Whats Poppin? Alex’s Holiday Wishlist for Improving Your Well-being

Alex James, Staff Writer

As November sets in, our favorite stores begin to hold sales, and what we want for the holidays occupies our mind. If one often spends the holiday season stressed, they might want to consider asking for self-care and wellness gifts to improve their well-being.

1. Wellness Journal

Journals are a great way to relieve stress and express thoughts freely without the fear of judgment. Organized journals with templates where one can answer questions and write down affirmations can be very helpful. Or, if interested in doing more of a brain dump, a blank journal will allow you to write freely. I purchased the five-minute journal last year for the holidays, and it has helped me keep track of how I am feeling. It only takes five minutes each day, which is all the time I need to put all my other responsibilities aside and make time for myself.  

2. Scented Candles or Room Diffusers

Scented candles are a great item to add to a room. Not only does it improve the aesthetic, but relaxing scents have proven to be extremely helpful in cases of anxiety, depression and stress, along with improving concentration, sleep and creating a relaxing atmosphere. Whenever I am feeling unproductive, I love lighting a candle to help me feel motivated to clean my room or do homework. I also like to light it while watching TV or winding down before bed. This year, I am asking for several candles including the Keys Soulcare Sage and Oat Milk aromatherapy candle with soul-nourishing ingredients.  

3. Athletic Clothes

Personally, a cute gym outfit never fails to motivate me to go outside or get exercise. Stylish, new athletic clothes always put me in a better mood and make me much more excited to workout and take care of my body and health.

4. Sunrise Alarm

Sunrise alarms are one of the best ways to get up for school. They display a natural light, mimicking a sunrise, to make getting out of bed in the morning easier. It also plays a more natural sound, which is crucial as it is proven that loud and irritating alarms raise blood pressure and trigger a fight-or-flight reaction.

5. Reusable Water Bottle

Having a reusable water bottle that is convenient and keeps your water cold is necessary to remain hydrated throughout the day. Especially in the Miami heat, it is important to drink water. Good quality lightweight water bottles that keep your water cold make a good gift, as they are transportable, environmentally friendly and useful. 

6. Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes can be very beneficial in improving your gums and oral health. They do a better job of removing plaque and cleaning your mouth. Besides, who does not want better breath, better oral health and a better smile? If interested in investing in an electric toothbrush, now is the best time, as it is so easy to find one for a reasonable price because of Black Friday sales. 

7. Coloring Book

Coloring Books are a great coping mechanism and help release stress, anxiety and anger. It is also a good way to relax your brain and improve motor skills and focus. It is entertaining and a much healthier method of relaxing before bed rather than going on a phone or watching TV.  

8. Skincare Products

Skincare products can get expensive but are also a great gift. Skincare sets are simple, easy and enjoyable. Every day I look forward to my nightly skincare routine. It allows me to take my focus off of everything causing me stress and focus on something that brings me joy and relaxation. I always feel much cleaner and more hydrated after doing my skincare routine, which makes me feel more organized and motivated to do other things that contribute to my overall wellness.

9. Silk or Satin Pillowcase

Silk or satin pillowcases often make sleep better and provide additional comfort. They are also much better for your skin and hair. Silk pillowcases eliminate the uncomfortable feeling of when both sides of a pillowcase are warm, and they feel so nice and luxurious. I received the Slip pillowcase for the holidays a few years ago, and I have noticed a huge difference in my sleep, hair and skin health. 

10. Sony Camera or Disposable Camera

With vintage-looking pictures trending, a digital camera or a disposable camera is the best way to achieve that aesthetic. I always get the cutest pictures with my friends on these cameras, and it is so easy to use. The pictures have an old-timey, nostalgic feel, and I love carrying them with me and having the opportunity to take pictures without using my phone. Whenever I have it on me, people are more excited to take pictures than if I were to just have my phone. 

11. Speaker or headphones

Music can significantly improve mental health, which is why many love to listen to their favorite songs throughout the day. One can use a speaker while hanging out with friends, getting ready to go out or even just playing music in the shower. Headphones could be used while studying, doing homework, working out or even if you are just sitting in bed. These devices are not exclusive to only music; they can be used to listen to podcasts or talk to friends as well. 

12. A Blanket

A cozy blanket makes for a great holiday gift, especially as the seasons change and the temperature begins to drop. There is no better feeling than spending the entire season cuddled up with the softest blanket. They also add so much warmth to a home even when it is not in use. My mom received the most comfortable blanket from Barefoot Dreams last year, which convinced me to ask for my own this year after all my attempts to steal hers. Blankets range in price, which can make it an affordable or more luxurious gift depending on the occasion.

13. We’re Not Really Strangers Card Game

This card game has been all over my TikTok for years now. This game is meant to be played with friends in order to develop a more meaningful relationship and level of understanding. This game is helpful for one’s mental health and proves that it is not necessary to bottle up all your emotions and feelings by providing an outlet to connect with people and yourself.

14. Wellness books or any books that spark your interest

Many find wellness books to be extremely fascinating and informational. These books are a great read, especially to guide you through the process of improving mental and physical well-being. A book that positively impacted me was “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, which taught me how to break bad habits and form good ones instead. 

15. Superhuman: Guided Meditation Subscription

This app provides meditation altered specifically to whatever you are doing, or however you feel. For example, if you wish to meditate while walking, the app has options for that. They offer a variety of different guides, so you can choose whose videos work best for you. Additionally, they offer pilates and stretching meditation classes, if that appeals to you more. Meditation is a beneficial way to work on both physical and mental health and give your mind and body a moment to loosen up. Other meditation apps that I have tried that I enjoyed are Headspace and Calm