If your shoulders are tense, you're constantly on a deadline, or you're feeling anxiety about the future of democracy, you're not alone. There's a lot to worry about these days: Politics, of course. Relationships. The pressure to succeed in our jobs while working from home. How long is an acceptable amount of time to wait to text back your love interest? Ten minutes? Ten hours? Ten days? Speaking of counting the days, when was your last period — are you late? You get the point.
Life can turn you into a nail-biting ball of tension and nerves. Luckily, there are tons of remedies out there, from therapy to weighted blankets to peppermint tea.
For the record, there's a difference between feeling anxious and being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, which is one of the most common mental health problems in America and deserves proper and professional care.
However, if you're just looking for something to help you chill out, we've taken it upon ourselves to test over 20 of the trendiest anti-anxiety and stress-reducing products out there. There were definitely some duds — puppy slippers, unique pillows, and cheesy journals didn't make the cut — but we basked in the 10 tranquilizing apps and knickknacks below until our heart rates were low, and our spirits were high.
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Vitruvi Stone Diffuser
There are so many diffusers out there, but this one has safety features, and is produced cruelty free. As a bonus, it’s super cute from an interior design standpoint. Although there isn't enough conclusive research, Mayo Clinic notes that aromatherapy may have positive benefits such as relief from anxiety and improved sleep.
I use mine with a Vitruvi essential oil blend called Dusk, which is frankincense, eucalyptus, ho wood, and lavender. I keep it in my room, and I turn it on and close my door after particularly long days at work. It makes me feel as reborn as a caterpillar in a tiny, heavenly smelling cocoon of peace.
Vitruvi Porcelain Essential Oil Diffuser, $, available at Nordstrom
SPA Soothing Facial Treatment Mask for Sleeping
I keep one of these babies in the refrigerator at all times, in case a headache should strike. But feeling the cooling beads pressed against my forehead is soothing at any time, really. While waiting for 2020 election results, you can bet I had this baby strapped to my head. You can also warm it up in the microwave if you're looking for the "hot compress" effect.
Ikisdo Care SPA Soothing Facial Treatment Mask, $, available at Amazon
A Funny Book
There are all kinds of great products out there that aim to de-stress, but nothing relaxes me more than sitting down for even 20 minutes with a great book. And during surreal times like these, a novel that'll make you smile isn't a bad choice. This one in particular by The Office's B. J. Novak never fails to give me a chuckle. There's a chapter about a sex robot named Sophia who grows attached to her human, and another about the man who invented the calendar. Not convinced? Get a taste via this excerpt in The New Yorker.
Thrift Books One More Thing : Stories and Other Stories, $, available at Thrift Books
This Works Pillow Spray:
If you’re feeling amped up before bed, we’ve got the pillow spray for you. Before you fall asleep, spritz this onto your pillow, and breathe in deeply. The blend of sleep-friendly essential oils — including lavender, vetiver, and chamomile — is soothing to drift off to.
It’s not a cure-all for sleep anxiety, but it’s certainly a pleasant way to fall asleep. I use it anytime I find myself tossing, turning, or clock-counting. Plus, aromatherapy using essential oils such as lavender and roman chamomile can help improve sleep quality and anxiety levels, according to a small study published Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, $, available at Nordstrom
Herbivore Calm Dead Sea Bath Salts
If you're looking for something to make your baths even more relaxing than usual, we've found it. These bath salts look chic, feel chic, and even smell chic (thanks vanilla oil!). When you add 1/4 of the bottle to each bath, you'll emerge calmed, refreshed, smelling slightly like said vanilla, and ready to embark on one of the best night's sleep you'll ever have.
The Himalayan pink salts contain magnesium, zinc, and iron, which the brand calls "detoxifying," and Ylang Ylang essential oil only furthers the vanilla oils' aromatic mission.
Herbivore Botanicals Calm Bath Salts, $, available at Nordstrom
Plant from The Sill
Thanks to microbes in soil some are calling "outdoorphins," interacting with indoor plants can help reduce psychological and physiological stress, according to a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology.
With that said, keeping a plant alive is a big responsibility, and the idea of killing a living creature can be anxiety-provoking. However, The Sill makes it easy for you. They’ll help you pick out your plant based on your needs, and give you a care card with explicit instructions. Plus, there’s an email you can reach out to if your green friends starts to wither and you don’t know why. With the help of their resources, even the most nervous and semi-neglectful plant owners can keep their potted herbage flourishing
The Sill Calathea Pinstripe, $, available at The Sill
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