Your new job starts on Monday. How are you feeling? If you said “anxious and terrified,” this list is for you, my friend.
These therapist-approved tools are a great way to calm feelings of anxiousness that might pop up from time to time. You might even get a few hours of sleep on Sunday night. (On the other hand, if you’re experiencing so much anxiety that it’s interfering with your work, relationships or sense of well-being, it’s time to give a therapist a ring.)
Take a deep breath, get cozy and add to cart.
1. Therapedic Reversible 20 lb. Weighted Blanket
This is the first anti-anxiety tool that comes to mind for Molly Giorgio, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist in West Hartford, Connecticut. “Any kind of weighted blanket will really help you calm down,” she explains. “They give you that sense of being held, of almost being hugged,” adds Gin Love Thompson, Ph.D., a psychotherapist and relationship expert. This best-selling blanket has an ultra-cozy plush exterior for added comfort.
2. Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book for Adults
Giorgio and Thompson both love adult coloring books. “Mandalas [geometric images] are super helpful,” explains Giorgio. “A) It’s tapping into your creativity, and B) it’s really calming. If you do it while playing soft, relaxing music in the background or lighting a candle and being cozy, that’s a really good way to just relax.” And with more than 3,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, this $10 pick is a great place to start.
3. Dodow Sleep Aid Device
One quick, effective way to reduce anxiety? Rethink your breathing. “The number one thing I recommend to people is to take deep breaths,” says Giorgio. So while this device is technically marketed as a sleep aid, it might help those who have trouble deep breathing on their own. It projects a circle of light onto the ceiling, and users are instructed to inhale as the circle expands, then exhale as it retracts. “Anything you can sync your breath to is going to be helpful,” she explains. Giorgio says that a number of her clients have also enjoyed using the Breathing Zone app.
4. Adidas UltraBoost 20 Running Shoes
OK, a pair of sneakers obviously isn’t going to cure your anxiety, but it might help encourage you to exercise, which science says can help reduce your symptoms. Thompson suggests buying a special pair of comfortable shoes (like these) and committing to the idea that when you put them on and head out for a walk, it’s your signal to yourself that you’re taking some time for self-care. One reviewer claims having this pair is “like walking on clouds,” so we’re guessing you’ll have no trouble getting excited about putting these on.
5. URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser
Invest in an essential oil diffuser to create a calming environment in your home, Giorgio suggests. It will spray a cool mist of water and essential oil into the room, which can help you feel more at ease. We’ll take the 26,000 five-star reviews as proof that it works. Giorgio recommends diffusing lavender, eucalyptus or bergamot essential oils to promote calm.
6. Lightwish MeiLiang Watercolor Paint Set
Here’s another idea for fans of adult coloring books: Invest in a watercolor set and just paintwhatever comes to mind, Thompson suggests. “It’s not something you have to have any expectation of sharing,” she says. “It can be yours alone—just see what happens.” The process of creation can be therapeutic and provide a meditative break from what’s going on in your head. We like this set because it comes with a high-quality brush and the lid doubles as a palette.
7. beam the one 30ml CBD Tincture
“Anything CBD-infused can be really helpful with anxiety,” Giorgio says. She notes that she and her clients are partial to beam, a Boston-based CBD brand. The one is a tincture infused with organic phytocannabinoid-rich CBD oil, hemp seed oil and grape seed oil, and you can choose the flavor and potency level.
8. The Anxiety Journal: Exercises to Soothe Stress and Eliminate Anxiety Wherever You Are
Journaling is one of Thompson’s favorite methods for dealing with anxiety, and one that she uses personally. She recommends just putting pen to paper and seeing what comes up, but if you need some help getting started, use this journal as a guide. It’s filled with writing prompts, soothing mindfulness exercises and inspiring quotes.
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