Every adult I know is d.o.n.e. Done like only 2020 could do us all in. And so now, my friends, as we look forward to 2021, this is when we all bounce back — together. None of what we’ve experienced in 2020 is coming to an end; the only choice here is for us to go into 2021 stronger.
The Gift Of Self-Care: At-Home Gym & Massage + The Outfits To Pair It With
I know a beautiful, strong woman who uses a bow and arrow as a metaphor — so much so that she has one tattooed on her wrist to remind herself to always be the arrow. The meaning is simple, but beautiful: sometimes we have to be pulled down low to find our strength and shoot high. This year, for all of us, is that time.
At-Home Gym Equipment & Relaxation Essentials
A little exercise at home goes a long way toward building both physical and emotional strength. Touch, through massage (even the simplest of home massages) can be healing. Yoga can center us in the most essential of ways. And if you haven’t napped under a weighted blanket, that, I promise, is a quick way to recharge heart, mind and body.
And if you aren’t quite ready for all of this zen…then take your frustration out on a punching bag first. It’ll make you feel good (or at least better), in minutes.
Here are my home gym, massage, yoga and nap favorites — the ones in my own carts after many hours of research. I’m hoping to get a head start on bouncing back and — hint, hint — they make thoughtful, useful holiday gifts for those you love, too!
Or if you’d rather just skip down to the cute pj’s and athletic enough leisurewear that I rounded up at the bottom…no judgment here. When you’re done here, be sure to head back to Holiday Central for more sales, style and gift ideas!
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1 | Punching Bag
Maybe we start with Get The Frustration Out? I took my first kickboxing virtual class this past summer. While I wouldn’t quite say I’m hooked (giggle), I have to say it felt good. My own kids have all practiced Martial Arts for years, so I think one of these is finding its way into our house this holiday season.
2 | Seated Massage Chair
This one was my kids’ idea, but I like it a lot! They would like us to study and trade massages with one another. Given their kid heights, relatively speaking, I’m thinking one of these would be amazing. Also, it’s usually just my shoulders and neck that hurt, and I’ve always really enjoyed a good strong chair massage most. So yup, this is in Santa’s cart around here too.
3 | Portable Massage Table
While I’m shopping for home massage goods, I’m just going to go all the way. I was lucky to live with a friend who went through massage therapy school while I was in graduate school and working full time. Coming home at night to “help” Bepa with her “homework” was THE BEST THING EVER. I maintain no one in the world has her hands — they are magic. Maybe if I get a table and barter something…I can get her to come for a home massage therapy session? Someday? This is my own personal wish for a gift. And maybe she’ll be willing to teach the kids and I a thing or two while she’s here? (She’s an angel, she’ll do it.)
4 | Zero Gravity Running Machine
I dropped every hint I could think of to every person I could think of that I wanted one of these one year. And the next year, I finally just bought it for myself. No regrets. If there’s a machine that saved my life and my knees, this is it.
5 | Jump Rope
Works indoors and out, for kids and adults. 😉 Tried and true, this is one of the easiest and most fun ways to get a little cardio in! The kids are all learning tricks. I just try to not trip. Great Stocking Stuffers!!!!
6 | You’re Awesome Inspiration Deck
This one is more about positive intentions and meditations. Sometimes when our minds get stuck, we need a prompt. Also makes a great gift, full of positive messages.
7 | Bearaby Weighted Blankets — At Bearaby – At West Elm
Comes in three weights and nine colors, and is certified organic cotton. I’m not sure that this will go on sale before the holidays. I am willing to bet though, that it will sell out, and I am quite certain that it makes a wonderful, worth it, splurge gift. Also, on Moms and Naps….I will say this: no, I do not have time for an actual full nap. However, I am finding that sometimes…if I sneak away to somewhere no one else is…and literally lay down on a floor, take my glasses off, pull a weighted blanket over me (obviously ‘forgetting’ my phone)….for 5 minutes — literally 5 minutes — I feel like I can then deal with the next 3 hours. Beds, sofas, yoga mats all recommended, but literally this method works even when that place is a bathroom and I just go hide for 5 minutes. #momsurvival2020
8 | Kettlebells
I haven’t taken any classes that require these, but it’s my New Year’s intention to start a few. Any good recommendations for virtual classes that are going to strengthen my core and require cute kettlebells?
9 | Yoga Mat
I’m tall. If you didn’t know, now you know. I love my own Manduka extra long mat, but people freak over the price of it. Mine is 13 years old, and still perfect, so price per Chaturanga…I dunno folks, worth the investment? Yes. Regardless, I read a bunch of reviews, and these mats are the ones — I’ve now learned — that people are the most happy with the quality, color selection, performance, size and price of.
10 | Hand Weights
We’ve (and by we, I mean a group of my girlfriends, a few of which you might be familiar with) have been Zooming 20-30 minute HIIT workouts a few times a week. While I’m with them in spirit, until quarantine 2.0, I was out of the house and on job sites before they’d start. My excuse right now, is, um…right. I don’t have one. L, drop me back on that thread? I’m in from the HOCQ.
11 | Resistance Bands
These are also part of my Save The Old Knees Program. I squat with one of these above my knees. 100 X a day. Worth it. Promise. And they work for a million other good things too, I’m just not expert enough to tell you what exactly they are, but maybe a reader has some suggestions for all of us? Simple ones please?
12 | Exercise Ball
We play with these as often as we actually work out with them, and honestly I love mine most for stretching and abs: me on the floor, my ankles up on it, isolations. And I bounce on it at my desk when I’ve Had It and can’t focus and need to just get ONE THING DONE. It helps.
Activewear, Lounge Sets & PJ’s For Nice Naps
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1 | PJ Salvage Camo Jam(mies)
Any other mom feel like they just want to hide? Same. May as well look cute and be comfy cozy while doing that. It’s the double striped band at the bottom and the shades of blue that get me with this set.
2 | Eberjay Giselle Slouchy Lounge Set
Not so slouchy at all, super-cute actually. I have the blue (see below) and just added this pretty dove grey into my cart.
3 |Vince 100% Silk Bottoms
These are going to be my Holiday gift to myself because they look like pure pleasure and I’m all about simple pure pleasures. Also, they are on sale.
4 | Vince 100% Silk Top
I love the pants most with a white tank, and likely, I’ll wear them with a loose sweater, but….just in case I want to be fancy and matchy, and even Zoom from these, I’m ordering the top, too, while it’s also on sale.
5| Vince Fur Slippers
I have been dreaming of these on my feet since I laid eyes on them. They are absolutely a splurge, one I’m goin’ to have to think about. And they aren’t faux, so that needs some consideration too. But they are my definition of gorgeous slippers with support.
6 | Eberjay Tie Front Top | Wide-Leg Cropped Pants
So soft and easy, with the simple tie front detail! If I left the house, I would 100% wear this. (The leaving part is not happening, I’m just saying if.)
7 | Eberjay Giselle Slouchy Pajamas
I take issue with the word slouch here…I feel like this is the hardest working set I own. I have the blue, and now I want all the colors. Super-comfy and cute. Top is absolutely Zoom appropriate. I can absolutely do an Abs Challenge in them on a mat. No, they aren’t long enough on me, but what is? They hit my leg where some would intentionally “crop,” which is all good by me. If you are Shana height, they are probably perfect in that way. I like them where they hit me, well enough.
8 | Zella Cozy Furry Fleece
This is the layer I grab every morning, pre-coffee, before I’m ready to decide if I need it or not. Usually, it stays on all day. When did it get so cold in Philly? Oy, I’m glad I have this to grab.
9 | Alo Long Loose Tee
While I love my fitted graphic tees, sometimes, I just want to hang loose.This is a great layer over a cute bra, and is so, so, so soft! One of my favorites.
10 | Allbirds New Tee**
We’re going to need some serious research and our own testing on this beauty, but apparently, it’s odor repelling/reducing, and that has something to do with magic fabric (in part made of crab shells??). I’m so curious mostly because it’s so cute, but also about that fabric…will let you know soon, or you let me know (whichever happens first). Regardless, it also gets the ***sustainable tag.
11 | Nike Trainers
Have and love. Super, super-comfy especially if you have a high arch. Substantial support, but lightweight — perfect for working out at home.
12 | Nike Air Max Bella Trainer
True confessions, OK fine, I also have and love these. Plenty of support for everything I do at home, super-comfy (and cool), too.
13 | Lulu Joggers
Long live my love for Lulu, mostly for length. Also for detailing, fit and last. Shana thinks I’m boring sometimes. I think she just doesn’t appreciate my detailing….check out those legs! These are anything but boring, in fact, they are very, very exciting!!! Click, zoom, and look at those perfectly gathered legs.
14 | Athleta Ranier Leggings
They come in LONG. Amen. And regular and petite too. For me, long is the thing here. Plus the pocket, and they are warm and soft inside, which is great now that it’s so cold!
15 | Alo High Waist Leggings
They call them Om-amazing. I agree…plenty of stretch, waistband, contour, style, and a little mesh go a long way at home. And cute colors, too! We might need a pair for each day of the week — it’s going to be a long winter, so these might be how we have fun.
That’s my short list, I’m happy to add on to it if anyone needs more suggestions. You can’t just buy things and feel better (except for satin and everything furry and soft — that’s the exception there). Retail therapy only goes but so far. But if you buy things, and use them for genuine actual self care, then I promise, you will feel better. And we all need to feel better right now. Let’s do that together…on the count of three…5-minute group together apart nap under a blanket, go.
Have you checked out Holiday Central yet? Go now…holiday sales, gifts and outfits all in one spot. It’s a happy place.
PS: Follow along with me on Pinterest for more Home Inspiration and other random distractions via pretty visuals.