Self-Care Products & Programs to Elevate Your Well-Being

The last couple of years have greatly influenced my self-care journey and to take my physical and mental health seriously. I found myself constantly exhausted by the day-to-day. I was struggling to set boundaries in my personal relationships, had difficulties in creating a healthy work-life balance, and had health problems I wasn’t addressing. I was coping by just pushing through and ignoring how I felt. I finally got to a point where I became burnt out and needed to change how I coped. I decided to prioritize myself by meeting my needs, setting boundaries, and practicing self-care. This was a difficult transition for me and I knew improvement started with my daily habits.

The transition from neglecting my needs to making it a habit to care for them daily was not easy. Thankfully, I found support from professionals, friends, family, and even through certain products meant to improve self-care. The products and library programs below have really helped me make self-care practices a habit and support these healthy changes. Learning how to take care of myself hasn't always been fun or easy, but finding the right support can made the process much more enjoyable.

1/2-Inch Extra Thick Exercise Yoga Mat- Yoga has been something I’ve been making a daily practice. It’s helped me improve both my physical and mental health. I have found thicker yoga mats are more comfortable for positions I previously found hard on my joints with thinner mats. I chose a mat that also comes with a strap to wrap around it when it’s curled up to help make transportation easier when I decide to do yoga in the park or at a studio. 

Earplugs for Noise Reduction – If you’re like me, loud noises and environments can make you feel anxious and uncomfortable. Noise-reducing earplugs have been a great solution. Whether I'm at a loud restaurant, the movie theater, or if I have a headache and all the sounds are just too much, earplugs have helped drown out the background noise. Making my environment quieter has helped bring me to a calmer state of mind.

Time-Marked Water Bottle – We all know the importance of staying hydrated and how difficult it can be to drink the daily recommended  amount of water. This kind of water bottle has notches along the side of the clear bottle to remind you how much water you should drink and by what time of day. After using it for a whole week, I found that it helped tremendously with my water intake! Staying hydrated has helped me feel better all around. I have a lot more energy, less headaches, and am thinking quicker.  

Neck and Shoulder Relaxer – Whenever I’m feeling stressed, I feel the physical effects on my neck and shoulders. It can begin to feel like a vicious cycle of tense muscles, poor sleep, and headaches that continually get worse. Massages are a great way to relax but scheduling an appointment can be costly and time-consuming. Using a neck and shoulder relaxer is a tool I have at home that helps me ease muscle tension. I will lay prone on the ground, put my neck in the relaxer while I raise my arms above my head, and put my legs in a 90-degree position. I’ll stay in this position for about 10 minutes, and by the time I’m done, my pain is greatly relieved. This little product has been a lifesaver! 

Daily To-Do List Planner – I use a daily to-do list planner to help me keep track of what I need to do throughout the day and to reflect on my progress. Whenever I get something accomplished, I always feel proud of myself when crossing it off my to-do list. Life can be hectic with so many responsibilities to keep track of. Jotting down my to-do list simplifies my tasks and has helped me become more productive.  

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. – Emotional trauma can have a huge impact on both the physical body and one’s mental health. The Body Keeps the Score is an eye-opening book on the effects of trauma and the therapeutic approaches that lead to positive healing outcomes. This is a great read for anyone interested in healing from trauma, and learning of the profound research psychologists are doing in the field of trauma to help patients heal. This book can be checked out from HCPL’s online catalog or is available at branch libraries.  

The Body Keeps the Score

HCPL’s Yoga and Meditation Programs – Harris County Public Library is hosting instructor-led lead yoga and meditation classes at branch libraries throughout the year. You can help promote holistic healing and a wide range of health benefits for one's body and mind. Classes free and can be a great way to introduce yourself to the basics of yoga and meditation.  

HCPL's Sahaja Meditation Yoga Program Schedule , opens a new window

HCPL’s Book Club Programs – Being part of a community in a positive and productive way is always good for one’s well-being. Book clubs help me connect with people with the same interests as I. HCPL offers a variety of book clubs throughout the branch libraries. The Aldine branch offers a book club that I find to be unique and creative. Blind Date with a Book is a monthly book club where members grab an unknown, wrapped book each month that only gives the description. Reading a book without being able to see the cover or title offers members the opportunity to expand their reading and seek new interests. 

Aldine's Blind Date with a Book Program Schedule , opens a new window