Building habits that support your personal health goals requires an ongoing commitment. The 8 Dimensions of Self-Care framework can help you quickly and easily identify which areas of your life need more attention right now.
Self-care essentials are the products that help you support your health on a regular basis. You use them because they make your life easier, healthier, or happier. Examine your health habits and the products you use to support them regularly to ensure they’re still aligned with your goals. These self-care essentials will help you achieve and maintain good health. (P.S. – Looking for some healthy gift ideas? These products also make great gifts!)
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Below you’ll find a list of some self-care essentials that you might want to consider adding to your self-care collection. (I’ve used 55 of these products personally, and many of them remain in my personal self-care essentials rotation today.)
Big Berkey Water Filter
The Big Berkey water filtration system is at the top of my self-care essentials list. I use it daily to refill my water bottle, brew coffee, and prepare meals. You can also purchase the spigot attachment, which helps you see when to refill the container and avoid overfilling. To make it easier to fill water bottles and cookware, you can either position the nozzle so it hangs directly over the sink or purchase a water filter stand.
Reusable Water Bottle
Adequate hydration is essential for good health, and a water bottle can serve as a visual reminder to drink more fluids throughout the day. Reusable water bottles also help keep plastic out of our landfills and oceans. The Swell brand water bottles are one of my favorites, and they come in a variety of sizes and colors.
Yes, the price of this kitchen gadget isn’t insignificant, but the quality and longevity of this product make it easy to justify. Before I bought my Vitamix, I asked friends and family members for recommendations. Almost everyone who owned a Vitamix said they’d own theirs for more than 20 years. If you’re not quite ready for the Vitamix, the NutriBullet is a handy blender for people who are on the go a lot or only need single servings.
If weight loss (or weight loss maintenance) is one of your health priorities, regular weighing can help you monitor your progress. Many scales automatically upload your weight to an app, so you can monitor trends over time without having to enter data manually.
Whether you use a food scale to manage portion sizes or measure ingredients, a food scale can come in handy in your kitchen.
I have no idea how many Fitbit devices I’ve owned over the years, but I do know that when I wear them I’m more active. There are tons of wearable devices on the market these days, so you have plenty of options to choose from. I prefer Fitbits because the app also allows you to track metrics like weight, food logs, and sleep patterns.
Journaling is a simple strategy that you can incorporate into your daily self-care practice. Expressive writing helps you sort out your thoughts so you can make sense of them. Using a journal allows you to reflect on your life experiences, see problems more clearly, and choose the best path forward.
To fully support the 8 key areas of your life, you need an effective planning system. The Lifestyle Design Planner is a customizable life organizer for people who recognize the value of self-care, but need some help weaving it into their daily lives. The planner was developed using the proprietary 8 Dimensions of Self-Care framework to help you simplify your day-to-day life and achieve your goals without sacrificing your health in the process. This planner has become a self-care essential item for me.
Fabric Shower Curtain Liner
Once you’ve experienced the luxury of a fabric shower curtain liner, you won’t want to return to plastic. Fabric liners are washable, which means you won’t have to replace them for years. And the best part is: cold plastic liners won’t be brushing up against your leg in the shower anymore.
Teak Shower Caddy
Metal shower caddies always seem to rust, and the plastic ones are magnets for soak scum. But teak shower organizers can last a lifetime—and they look so much nicer.
I’m not kidding when I say this little cleaning scrub sponge has changed my life. After trying numerous bathroom cleaners, all I need is some Dr. Bronner’s soap and a Scrub Daddy to clean my shower tiles.
Essential oils provide relaxing aromatherapy whenever and wherever you need it. Add a couple drops of essential oils in the shower to make your morning routine feel like a luxurious spa experience. Before bed, place a couple drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow to help you relax.
If your feet aren’t naturally soft and smooth, pumice stones can help you integrate foot care into your daily routine. Keep your feet clean and smooth with this simple tool. Pumice stones can also be stored in the shower for easy between-pedicure maintenance.
Protect your feet with super-comfy FitKicks. These flexible, hard-bottomed shoes contour to your feet. FitKicks are a great choice when walking over shells on the beach, wading in rocky water, or when you need an easy slip-on shoe around the house.
First Aid Kit
Everyone needs a fully stocked first aid kit. When you experience an emergency, you don’t want to find outdated medications or gummed up band-aids in your kit. Review the contents of your first aid kit regularly, and be sure to personalize its contents to meet your family’s needs.
Apple Air Tags
Safety is an often overlooked self-care strategy, but personal tracking devices can help you stay safe. Apple Air Tags can be attached to handbags, vehicles, backpacks, and bikes—and you can also carry them in your pocket.
Having the right pillow can be the difference between staring at the ceiling for hours and getting a good night’s sleep. I’ve used an EPABO pillow for quite some time now, and it has done wonders to relieve neck tension.
Adjustable standing desks are becoming more popular among people who work behind a desk for long periods of time. Shifting between sitting and standing throughout the day can help prevent muscle strain and injury. The electric models are well worth the investment—unless you enjoy crawling on the floor under your desk to make height adjustments manually.
Under Desk Treadmill
If you struggle with reaching your daily step goal during the busy workweek, an under desk treadmill might be a great self-care essential product for you. This innovative piece of exercise equipment is easy to stow away, and it can help motivate you to integrate more physical activity into daily routine. If you already have a standing desk, consider adding an under desk treadmill to your office setup.
If you sit behind a desk for long periods of time, be sure to get a good ergonomic chair. A well-designed chair can support your hips, back, and neck to prevent muscle strain and injury.
Dumbbells are versatile hand weights, and they make it easy to do strength training exercises at home. Look for a dumbbell set that has a wide range of weights, so you can progress to higher weights as you build strength. To keep your home workout space tidy, opt for a set that includes a storage rack. You’ll thank yourself later.
Unaddressed muscle tightness can lead to pain and discomfort over time. Foam rollers help relieve muscle tension, which makes them a sensible addition to any home gym. A foam roller can be used on your back, arms, hips, or legs.
Yoga bolsters are long cushions that are commonly used to provide extra support during yoga poses. They can also be used during meditation sessions or to enhance stretching. Use a bolster to prop up your back, hips, knees, neck, or any other area of your body.
Similar to yoga bolsters, meditation cushions can help you maintain good posture while sitting during long meditation sessions. These comfy meditation cushions can be positioned in just the right places to help relieve strain in your hips and lower back.
Like yoga bolsters and meditation cushions, yoga blocks provide support during stretching, meditation, or yoga sessions. But because they are firmer than cushions, they offer more support. Yoga blocks can be used beneath your desk to prop up your feet for better ergonomics, and they can also help you maintain balance during certain yoga poses.
Yoga Knee Pads
Yoga poses can be hard on the knees and wrists, but these nifty pads give you added cushion just where you need it. While the pads are designed specifically for your knees, they can also provide extra cushion for your hands, wrists, head, elbows, feet, or hips.
Foot baths can help you relax after a full day on your feet. Fancy models have batter-operated motors to circulate water, but you could just as easily opt for a simple foot bath basin, too. Just don’t forget the soaking salts!
Okeefe’s Foot Cream
If your feet tend get dry and calloused, Okeefe’s Healthy foot cream might be your new favorite product. Before bed, generously apply the cream to the rough areas of your feet and then put on a pair of soft socks. Overnight, the cream will help prevent moisture loss and soften your skin.
Tea bags might be a more efficient way to prepare tea, but some people think loose leaf teas are healthier and more flavorful. Tea infusers make it easy to brew a single cup of loose leaf tea. Some infusers sit right on top of your mug, keeping your water hot while your tea steeps. After steeping, simply remove the metal strainer basket and discard the contents.
Loofah sponges help remove rough patches on your skin. The natural fibers exfoliate gently, leaving your skin feel softer and smoother. Be sure to replace your loofa regularly to keep your skin nice and clean.
Meal Prep Containers
Prepping meals ahead of time can save time and help you reach your healthy eating goals. The BPA-free Bentgo meal prep containers are microwave safe and make it easy to prepare and store portion-controlled meals. And they look nice, too.
Glass Food Storage Containers
Glass food storage containers are another great choice for meal prep. Glass makes it easier to see what’s inside your containers and it’s less prone to staining and wear. Glass is also naturally BPA-free and microwave safe.
These tiny tea crystals from Pique are made from cold-brewed organic tea leaves that are crystallized. The product claims to have up to 12x the antioxidants of other teas, and they come in many flavors. The single serving packets make it easy for traveling or packing a lunch for the office.
Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the versatility of sun shirts. These long-sleeved shirts have built-in SPF protection, keeping your skin away from the sun’s damaging rays. If you don’t have access to sunscreen, or can’t reapply it regularly, these shirts might be a good choice. Sun shirts with hoods can also add protection for your neck.
Hats with wide brims can protect your face and neck from UV rays. The Peter Grimm brand of straw hats has an extra-wide brim for added sun protection.
If you plan to spend more than 20 minutes outside in the sun, be sure to apply sunscreen. The sun’s damaging UV rays can lead to premature aging and skin damage. The PCA line of skincare and sun care products has a wide selection of SPF products that also include zinc. Sunscreen is a self-care essential for people who spend a lot of time outdoors.
SPF Lip Balm
Don’t forget to apply sun protection to your lips since they can also be damaged by the sun’s UV rays. The tinted varieties of lip balm can also double as lipstick.
Protect your eyes from the harsh sun with a pair of sunglasses that have UV protective coating. Costa Del Mar makes trendy, polarized sunglasses in endless colors and styles.
Relieve neck tension and discomfort with a soft neck warmer. Some brands offer relaxing aromatherapy options, but you can also add a few drops of your own favorite essential oil. Microwavable versions can be heated quickly for soothing tense muscles.
Electric heating pads can sometimes soothe mildly tight or tense muscles. Many heating pads are machine washable and dryer-safe, so they’re easy to keep clean and stored away until the next use. Be sure to check with your doctor before treating an injury.
If you have pets, vacuuming may seem like an endless chore. Fortunately, pet hair is no match for the Dyson Animal model cordless vacuum. With this vacuum, you’ll no longer be tripping over cords or searching for a nearby outlet. (Over the past 10 years, I’ve owned 3 of these vacuums and I can’t say enough good about them. The only reason I decided to replace them was because of the dog hair odor—2 large German Shepherds produce a lot of hair!)
Electric toothbrushes can make your morning and evening self-care routine much more efficient. The micro vibrations gently polish your teeth and help you get into the hard-to-reach places. The Sonicare rechargeable toothbrush comes in multiple colors and is great for travel.
The Squatty Potty is designed to make bowel movements easier. The product claims to help “unkink your colon” and optimize your body positioning during bowel elimination. The bamboo model is much more discreet than the plastic models and feels much more like a piece of decor.
Kombucha kits make it easy to learn the art of making homemade kombucha. to this day, I still haven’t found a store brand that’s as good as my lavender kombucha recipe. Kombucha kits also make great gifts for health enthusiasts and foodies.
Learning how to ferment foods is an art and a process. But the health benefits that come with fermented foods makes it worth the effort. If you’re just getting started, an all-in-one fermentation kit gives you step-by-step instructions to help you learn quickly and easily. By far, the best crock I’ve ever used is from Ohio Stoneware.
Teeth Whitening Cream
Teeth whitening creams aren’t just for looks. Whiter teeth can help improve your self-esteem and help you show up in the world with more confidence. The Opalescence prefilled teeth whitening trays are simple to use and there’s little to no cleanup.
Silicone Drinking Straws
Reusable silicone drinking straws are handy to have whether you’re at home or on the go. They also help keep plastics out of our landfills and oceans. I use mine when drinking coffee or tea to prevent tooth staining.
Smudging kits can be used to freshen up the energy within your personal spaces. You can buy a variety of different aromatic smudge sticks to match your intentions. Whether you use smudging as a spiritual ritual, smudging can spruce up your living spaces and shift your mood.
The Ring Doorbell
The Ring doorbell system lets you see, hear, and speak to anyone from your phone, tablet, or PC without having to answer the door. Installing this safety feature is a wise self-care essential.
Personal Safety Alarm
The Birdie personal safety alarm has an extremely loud siren with a flashing strobe-light that creates a distraction that will hopefully deter an attacker. It’s a must-have self-care product any time you leave home.
Blood Pressure Monitor
Monitoring your blood pressure is a smart form of preventive self-care. This blood pressure monitor syncs with __ apps, so you don’t have to enter your data manually. But if you just want a plain monitor, you can always opt for one of the pharmacy brands. For accurate readings, be sure you are using the correct cuff size. Larger, athletic people may need to purchase a cuff extension.
Pulse oximeters attach to your fingertip and provide information about your pulse rhythm and SpO2 level (an estimation of how much oxygen is in your blood). This can offer helpful information for managing a wide range of health conditions. This is a great item to add to your first aid kit if you don’t already have one.
There are few pieces of exercise equipment that can rival the Total Gym. This flexible, all-in-one workout system can incorporate a wide variety of exercises and it stows away easily. If you only have a small space for a home gym, this is a great option.
Reusable Produce Bags
Mesh produce bags eliminate the need for those flimsy, hard-to-open plastic bags found in most grocery stores. I’ve personally used the Earthwise reusable produce bags for years, and they are still going strong.
Car Battery Charger
Having a dead car battery can be stressful, especially if you’re in a remote area or somewhere you don’t feel safe. I’ve used both NOCO and Arteck portable jump starters, and they both work equally well.
Battery Charging Bank
Because we rely so heavily on our devices, recharging stations have become self-care essentials. In some cases, a dead phone battery may only be a minor inconvenience, but if you have an emergency it can be a life-or-death situation. Keep a fully charged battery bank handy to make sure you can stay connected when you need to. I personally like the slim Anker power bank. They also make solar powered versions if you plan to be in a remote area for an extended period of time.
Emergency Meal Kit
Whether you’re preparing for hurricane season, a winter storm, or some other emergency, having an emergency meal kit is critical. Of all the emergency meals I’ve sampled, I prefer the Mountain House brand best. They come in many serving sizes and varieties. (You can also find them at Walmart.)
The Yonka Hydra No. 1 Creme is my go-do everyday face moisturizer. It’s not heavy, but it keeps my skin soft and smooth all day long.
I keep Tree Hut Tahitian Vanilla Bean Shea Sugar Scrub in my shower to remind myself to exfoliate regularly.
The 7 Day Scrub Cream by Clinique has been my tried-and-true exfoliator for over two decades. As an exfoliant, it helps smooth out rough patches of skin and keeps my skin vibrant.
the Yonka Lait Nettoyant facial cleanser is one of my favorites. If you have dry skin, this gentle cleanser will help keep your skin clean and moisturized.
Facial Enzyme Peel
Keep your skin hydrated and healthy by adding an enzyme peel into your regular skin rotation. This Yam and Pumpkin Enzyme Peel by Eminence is one of my absolute favorites.
Fire ladders are essential safety devices if you live in a home with 2 or more stories. The Kidde fire escape 2-story ladder attaches securely to the window sill to help you and your family members escape in the event of a house fire. The ladder can be stored beneath your bed for easy access. Kidde also makes longer versions of the ladder for taller buildings.
Ensuring that you have the right home safety equipment in place is a self-care essential. Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher in key places, such as in the kitchen and near your outdoor grill.
A camp stove like the JetBoil system is a self-care must have, even you aren’t a camper. These cook systems come in extremely handy during power outages and other emergency situations. Grab an extra fuel canister or two, so you have plenty on hand. And the French press attachment works amazingly well.
Your Self-Care Essentials Collection
Now it’s your turn to create a personal self-care essentials collection. Use the Rate Your 8 self-care assessment to identify which areas of your life need the most attention right now. And then just keep building on to your self-care essentials as you go.
Information on this website should not be interpreted as providing or replacing medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is intended for adults over the age of 18. LivingUpp is a participant in affiliate programs, which means we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases on links to Amazon and other sites at no additional cost to you.