Goodbye Winter Blues: 5 Mood Boosting DIY Projects for a Weekend of Self-Care

Goodbye Winter Blues: 5 Mood Boosting DIY Projects for a Weekend of Self-Care

self-care kit
Gift yourself with self care | Image courtesy Etsy seller LittleFlowerSoapCo

Last weekend, I had all of Saturday and Sunday to myself. My partner was traveling and I was, unusually, caught up with work for the week. I should have been thrilled with two largely empty days sprawling out before me. Instead, I felt anxious.

We moved a little over a year ago and, working from home, I still didn’t have much of a social circle in our new hometown. For an extrovert like me, that can make a weekend alone, well, pretty lonely.

I could try to distract myself with work and social media, but I knew that wouldn’t be fulfilling. I wanted to sink my teeth into my newfound weekend freedom. So I decided to ban work and technology and ease into a true pampering session for my mind, body, and soul. I had been pinning project inspirations and recipes for months now, and this weekend seemed like the perfect opportunity to roll up my sleeves and dive into some self-care DIY.

Bust Anxiety with an Essential Oil Rollerball

I’ve had bottles of essential oils sitting in my craft drawer for months. I use them in cleaning products and in a diffuser while we sleep, but I hadn’t tried them for mood regulation. After exploring online about the benefits of each oil, I created a soothing blend—something predominantly bright and cheerful, but with calming effects.

essential oils kit
Essential oils for custom anti-anxiety blends | Image courtesy Etsy seller ArOmis

I also wanted something I wouldn’t be embarrassed to smell like since I decided to use a glass rollerball applicator. Glass is a must when using essential oils, as they can make plastic leech. Use a pipette or funnel to add your oil blend to the bottle, then secure the rollerball top. Apply to the temples, neck, wrists, and any other pressure points on the body for anxiety relief. This ended up being my favorite uplifting blend:

  • 15 drops sweet orange oil
  • 15 drops ylang ylang oil
  • 10 drops sandalwood oil
  • Carrier oil (jojoba or sweet almond)

After you add the essential oil drops to your rollerball, fill the remainder with a carrier oil to dilute. I found this so effective that I’ve been using this blend in my oil diffuser in the evenings to help boost spirits after a long day, but feel free to customize your own combination of scents, and play with other calming and uplifting oils like lavender or bergamot.

Curb Chocolate Cravings with No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites

Did you know dark chocolate and oatmeal can actually help boost your mood? That’s just one reason I love this easy recipe. The other is that it’s a lot healthier than waffles and cookies. On Saturdays, I’ve been known to undo an entire week of healthy eating. To help me kick this habit, I like to create healthy snacks that satiate my sweet tooth without blowing my caloric intake. These no-bake bites are a staple around here!

hot cocoa
100% cocoa is a mood-boosting snack | Image courtesy

The Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats (raw)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tbls 100% cocoa powder
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup toasted sesame seeds

The Recipe:

  1. Combine the first four ingredients until a thick dough forms.
  2. Fold in the remaining ingredients and refrigerate dough for fifteen minutes.
  3. Once chilled, use your hands to roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for even longer!

Create a Hygge Emergency Kit

Hygge is a hot trend right now, and it’s not difficult to understand why it’s getting so much hype. It’s a long-standing Danish tradition referring to the importance of creating and enjoying a warm and cozy atmosphere. We all live multifaceted lives and, while it might be nice, we can’t have a gigantic bed and an oversized velvet sofa and candles burning at all times. Instead, it’s suggested to create a hygge emergency kit for the particularly stressful days when you want to lift your spirits the Danish way.

hygge kit poster
The Danish know the importance of true comfort | Image courtesy Etsy seller HomeandGloryLtd

I’d wanted to put my own kit together for months, but it just kept getting pushed lower and lower on my to-do list, so my self-care weekend was the perfect opportunity.

Here’s what’s suggested for a traditional hygge kit:

  • An attractive basket for storing your goodies
  • A cozy blanket or slipper socks to evoke feelings of softness and warmth
  • A warm drink that’s easy to prepare
  • A book that can be read for just minutes at a time, or a book you’ve read before
  • An activity or hobby that’s easy and stress-relieving
  • Unscented candles with matches

It wasn’t difficult for me to create my own hygge kit—I already owned everything I needed. I just gathered up an old basket, chenille socks infused with argan oil, hot cocoa packets, the book 365 Days of Wonder, an adult coloring book, and some unscented pillar candles.

Now, I have my hygge basket ready for a spare half hour during the workday when I feel the need to hit the reset button. I keep it out, because the basket looks lovely, but also because it’s a great reminder for me to practice self-care.

Try Out Some Positivity Journaling

I have a master’s degree in counseling, so I’m well-aware of how wonderful journaling is for wellness. Does that mean I’m perfect and routine with it? Of course not! But, I’ve been meaning to set aside some time each weekend to journal and reflect. I never got around to it and I think I know why—it seems too abstract.

I needed some prompts to help me get started with my journaling goal and, luckily, the internet is full of them. It took a simple “positivity journaling prompts” search on Pinterest to find hundreds of mood-boosting, uplifting ideas to get me going. I had planned to write for fifteen minutes, but I emerged an hour later feeling lighter, more clear-headed, and inspired.

Pamper and Energize with a DIY Body Scrub

To me, after a day of DIYs and self-care, there’s nothing better than a wonderful show. After all, I had taken care of my tummy, mind, and spirit. Now it was time to refresh the body!

coffee body scrub
You’ll be tempted to eat this luscious scrub | Image courtesy Etsy seller HippeeCraft

In a mason jar, I combined the following ingredients, which are proven to be great for both the skin and the mind. Apply in the shower using a washcloth and circular motions to reveal smoother, more radiant skin—and a better mood.

The Ingredients:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup finely ground coffee
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp chocolate, vanilla, or almond extract for fragrance (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mixing thoroughly. Transfer to a mason jar and store in the shower, tightly sealed. The scrub is at its ideal consistency once the coconut oil has had a chance to solidify.

After my shower, I was glowing. Seriously. And I don’t think it was just the body scrub. Taking time to treat yourself on the weekends definitely has its benefits. I’m so glad I didn’t just fall down the Netflix black hole, but instead took time to invest in my own well-being.

Elfster encourages you to treat yourself with our thoughtful gift guides. Connect with us on our Facebook page, on Twitter @Elfster, or Instagram @Elfstergram for more self-care inspirations.

Mandi S

Mandi S

Mandi S. is a 20-something artist and gift-giver extraordinaire who loves to cook delicious meals at home. When she's not traveling the globe exploring new cultures, she can be found under a cozy blanket with a rather large book in hand. She believes traditions are the spice of life. Mandi's also incredibly in love with her 95 pound lab puppy, Leben.
Mandi S
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