Wellness Wednesday: The Gift Guide

Sarah Gelman on December 09, 2020
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Wellness Wednesday: The Gift Guide

If there’s ever been a year to gift wellness books, it’s 2020. And while “wellness” may mean different things to different people, my interpretation is that wellness products should make you feel better, inside and out.

Below is a list of books to gift to the wellness lover (or someone who needs or wants to feel better) in your life, as well as a suggestion for an add-on gift to make each truly special.


Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day by Jay Shetty

If you’re a close reader of the Amazon Book Review, you may have noticed me proclaim that this book changed my life. That’s not hyperbole. I refer back to what I learned in Think Like a Monk daily, whether that’s through doing a quick breathing exercise if I feel anxious, or just enjoying the smells and sounds of my daily coffee brewing (instead of feeling impatient). Shetty uses the teachings he learned as a monk and applies them to everyday life. This would make a fabulous gift for anyone, regardless of age, but I’ll admit I could have really used this book while I was in my 20s and making lots of questionable decisions. One of my favorite tips I’ve taken from this book is to have a signature scent associated with your routines or work space, so a nice candle or essential oil would make a lovely companion to this.


The Feel Good Effect: Reclaim Your Wellness by Finding Small Shifts that Create Big Change by Robyn Conley Downs

This is a great companion book to Shetty's; these books share similar philosophies. And this book is gorgeous, from the pretty jacket to the thick and satisfying paper stock. Downs uses science to show that small behavior shifts can lead to big change. Her mantra is “Gentle is the new perfect,” which may need to be the official slogan of 2020. Got a Type A person in your life? An overworked parent? This would be a perfect book for them. Gift this book with some delicious tea to help inspire your loved one to take time to slow down during the day.


Skinnytaste Meal Prep: Healthy Make-Ahead Meals and Freezer Recipes to Simplify Your Life by Gina Homolka

Meal prep seems to be a crucial step in #adulting, and I can attest that Homolka’s latest contains delicious and healthy recipes no matter what your kitchen skills may be. Her Sheet Pan Mediterranean Chicken and Veggies (pg. 113) is on my family’s weekly meal rotation, and recipes like Cauliflower Tabbouleh Bowls with Chickpeas and Hummus (pg. 82) is a home lunch game-changer. Skinnytaste Meal Prep hits the healthy food category, but also helps with life simplification. We could all use more of that. To make an even more thoughtful gift, pair with some nice glass food storage containers.


You Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance by Chani Nicholas

I was a devotee of Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs and Love Signs in high school and college. If I had a crush on a boy and our signs were incompatible, I moved my energy elsewhere. Nicholas, a well-known astrologer, takes the daily horoscope to the next level by unlocking your life’s purpose through your own birth chart. 2020 was a year when a lot of people re-examined their priorities, and this book may help push someone toward a happier and more fulfilled life. Although this book came out in early 2020, it’s still a great “New You, New Year” gift, particularly when given with some sort of astrological sign trinket.


Decorating with Plants: What to Choose, Ways to Style, and How to Make Them Thrive by Baylor Chapman

True story. I read this book then took a list of house plants I wanted to the nursery. As I was making my purchase, which included the delicate burro’s tail succulent, the clerk started talking to me about what to do when the leaves inevitably fell off, and I was able to knowledgably speak to her about the plant. She even went so far as to say she was happy my plants were going to a good home. That’s to say this book is informative for a plant novice like myself who wants some greenery to spruce up their space. It’s not only darn pretty, but a solid reference guide for unhappy plants or picking the right plant for your space. Great for plant moms and dads, gift this book with a pretty water mister or… a plant.


The Home Edit Life: The No-Guilt Guide to Owning What You Want and Organizing Everything by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin

Shearer and Teplin’s star is rising: their Instagram account has 4.7M followers, and their new Netflix show was a hit. And while 2020 may have brought many undesirables, one positive outcome of this year was the time—and desire—to make our homes more organized and efficient. This book is not only practical, it’s eye candy. For the organizer or organizer-to-be on your list, make this book a deluxe gift by adding a gift card to Amazon or an organization store. It’s impossible to read this book and not be inspired to organize your life.


The Gratitude Journal: Choose Gratitude Every Day

Journals seem to be the sorts of things no one ever buys for themselves, but it’s rare to find someone who doesn’t appreciate a beautiful journal by their bedside. While I’m personally intimidated by a blank journal, this gratitude journal gives just enough space for a daily reflection. Having gratitude has been shown to have positive effects on overall happiness (for evidence, read Jay Shetty’s book), and this daily routine may be the small step we all need to add to our lives in 2021. Pair this journal with a beautiful pen or nice-quality set of colored markers with a fine tip.

Wishing you all a healthy, fulfilling, and happy holiday season and new year.


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