It takes a very special person to dedicate themselves to the care of another. And yet, caregiving is often one of the most stressful jobs, in large part due to the vital importance of the task. Selfless caregivers may feel tempted to understate their own stress levels, or to prioritize the needs of their loved ones above their own.
We’re here to remind you: take some time to care for you. The best version of you is well-rested, pampered, peaceful, and fulfilled. Looking after your health (both physical and mental) is not only vital to your relationship with yourself, but it can also enable you to take better care of those around you.
In this article, we will discuss some of the best stress relief products to make overwhelming or stressful situations feel a little more manageable.
What Are Stress Relief Products?
Many products have been known to reduce stress. They are usually items that bring comfort or facilitate a calming activity that winds your mind down and lets you focus on something that is not difficult or mentally challenging.
It is important to note, however, that stress relief products merely facilitate the process of self-care and do not replace proper mental healthcare. If you are experiencing anxiety and stress that significantly interferes with your day-to-day life, seeking professional counseling or advice from a mental health professional is the best way to take care of yourself. It may also help to seek out support systems of caregivers to guide you to the right resources. You can find links to these resources here.
However, you can still make the best out of stress relief products when you are at home or at work to make the many stressful moments throughout the day easier to take on.
The Best Stress Relief Products for Caregivers
Stress relief products can be a great option to look into if you are searching for little ways to work on self-care. Some products can be more comfort- and relaxation-oriented, while some help calm anxiety or stress through mellow focus activities. Below are some of these products and links where you can find them online.
The Best Activity-Based Stress-Relief Products
Some common stress relief products are:
- Adult Coloring Books and Creating Art
Many companies produce coloring books with more intricate designs that adults can use. Letting your mind take your hand across a page, filling black and white designs with color is a therapeutic way to wind down and allow yourself to be engaged but not in a stressful way. Some people who enjoy art may also find drawing or painting from scratch a therapeutic experience that relieves anxiety or stress.
- Guided Meditation Apps
Many people recommend meditation as a way to feel calm and in tune with yourself, but it is often easier said than done. There is always so much going around us in today’s day and age, whether it’s real-life or our digital life; tuning out all the buzz can prove challenging. Caregivers may also find it hard to relax if they are constantly worried about the person they are caring for. This is why apps that allow you to follow guided meditation can be game-changing.
Headspace is one of the most popular apps right now for mindful meditation tailored for stress relief or any other issue you may have. The app has a highly pleasing interface with cute graphics that eases users into the practice of meditation. The app is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. You can opt to use the free version with the limited features or upgrade to Headspace Plus that is $12.99 a month or $69.99 for an annual subscription. An alternative to Headspace is the Calm app.
- Jigsaw Puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles are seldom talked about as a stress-boosting activity, but they can actually be very therapeutic. Companies like Ravensburger produce intricate jigsaw puzzles of more than 1000 pieces, with some puzzles even being 9000 pieces. Jigsaw puzzles can be done in most places and do not require a lot of preparation. They are a great choice if you cannot partake in something that won’t allow you to get up and leave the activity at a moment’s notice.
Click here to find where you can buy a popular 1000 piece jigsaw of Yosemite National Park from Ravensburger.
Journaling is a common way people de-stress regardless of the source of stress. It can help you feel more aware of your thoughts and feelings and make it easier to understand them. Venting out frustrations and anxieties onto a piece of paper can make you feel a lot better.
You may prefer to get a journal with prompts and a premade layout like the Lamare Daily Gratitude journal, or you can buy a blank journal to just write without a defined format.
- A Craft Kit
Crafts are a therapeutic experience as they can initiate a ‘flow’ state where you immerse yourself in the activity and do not think about anything other than the activity for a while. Using your own two hands to craft something beautiful or valuable is a great feeling. Many craft kits are available online for activities like knitting, origami, crocheting, painting, etc.
Other products that may bring stress relief are yoga mats to practice yoga at home or fidget toys that you can carry around with you to use in stressful situations.
The Best Comfort-Based Stress Relief Products
- Weighted Blankets
Weighted blankets are quite popular for the coziness they bring. As they are slightly heavier than a regular blanket, they create a gentle pressure around you that can make it easier to relax. They are also great for the colder months to keep warm.
The Degrees of Comfort weighted blanket for $100 is a great mid-range weighted blanket that comes in two types depending upon how easily you feel cold or hot. If you have a higher budget, you may also want to consider the Gravity weighted blankets for $190.
- Aromatherapy products
Smells have a lot of power over our emotions, especially when we associate certain smells with specific memorable experiences. Many scents are universally considered to be calming, like chamomile or lavender. You may engage in aromatherapy with various products, from sprays to masks, to home diffusers that fill your house with a pleasant scent.
- Sun Lamp
Many caregivers may find themselves spending a lot of time indoors, making their time in the Sun and fresh breeze quite limited. Over time this can significantly contribute to stress and burnout.
Sun lamps are designed to simulate sunlight indoors and can improve your mood. These lamps can get quite bright, so make sure to speak with your doctor before purchasing one. Additionally, you may live with someone who cannot be around very bright lights, in which case using the lamp can prove challenging. You can find the Baltoro Sunlight Desk Lamp here for $27.
- Portable Massagers
Getting professional massages done is a stress-busting experience for most people. Caregivers often carry heavy loads and put a lot of strain on their back or neck daily. Massages and physiotherapy may be physically essential to their wellbeing in such cases. However, getting massages done professionally can be expensive and time-consuming, making it difficult to do often. Portable massagers can solve these problems as they are a one-time investment that can be used in the comfort of your own home.
The Papillon Shiatsu Massager for $40 is an excellent product if you are looking for back and neck massagers. It is a worthy one-time investment if you experience consistent strain on your muscles and if the pain adds to your stress levels.
A lot of these products can also make great gifts for another caregiver in your life and show them you are thinking of them and their mental care needs.
Caregiving is often a full-time job and can be incredibly taxing. While the experience is rewarding, it is also essential to take care of yourself to avoid falling into bad mental or physical health.
Stress relief products can be a welcome addition to daily life and make the stressful days seem like a smaller mountain to climb than before. While you are taking care of someone else, the importance of self-care is not diminished.
Remember to pay attention to your needs and take time to engage in activities you enjoy to relieve stress and feel your spirit rejuvenate.
- 4 things you can do to alleviate caregiver stress, Harvard Health Publishing, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/4-things-you-can-do-to-alleviate-caregiver-stress
- 11 of the best stress relief products, Medical News Today, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/stress-relief-products#_noHeaderPrefixedContent
- Best Products for Stress and Anxiety, Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/best-products-to-fight-stress-and-anxiety