided reflection. You’ll also find positive quotes on each page to keep motivated.

Live Plants

Plants improve your mood just by existing in a space. I think of them as a type of passive self care; something that uplifts you without you even realizing it. If you’re gifting plants, opt for ones that are easy to care for and don’t take up too much space.

Majestic Pure Dead Sea Mud Mask

If you haven’t done a mud mask in your life then you have no idea what you’re missing! The mud comes from the dead sea (which is known for its therapeutic properties) and is infused with lavender for relaxation. A mud mask is also a simple self care activity that even the busiest of people can find time for. 

Atomic Habits Book

This book is best gifted to someone who’s in need of extra motivation, or who has found themselves needing a life change. A book I personally own and enjoy, Atomic Habits helps you figure out how to break down goals into small changes so you can actually reach them.

Motivational Water Bottle

I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t feel better when they drink more water. But if you’re shopping for anyone who’s like me, they have a hard time getting enough each day. A motivational water bottle like this is a practical self care gift idea that you can almost  guarantee they’ll actually use and benefit from.

Funny Candle

So many people find humour uplifting, so why not give it in gift form? There are lots of candles out there in a similar vein, but this one is great for a person who’s struggling or grieving. Plus who doesn’t like candles?

Digital Picture Frame

This might seem like a strange self care gift idea, but being surrounded by pictures of what’s important or happy memories can do a lot for a person’s mood. Especially if your gift recipient hasn’t seen loved ones in awhile. The best part? Family and friends (that’s you!) can share pictures to their photo frame with the app.

Himalayan Pink Salt Diffuser

This diffuser takes two popular relaxation devices, the himalayan pink salt lamp and the essential oil diffuser, and combines them into one. I love that it also comes with some essential oils for a complete gift!

Motivational Bracelet

This is a small but really thoughtful gift idea for someone who’s struggling. The words are printed on the inside so it’s a secret pick-me-up whenever the wearer needs one. Personally, I like the motivational message of this bracelet, but there are other options for almost every situation available too.

Listify Journal

This easy to use journal is designed to work on self care and mindfulness. It guides you through creating a bunch of lists like favourite movies, places to explore, kindness acts, and so on. While it might seem pointless at first, it can serve as a good reminder of what makes life enjoyable for someone who’s down.

Deep Tissue Massager

Massage is a great way to relieve stress and relax, but it’s not always possible (or affordable) to get to an actual massage therapist. An at home massager is a handy alternative, especially for busy, stressful lives. If your budget allows, splurge on something mid-range; quality makes a huge difference! 

Self Care Gift Package

This is a really cute gift set that has a bit of everything for some at-home self care. It would also be great to send to a long distance friend since it’s already packaged nicely. 

What Happened To You? – Trauma Book

cover of what happened to you featuring a person in blue and greenAnother book I’m a personal fan of, this one was written from conversations between Oprah and Dr. Perry, a child therapist and neuroscientist. It centers around how trauma during childhood affects our brains later on, and how to move forward.

Aroma Shower Streamers

soaps with treesI love these because they’re a great self care gift idea for someone who’s life is really busy. Just throw one of these pucks in the shower with you and it releases an aromatherapy blend that can relax or rejuvenate (depending on the scent.)

Weighted Blanket

blanket slung over couchAs someone with chronic insomnia and pretty bad anxiety, I was skeptical about weighted blankets. But they really do help! They’re a little bit pricer than regular throws, but it would be a great gift idea for someone who needs help unwinding at bed time.

Tea Bag Assorted Sampler

box filled with Twinings teaWhen I worked at a library we’d often be gifted sets like this and they’re so nice. You can try out a bunch of different flavours without committing. I read recently that a cup of tea is more than a drug, it’s a warming hug – what better gift than that?

The Mind Illuminated

cover of mind illuminated book

Meditation is another self care ritual that doesn’t take a lot of time or resources, but can make a big difference in your life. This book is designed to guide you through every step the meditative process so it’s great for beginners

Hatch Restore Sleep Machine

lamp with time glowing orangeIt’s kind of like an alarm clock, sleep aid, light, and white noise machine all in one. Part of the growing trend to improve “sleep hygiene”, the Hatch is designed to help you fall asleep easier and wake up more naturally.

Men’s R&R Gift Box

gift set with cocktail mixerA lot of the items on this list are unisex but it seems like an overwhelming amount of self care gift ideas out there are aimed at feminine folks. This gift package is self care for the men (or masculine people) in your life. It’s an eclectic mix, but definitely a great pick me up for a dude who’s been feeling down.

The Self Care Cookbook

cookbook cover with dish of food

Self care is on the menu with this cookbook. All the recipes are plant-based, and designed to both feed and nourish your body during challenging times in your life. The recipes are great too; with things like bean stew for when you’re feeling sick to an indulgent chocolate pudding, they’ll be able to find plenty of recipes that fit their life.

Financial Mechanic’s Top Picks

Self Love Poetry Book

self love poetry book cover with woman with flower head

This book is split into “left brain” and “right brain” poems about self care. I read two poems every day with my coffee. This book is one of Financial Mechanic’s top gift ideas, mostly because I’ve already gifted it and heard rave reviews from my friends.

Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulders

woman with heating pad around shoulders

I recently received this heating pad from a friend and now use it every day while working at my computer. I can feel my muscles relax and love that there are herbal scents released after heating. Since I use it every day, I definitely recommend it as a self care, soothing present.

Self Care Gift Ideas for Someone Who’s Had a Rough Year – Final Thoughts

Since you’re already looking for self care gift ideas you’re already halfway there. Any friend or family member who’s had a rough year is going to appreciate the thought behind giving a gift almost as much as the present itself. Don’t forget to take care of yourself, though, too!

What would you give as a self care gift?

Let us know in the comments below!

Author: Everett is a professional content creator and marketer with a serious passion for writing. When not juggling his business or raising five kids, you’ll likely find him playing video games, blogging at, or exploring the world.

Get Posts Delivered Straight To Your Inbox!


  1. Excellent list! I’m currently reading Atomic Habits (under the cover of a weighted blanked–ha!). A lot of people are struggling with things we would never guess, so it doesn’t hurt to give anyone a small bit of thoughtfulness these days.

  2. I have a massage gun, and I find I sleep better on nights when I’ve used it… then I forget to use it for days or weeks at a time (hand over face emoji). Instead of spending 400-500 on some of the big name massage therapy guns, I found one on Am*zon for $159 and they were running a sale for $100 off! That $59 was probably my best purchase in 2021.

    1. Best purchase is a pretty good rec! Glad to hear it helps with sleep, that’s an interesting benefit I hadn’t considered before 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.