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08th Nov 2020

12 great Irish self-care gifts for when 2020 is getting you down

Sarah Finnan

Irish self-care gifts

On the hunt for some Irish self-care gifts for yourself/someone you love? Look no further. 

Self-care looks different for everyone.

It’s not always face masks and bubble baths. Sometimes it’s realising that the reason you can’t sleep is because something is bothering you. So you get up, make some tea and toast and stop beating yourself up.

Being your own wind keeper isn’t about the glamorous rubbish you post on Instagram, filter and slap with a nonsensical caption. No. Rather, it lies in the simple gestures you do to cut yourself some slack. Being nice to others is important. But being nice to yourself? Fundamental.

Obviously, retail therapy isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ type of solution but treating yourself to something you know you’d like/enjoy is one way of carving out some time for yourself and all the better if it doesn’t involve your phone.

Below are a few suggestions that may help when 2020 is getting you down.

Candles – HOME

An Earth-conscious lifestyle brand put in motion during the height of the first lockdown, HOME sells a range of different products but it’s their candles that are the real chef’s kiss for me.

Soy wax scented, each one is hand-poured in Ireland and has a crackling wooden wick that mirrors the comfort of sitting in front of your home fire on a cold winter’s eve.

Skincare – Pestle & Mortar

Another Irish brand, anyone obsessed with skincare will have heard tell of Pestle & Mortar. One of the most highly-rated Irish skincare brands, they’re probably best known for their double cleansing system.

Major brownie points that their products are vegan, paraben-free, fragrance-free and cruelty-free. Good skincare is the basis of self-care.

Oral care – Spotlight self-care box

Spotlight Oralcare is the success story of two local Galway dentists (and sisters) Lisa and Vanessa Creaven. Widely considered to be the gold standard of Irish oral care, they’ve just launched a special self-care box that hits all the marks in terms of pampering. Packed full of all kinds of goodies including a silk eye mask, anti-ageing jade roller, gua sha facial massager and a wireless charger.

Usually €135, you can get it for €59 with the Boots Star Buy Offer. Bargain city.

Bath products – The Body Shop 

Everyone loves bath products and if you’re going to treat yourself to a few new bits, The Body Shop should be one of your first ports of call. Not only because their products are gorge (obvs) but also because they’re one of the big retailers really working to make a change.

Between more sustainable packaging and the fact that they’re donating a percentage of each sale to helping the homeless, they’re definitely worth supportinng. This year’s initiative is all about sharing little acts of kindness, so you can show yourself some love safe in the knowledge that you’re also helping others.

Pjs – Blu’s PJ box

A new pair of PJs and honestly I feel as though I can take on the world. Little else tops the feeling of putting on fresh pyjamas and curling up in bed with a cuppa and sometimes that’s exactly what self-care looks like for me. Blu’s PJs Box is Ireland’s only pyjama subscription service and they’re masters of comfort I tell ya.

Loungewear – All Things Fiona Lily

Life can oft feel a little ‘glass half empty’ these days but it’s veeerrrry hard to be glum when wearing one of Fiona Lily’s brightly coloured creations.  Run by Dublin woman Fiona Lily, ATFL is a breath of fresh air.

All products are made from end of line material – stock that would otherwise end up in landfill – and finished with positive quotes that really do help when you’re in need of another reason to smile.

Exercise – Yoga mat from The Kind

Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a complete novice, stretching out after a long day is one of the best ways you can show yourself some grá. Sitting at a desk for eight hours straight can’t be good for you but these yoga mats from The Kind are 5mm thick and will sort all your aches and pains right out – very cloud like. Leaning a little on the pricier side but invest once and you’ll have it for life.

A little pre-bed yoga in the candlelight is seriously good for the soul.

Socks – Irish Sock Society

Happy feet – a great movie and food for thought because if your stocaí are groovy, then surely you’re more likely to have a pep in your step. Maybe that’s a bit of a stretch but funky socks always put me in a good mood.

Known for their quirky picks, the Irish Socksociety design their products out wesht in Galway so naturally, I’m sold hook line and sinker.

Food – The Wonky Spatula cookbook

Tried and tested – food has long been my go-to when I’m feeling a little blue and need to snap out of it. There’s something extremely relaxing about baking/cooking and it’s a great distraction if you feel like you need to try and focus on anything but the cobwebs inside your head.

The face behind The Wonky Spatula, Nicola O’Halloran knows all about the healing powers of food and got through lockdown 1.0 keeping herself busy by writing a cookbook. Photographing all of the recipes herself too, they’re as tasty as they are easy to follow and the book even includes an A-Z on all things cooking so don’t worry if you’re a complete newbie in the kitchen.

Self-care box – Care Box Collection

A new local business, Care Box Collection is an Irish owned beauty and wellness brand whose aim is to make self-care products affordable and accessible.

Another business venture born during the pandemic, this one grew from founder Klara O’Leary’s realisation that looking after ourselves should always be a priority. You can choose between a few different options, each one tailored towards something specific – skincare or all things pink for example.

Books – The Book Resort 

Getting lost in a book is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but it’s one a lot of us tend to forget about or not make time for. Between work and virtual socialising, my screen time has been through the roof lately so I’m making more of a conscious effort to do things that don’t involve my laptop/phone and getting stuck into a good read is definitely one thing I’ll be doing more of.

Every year I set myself the goal of reading a book a month and every year I fail – turns out I’m not so good at keeping resolutions. But I’ve learned that there’s little joy to be found in beating myself up for not doing things exactly as planned and even reading a few books a year should count for something.

The Book Resort is a Waterford-based subscription box that delivers a different book straight to your door every month – along with some Irish chocolate (because reading without chocolate is just no fun) and a small surprise for good measure too.

Art- Paint by the Pint kit

Finally, no lockdown self-care list would be complete without at least one artssy suggestion. Sheer determination to do anything but scroll on TikTok has lead me to root out some of my old art supplies and I’ve discovered that drawing/painting is actually a pretty fun way to pass the time. Doesn’t matter whether you’re good or bad, having a creative outlet is the part that really counts.

Paint by the Pints has just launched a new paint your local pub kit that organisers will even personalise with a traceable version of your own favourite boozer that you can then paint and hang on your wall in its honour.

Moral of the story? Make sure you’re being extra sound to yourself this weather, 2020 is tough going.

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