I don’t know whether it’s because of inactivity or advancing years, but it seems the everyday aches and pains are a little more prevalent these days. We’re sheltering at home, enjoying the things we can do while in self-quarantine and unable to travel, and focusing on keeping a positive attitude about things. But there’s no doubt, I’m feeling in need of a little self-care these days.
Since many of my usual self-items are not possible during our current situation – manicure, pedicure, hair cut, massage – I’m developing a keen sense of what soothes my spirit on a DIY basis. While a relaxing bubble bath, a good book, and a glass of wine are always delightful ways to relax, sometimes I need something a little more targeted.
No self-care will take the place of medical advice, so call your physician if your aches and pains linger.
Here are 6 products for self-care that are brightening up my days right now:
1. Leopard Print Body Heating Wrap
This is the self-care that I’m loving most these days – something that warms and soothes my body – and in a fashionable (and washable) leopard print cover. Warm it up in the microwave and then lay the wrap on your back, drape it over your shoulder, wrap it around your waist, cover your toes to warm them up, or place it anywhere you want a little warmth.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try curling up around it when you’re off to bed. I drape it around my neck and shoulders when I’m laying down and reading a book. It’s also nice wrapped around my back when I’ve been binge-watching some of the series that I’ve missed, or angled in my chair when I’m working at the keyboard. I’m sure when we’re back to being more active, it will get used on those occasions where I’ve overdone it a bit and am feeling a little stiff and sore.
You can freeze it and use it for cold therapy as well, but you know me – warmth all the way. While the body heating wrap is too heavy for air travel, it would be great warmed up for car travel or any road trip where you’ll have access to a microwave.
The specs claim that the heat will last 30 minutes, but I’ve found I good get a good hour or warmth from the wrap while lying on my couch. The wrap comes in a variety of solid colors and prints.
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2. Neck Heating Wrap
I’m using the neck heating wrap while I’m at the keyboard writing this post. I slept contorted like a pretzel last night and the neck wrap is helping me to work out all the kinks. My neck and shoulders are also the areas that get attacked by stress. The warmth of the neck wrap extends up into the base of my head and down into my shoulders without feeling heavy or uncomfortable. I’m feeling less creaky already.
This neck wrap would be cozy for a car trip, but it is small enough that it could be packed for air travel. If you know that your hotel has a microwave in the room, this is easy to pack in your luggage and use it while traveling.
Again, this can also be frozen for icing down a tender spot (brrrrrrr!) and comes in a variety of solid colors and prints. Mine is navy. I found that the heat lasted about 20 minutes.
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Another neck heating option is Heated Neck Pillow. The style of this one is more like the traditional neck pillows you see passengers using on flights.
I think the design of the neck pillow keeps your head in a more upright position than the neck wrap and spreads the heat further down into your shoulders. The heat lasts around 20 minutes. This pillow weighs a little less than some of the other options, making it easier to pack for travel. This choice is going to be a matter of personal preference. The neck pillow comes in a variety of solid colors (mine is navy).
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3. Lower Back Wrap
When I’m busy and active, my lower back often suffers. I’m not sure if it’s a matter of repetitive movements or simply a quirky misstep, but the pain has been known to bring me to my knees. Friends I’ve traveled with have seen me try to work through this pain by finding relief from hot water in a plastic water bottle (severe danger of getting burned), angling against a hard surface like a desk or door, taking ibuprofen, or using pain relief cream.
Occasionally, the problem has required chiropractic intervention. Typically, though, I’m just miserable for a few days until the pain dissipates. When I’m at home, this lower back wrap is going to be my go-to for lower back relief. Warm it up in the microwave, wrap it around your waist and lower back with the tie straps, and let the heat do its magic.
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4. Disposable Belted Heat Packs
While the lower back wrap would provide great relief when traveling, it really is too heavy to be practical for that. That’s where disposable heats pads – that slip into a belt for wearing – provide similar relief to the back wrap.
The heat pads are activated when opening and take about 20 minutes to warm up. Once activated, place the head pad into the belt and wrap around your waist. Secure it with the hook and loop closure. The combination is lightweight enough to wear underneath your clothing, making it easy to wear if I’m having a flare-up while traveling. The belt is reusable, so packing it and a few heat packs would require a minimum of space for packing.
Read the instructions and warnings carefully – they’re very basic and common sense – but it’s still smart to do so.
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You can also purchase belts separately.
5. Disposable Adhesive Heat Patches
These are going in my standard, always-packed, travel kit. They are air-activated (like the pack used in the belt), adhere to your clothing with adhesive, and deliverable therapeutic heat for up to 12 hours. The patch won’t damage your clothing and is lightweight enough that no one else will notice you’re wearing it.
Play around with the patch to figure out where it will fit the best before removing the backing. It will also help if your clothing is more close-fitting than light and flowy as it keeps the heat closer to your affected area.
I don’t need this type of relief every time I travel, but it’s nice to know that it’s available if I do.
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And if you’re significantly younger than I am, you may be interested in the specially shaped and designed heat patches for cramps and menstrual pain. See that here.
6. Disposable Face Masks
These are hard to come by these days, so if you’re still looking for Level 1 disposable masks, Sunny Bay still has them and is making more.
These masks come in a box of 100, a good size for individual or family use, and they ask that you not purchase in extreme quantities or hoard in order to help serve the most people. If you represent a larger business or organization and need a larger quantity of masks, contact them to work out reasonable details. Buying information here.
Disclosure: This sponsored content was created in partnership with Sunny Bay, a product line of BioMed DB Design. They are locally based, right here in Federal Way, Washington, and I have used several of their product for self-care over a number of years.