Health + Wellness

Affordable At-Home Self-Care Investments

While we love a facial or massage just as much as you, that type of self care can really start to add up. But the truth is that taking time and investing in yourself does not have to be expensive. Over the past month members of the Printfresh team have been trying out one new practice to indulge in a little self care – without making a big financial investment. From CBD gummies to morning playlists, the team is here to share their experiences improving their self care routines.
June 2021
Affordable At-Home Self-Care Investments
Affordable At-Home Self-Care Investments

Taking time to invest in yourself is the key to improving mental and physical health. Amy, founder of Printfresh, has seen first hand the benefits that come from investing in self care. And guess what...it doesn’t have to be expensive! Over the past month, we enlisted members of the Printfresh team, including Amy herself, to test out 6 different affordable ways to invest in self care. From CBD gummies for a better night's rest to curating morning playlists, all of these investments are free or under $20. 


Read each honest review below to learn more about the different self care investments we tried and how beneficial they were for each person on their self care journey!

1. CBD Gummies for a Better Night's Rest

Sophia: This was my first time trying CBD gummies to help me fall asleep and they did not disappoint! I've been taking two about 30 minutes before it's time for bed and I definitely notice my body starting to relax and my mind winding down. This particular brand also contains melatonin, so that paired with the CBD seems to be a great combo for me. I haven't woken up with any grogginess (although I do make sure I will be able to get at least 7 hours of sleep when I take them). These will become a staple in my nighttime routine for sure!

Difficulty: 1
Cost Effectiveness: 3
Overall Rating: 5

2. Creating Morning Playlists

Juliana: Music has always been a huge motivator for me, so introducing music into my morning routine seemed natural. I started by curating a "morning mood" playlist to include a good mix of upbeat and mellow songs to help me ease into my day; narrowing it down was definitely the hardest part! Once I made the playlist part of my daily routine I found it hard to stop listening.  I would catch myself swaying along to the music as I decided on my outfit or taking an extra minute to finish a song before heading into the office. On Friday's, though, I'd switch over to my "bounce" playlist that has more dance music to help kickoff the weekend a little earlier. I'll definitely keep music as part of my morning routine and have started listening to more playlists on my ride to work as opposed to my usual podcasts, which has been a nice change!

Difficulty: 1
Cost Effectiveness:
Overall Rating: 5

3. Drinking a Gallon of Water

Brittany: As I’ve gotten older, I have noticed more and more, the things I consume have an effect on my energy level. This seems like a no-brainer, but as someone who could survive on caffeine and sugar in the past, it was a lesson I needed to live to learn. Drinking water has numerous health benefits including helping to maximize physical performance (for those gym days), increase brain function (which is pretty important), and prevent afternoon headaches (the worst). 

Tip: There are two schools of reusable water bottles: plastic and stainless steel. I prefer plastic because it's lightweight, budget friendly, and I’m sensitive to the taste of metallic water. But be sure to buy a bottle that is BPA-free so chemicals don’t leech into your water (which is the main benefit of stainless steel). 

Difficulty:
Cost Effectiveness:
Overall Rating: 5

4. Meditation

Amy: A friend of mine recommended headspace and I decided (begrudgingly) to try it out. There are a lot of free meditation options out there that I’ve tried in the past, but I decided to invest in this one (it’s $12.99/mo) since she said she loved it - and I definitely like it more than the others out there.  When breaking it down by daily use and the benefits it provides, I’d say it’s totally worth it, especially since maintaining a meditation practice consistently has always been hard for me. There are stretching classes, exercise, and short lessons on things like ‘neighboring’ - which are lovely. I’ve now been doing meditations that are 3-10 minutes each day - and I especially like the winding down ones for bedtime - it really helps me get to sleep quicker and clear my head leaving me feeling refreshed in the morning.

Difficulty: 1
Cost Effectiveness: 3
Overall Rating: 5

5. Daily Baths

Ashley: I’m a big bath person, of both the ‘get clean’ and the ‘relax and restore’ variety, and I’m always looking for new products to try. I was excited for the chance to review Herbivore’s CALM Soaking Salts in ylang-ylang and vanilla scent. I’ve used and enjoyed their facial products in the past, and have faith in the brand, but have to admit that these were a mixed bag for me. 

Appearances first: the glass bottle has a minimalist label, is heavy and luxe feeling, and the peachy-pink salts look great in the bathroom cabinet. They remind me of chic spice jar – in the best way.

The product itself is made of himalayan rock salt crystals, more organic in texture than the super-fine epsom salts you might normally buy from the drug store, so they took a bit longer to melt into the bath. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't pick up any of the vanilla at first sniff, just heady ylang-ylang, but the scent mellowed out into something softer as the crystals dissolved into the water.

Once they fully melted, I could feel a little extra mineral-y slip in the water, and I was pleasantly floral-scented even after toweling off. I felt relaxed as usual, but it’s hard to say how much of that was due to CALM versus just the bath ritual itself. The packaging and branding is lovely, but I’ll probably stick to Dr. Teal’s or another epsom-based brand if I want bath salts in the future. Sorry, Herbivore!

My alternate soaking recommendations: 
Dr. Teal’s Shea and Almond Oil Epsom Salts: moisturization and muscle-soothing epsom salts in one
Fig & Yarrow Matcha Milkbath: a different kind of soak that smells like green tea roll 
JR Watkins Awaken Aromatherapy Tablets: sinus-clearing herbal aromatherapy blend in tablet form, like tiny bath bombs. You can also use them in the shower!

Difficulty: 1
Cost Effectiveness: 3
Overall Rating: 2.5 (just didn't love compared to other soaks)

6. Gua Sha Facials

Leo: I’ve been doing Gua Sha on and off at night time for a few months. I find it to be a meditative practice and, as a guy, one of the few times that I get to look closely at myself in the mirror.  I feel that the practice helps smooth out some of the fine lines that I’m getting as I approach 40 and hopefully will soften some of my forehead deep wrinkles that I’ve developed after years of raising my eyebrows (I should practice more opening my eyes without raising my brow - but it’s hard!).

Difficulty: 1
Cost Effectiveness: 3
Overall rating: 5

Let us know if you try any of these affordable self care investments or if you have any other recommendations for the Printfresh team to test out! Remember - self care is a process, so cozy up in your Pajamas and take the extra time to invest in YOU!

Image Credits: Gua Sha: Viva Luna Studios on Unsplash, Hydromate, Headspace App, Herbivore Botanicals

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