15 popular self-care products under $30 (Photo: Getty Images/Instagram)
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These are stressful, uncertain times live in, as the world grapples with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, ongoing protests, and the 2020 Election. With everything going on, the nonstop coverage and seemingly endless stream of negative news can be overwhelming—and, as a result, it’s easy to feel more stressed or more emotional than usual.
In moments like these, it’s important to look after your mental (and physical) health. That’s why self-care is such a hot topic these days. It’s not about ignoring the news and current events, but rather finding ways to cope when you need it.
Here at Reviewed, we’re devoted to helping you find the best things for every aspect of your life—including self-care. We’ve rounded up 15 of the best products for self-care and relaxation below, including a top-rated essential oil diffuser and an inspiring journal. These are products that our own staff has personally tested and loved or have hundreds of 5-star reviews online—and that will help you take care of yourself during this difficult time.
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1. Our favorite essential oil diffuser
Stop and smell the essential oils. (Photo: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser)
Essential oil diffusers are all the rage right now because of their many benefits: they can help you relax and create a more calm, zen aura in your home. Of all the ones we tested, the Airomé diffuser had everything we were looking for at an affordable price. It runs for up to six hours, is easy to take from room to room, and is available in a ton of styles. My favorite oils for de-stressing? Jasmine, chamomile, or lavender.
Get the Airomé Serenity Medium Diffuser from Amazon for $29.74
2. A month of Headspace to clear your mind
All you need is a few minutes. (Photo: Headspace)
Recently, I’ve been giving the much-praised meditation app Headspace a shot—and despite some initial skepticism, I’m hooked. When I imagined using an app to learn to meditate, it seemed counterintuitive and kind of ridiculous—shouldn’t I be getting as far away from my phone as possible? Wasn’t looking at the screen too stimulating? Well, yes, but Headspace—with over 630,000 rave reviews—understands this, and works around it.
Headspace Premium offers a huge library of meditation exercises and visualizations, almost all of which are just audio—no staring at the phone screen after all! You can browse categories, focusing on topics like anger management, work stress, and attaining deep sleep, or you can make your way through Headspace’s beginner course, which grounds you on the essentials of meditation. One month of Headspace Premium comes in under $13, and gives you ample opportunities to learn—but better yet, anyone unemployed or working in healthcare can get a full year of Headspace for free, to help ease the tension of this difficult time.
3. An affordable yoga mat to introduce gentle movement into your day
It’s almost cliché to say at this point, but there’s really nothing that does a better job of keeping me grounded, happy, and present in my own body than even the tiniest bit of yoga. Since the pandemic started, I have been doing my best to get up each morning and do even ten minutes of yoga before starting my day, either on my own or with the help of YouTube (I’m partial to Yoga With Kassandra, myself). On days when I do this, I really notice the difference in how alert, energetic, and positive I feel.
One of the great things about yoga is that it is relatively accessible, both financially and physically. Your practice can make you sweat, or it can just get you stretching your stiff limbs. And unlike many physical activities, it doesn’t require much equipment or space. All you really need is a mat—and this affordable, one from Amazon is our favorite choice for yoga beginners. We loved its non-slip surface, and its extra-thick cushioning that protects sensitive knees. Yoga isn’t everyone’s thing, but if you can find something to make you feel present, satisfied, and grateful, hang onto it—that is exactly what self-care should do.
Get the AmazonBasics 1/2-Inch Extra Thick Exercise Yoga Mat from Amazon for $19.49
4. An expert-approved foot spa for some end-of-day pampering
For a simple, cheap, and easy-to-clean foot soak, this spa can’t be beat (Photo: Conair)
Want to pamper yourself without leaving your house? You can relax after a long day (or in the middle of a long day, who am I to judge) with our pick for the best value foot spa of 2020. The Conair foot spa, which has hundreds of 5-star ratings, offers an intuitive, easy-to-clean foot bath with bubbles, gently warming water, and a vibrating massage. We found the water heating element somewhat underwhelming, but otherwise enjoyed the Conair as a solid, relaxing spa.
Get the Conair Foot Pedicure Spa from Amazon for $26.55
5. A calming herbal tea
Brew up a cup of something relaxing. (Photo: YogiTea)
Ever since bidding farewell to my daily commute, I’ve had to come up with a new routine to start my day and give myself the chance to wake up slowly. For me, a cup of tea has become the lynchpin of that routine. I might not always do morning yoga, or get out of bed early enough to read—but I always make time for tea.
These caffeine-free herbal teas from YogiTea can be a sweet addition to your morning, or a nice way to wind down. Taking the time to enjoy a cup of tea is, in my opinion, always an act of self-care (assuming you’re not more of an iced coffee person). With flavors like , this tea is perfect whether you’re just trying to cut down on caffeine, or if you’re hoping to catch a few extra zzz’s.
Get the YogiTea Variety Pack from Amazon for $24.88
6. A cleansing mud mask
Skin care = self care. (Photo: Sephora)
There are endless face masks out there that use “pure” and “natural” as appealing buzzwords, but there’s really no beating this fan-favorite from Sephora. The Purifying and Mattifying Mud Mask is made with zinc, copper, and white clay to detox your skin and cleanse your pores. Over 1,600 Sephora shoppers have given it their seal of approval. One says, “This mask is amazing! Leaves my skin baby soft, radiant, and so refreshed! Plus you get a lot of product for the price. I’ve tried a lot of higher end masks and this one is just as good, and even better than many of them.”
7. A journal to let out your feelings
Let the First Lady guide your journaling. (Photo: Amazon)
No matter who you are, where you live, or what you believe in, we all have a lot of thoughts on our mind right now and we’re all experiencing a lot of emotions. One way to process those feelings is by writing them out in a journal like this one, which is based on Michelle Obama’s best-selling book, Becoming. The journal is filled with prompts and inspiring quotes to help you put pen (and emotions) to paper.
Get Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice from Amazon for $9.99
8. A bath bomb for a relaxing soak
Who doesn’t love a colorful, glittery bubble bath? (Photo: Da Bomb)
No list of self-care ideas would be complete without taking a bubble bath. And for that, you’ll need one of these top-rated bath bombs. With a 4.5-star rating from over 2,200 reviewers, these glittery bombs come in a bevy of delicious (and relaxing scents) and, according to happy shoppers, last longer than other bath bombs. Perfect for a long, luxurious soak after a stressful day.
9. A month’s subscription to Skillshare to reinvigorate your sense of curiosity
Skillshare’s huge library of lessons will get you started with just about any new endeavor (Photo: Skillshare)
One of the most critical ways I am taking care of myself in lockdown is by investing time (or at least, trying to invest time) into learning skills I don’t usually have the time to pursue. I’ve loved pursuing language learning and spending time cooking new meals, but it was my desire to hone my creative skills that drove me to try out Skillshare.
Skillshare is a massive library of online lessons, in everything from business and money habits to music and fine art. If you’re having a hard time self-motivating to learn something new, but you know a kick in that direction would make a big difference in how you feel each day, Skillshare could help you thrive through this weird, disruptive time.
I’ve been enjoying my Skillshare courses in drawing and illustration—but I’m also lucky enough to have access to LinkedIn Learning, which has proven to be a really great resource. Looking for a similar service, but hesitant about signing up? Try Skillshare’s two-week trial, for sure—but it might also be worth checking if your job, school, or community center offers access to one of these programs. You might already be lucky!
Sign up for a free seven-day trial of Skillshare
10. A derma roller to soothe your skin
Dermal rollers might sound scary, but when used correctly they’re a painless and proven way to heal damaged skin (Photo: Sdara Skincare)
If you’ve never seen a derma roller before, this might look a little intimidating—but don’t be scared. This tool features a roller with a series of microneedles, which, when rolled gently against the skin, can stimulate blood flow and help the skin regain elasticity. The results are in, and people say this little guy works.
Derma rollers can help combat a number of skin issues, from acne scars to psoriasis. One reviewer writes that despite her initial skepticism, she’s found this tool surprisingly effective at helping hyperpigmentation fade. Other reviews specifically mention how helpful this is for surviving lockdown, as many of us are experiencing more breakouts from having our skin stuck under a mask. I know that’s true for me.
11. An acupressure mat that releases feel-good endorphins
Hurts so good. (Photo: ProSource)
One of my personal favorite ways to decompress when I’m feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious, is by lying on this acupressure mat (which has nearly 18,000 positive reviews on Amazon, too!). I love that the needles instantly relax my muscles and that when I stand up, I feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
12. A sleep mask for better rest
Sweet dreams at any time of day. (Photo: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar)
Sleep is a very important—and often overlooked—form of self care. If you struggle with getting enough rest, you might benefit from a sleep mask that blocks out light. After testing some of the most popular ones, our editor said the Nidra Deep Rest Eye Mask is “like having personal blackout curtains for your eyes,” which is why we named it the best contoured sleep mask we’ve ever tested. Because it’s contoured, absolutely no light will sneak in, meaning they’ll have sweet dreams no matter the time of day.
Get the Nidra Deep Rest Eye Mask at Amazon for $10.45
13. A deck of self-care cards
You can pick a new activity every day. (Photo: Amazon)
You know you need something to feel better but you aren’t sure what. Yoga? Journaling? A bubble bath? If you aren’t sure where to start with your own self-care, this “bucket list” can help. The deck contains 50 cards broken into three categories (life, love, and laughter) with ideas for all different mood boosters and mental health aids, from unplugging from social media for a day to volunteering to doing a random act of kindness.
14. A handheld gadget that gently massages your scalp
Perfect for after a long day at work. (Photo: Body Back)
I bought this massager as a gift for my then-boyfriend a few years ago—and ended up buying one for myself after we broke up because I had become hooked. It’s so easy to use (simply move it up and down gently over your head) and it feels absolutely amazing (like the scalp massage you get whenever you go to the salon). I use it every single night after work and it relaxes me in just a few seconds.
15. A fragrant spray to turn any room into an oasis
A spray a day keeps the bad mood away. (Photo: Amazon)
Most of us have been spending a lot of time at home lately—which means that our general enjoyment of our days is suddenly seriously affected by how relaxed we feel in our homes. As someone who does not self-identify as a homebody, I’ve really had to learn how to enjoy being at home this much, and one of the biggest keys, for me, has been making sure my space is both nice-looking and nice-smelling.
This natural, botanical room spray from Amazon will give your home a nice fragrance immediately, without fussing with an oil diffuser or worrying about a candle catching the drapes on fire. It’s easy to direct, so if you have a slightly less nice-smelling area of your home (litter box, anyone?) you can take care of it head-on. Made from essential oils, the all-natural spray comes in four yummy aromas. If you’re looking for ways to turn your work-from-home (or just stay-at-home) life a little more relaxing, this one will go a long way.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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