Stress relief products can help with the everyday challenges of life. They can make it easier to live with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. Please keep in mind that these are not suitable substitutes for proper mental health care. They can help with self-care, but if you have substantial concerns regarding your mental health condition, it is vital to seek professional help.
Stress Relief At Work
Fidget Spinners: A popular occupational therapy tool for anxiety. They can be especially beneficial for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, and anxiety disorders. A study done in 2020 found that children who utilized fidget spinners while at school performed worse on a 5-minute math test. However, they also noted that IF children take more tests with access to fidget spinners, negative test performances may decrease.
Noise Canceling Headphones: Background noise can be stressful even if the person does not consciously notice the sounds. The sounds of traffic, a busy office, and screaming children can be distracting and make it more difficult to get a moment of peace or concentrate. Noise-canceling headphones fade out those sounds for a quieter environment.
Blue Light-Blocking Glasses: Smartphones and computers emit a blue light that strains the eyes. International Journal of Endocrinology says that blue light can also disrupt a person’s natural circadian rhythms and affect sleep, causing the stress hormone cortisol levels to rise. Some glasses can block blue light without affecting vision and can be worn while working on their laptop or other devices.
Stress Relief At Home
Weighted Blanket: Weighted blankets provide gentle pressure and offer a cozy/cocoon-like setting where a person can sleep or relax. At one time, healthcare professionals suggested the use of these for autistic children. A study done in 2014 found that autistic children and their parents preferred weighted blankets at bedtime. They may also be beneficial for adult mental health by easing anxiety in specific settings. The blanket weight will depend on body weight. People with more bodyweight tend to need heavier blankets. Most guidelines recommend using a blanket with 10% of the person’s body weight.
Aromatherapy Diffusers: There is minimal evidence that shows that aromatherapy can ease stress. A 2014 review found some evidence of the benefits of stress-relief from aromatherapy. Some people may find certain aromas like lavender to help their anxiety. Others may find combinations of fragrances or scents that trigger happy memories. If you use essential oils, please be aware of who is in your surroundings. Some are not safe for pets, people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or children.
Massaging Devices: Massages can help a person feel relaxed and can also ease muscle pain and tension. Passive massage devices can be used while working, reading, or relaxing. Some devices may focus on specific areas like the neck and shoulders, while others will focus on the back.
Adult Coloring Books: Adult coloring books can offer a form of relief and meditative creativity for stress. Some studies suggest it can relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety as well. People should select designs that are soothing to them. Challenging coloring books keep the mind engaged, but are easy enough to prevent stress and frustration are an excellent option.
Sun Lamps: Light therapy can be helpful for those with seasonal affective disorder. Sun lamps offer natural UB light exposure for those who cannot go outside or do not want to. Many doctors believe this happens due to reduced exposure to natural light.
Journals: Journaling can improve memory of daily events, help develop solutions to problems or offer an outlet for emotions. Try committing 15 minutes of journaling a day. Try using a gratitude journal to log the day’s positive developments.
Planners: Keeping track of deadlines, obligations, bills, and to-do lists can be exhausting. Planning each day in advance can help clear space in the brain for other things. There is no single style of planning that will work for everyone, so consider doing it in a way that works best for you.
Gel Masks: Gel Masks can be helpful for relaxation during a meditation session. Try putting the mask in the freezer for a cooling sensation to ease tension and facial swelling. You can also warm it up for a gentle and soothing feeling on the face.
If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:
- Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
- Listen to the person without judgment.
- Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
- Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
- Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours per day at 800-273-8255. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can call 800-799-4889.
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