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A psychotherapist’s 7 gift suggestions for self-care (or for others)

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Every year I try to find gift ideas that are life enhancing. Take a gander at what I’ve discovered this year and if anything tickles your fancy, put it on your list.

1. Quiet Mind weighted pillow: When I received a sample from the company and put it on the therapy couch, my clients fell in love with it. Having this weight on you in a very comfortable way is a healing experience for many people and is especially helpful if you have anxiety or depression. Find it at www.onequietmind.com

2. A robot vacuum and mop combo: This combo vacuum and mop is self-cleaning. You can program it on your phone and then vacuum and mop your whole house while you’re at the movies or out shopping. This all-in-one unit empties itself and mops the floor with just water — no chemicals necessary. I recommend the Laresar L6 Pro. It does a great job and is priced well compared to the competition.

3. A weighted blanket or throw: I love my weighted (and heated) throw by Ugg. I know the experience isn’t for everyone, but if you respond to this type of therapy, a weighted blanket will make you feel more comfortable and secure. When you sleep better, it makes your days better.

4. Backyard furniture: For most of the year, our back patio is an outdoor room fully equipped with barbecue, music, rugs and comfortable seating. This bonus space gets used daily for breakfast or coffee. If you haven’t tried the concept yet, expand your living space and see if it doesn’t add to your lifestyle. We love our little Weber grill. It can be pricey, but deals are out there. Dining al fresco is delightful.

5. A portable Bluetooth speaker: You can bring your music anywhere with one of these handy devices, which are not much bigger or heavier than a water bottle. We take ours out on the boat. The sound is great. There are many brands to choose from. I love my JBL Charge 4 and Sonos Roam.

6. Outdoor solar lights: Now that it’s getting dark earlier, these inexpensive lights are coming in handy and they look great on the patio. You can choose from a simple string of lights to lights that twinkle and flash to those little lights that make your garden look like a fairyland. This will brighten up your evenings, and if you’ve ever stumbled in the dark, you know some light may also be a life saver.

7. Plastic pan scrapers: These $5 to $10 items are useful in many areas of the home and outside. Yes, they work great for pots and pans, but they also clean stoves, bathroom fixtures, and shower doors as well as anything you find that has something icky on it. I keep one on the kitchen sink, one in the bathroom and one in my tool chest. They get used a lot. While a plastic pan scraper may not be the most romantic gift, you will love the person who got it for you. You can find a variety of these on amazon.com.

Santa might or might not be a fantasy, but self-care and a nicer life are real gifts you can give to yourself and loved ones. I have to say that when someone gives me something that I had no idea existed, it is fun and heartwarming.

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Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. is an award-winning psychotherapist and humanitarian. He is also a columnist, the author of 8 books, and a blogger for PsychologyToday.com with nearly 35 million readers. He is available for in-person & video consults world-wide, reach him at Barton@BartonGoldsmith.com

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