Our lives are hectic! It’s no secret that we are exposed to stress all the time. Our brains are equipped to handle some stress for a while, but not all the time. We have to get some relief for our brains and our bodies to function their best- it’s one of the secrets to being happy and content. I have searched the internet and rounded up the best stress relief products to help you combat that stress and get in some self-care time. I’ll tell you what my favorite ways to relieve stress are in a bit, but first, let’s look at the best stress relief products from all price ranges.
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Why Do You Need To Relieve Stress?
Most of us already know the answer to why we need to relieve stress. You can only function under stress for so long. None of the long term effects of stress are good. You risk burn out and other health issues such as high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and heart disease. Relieving stress requires you to set aside a bit of time. Even the best stress relief products will not work if you don’t take the time to use them.
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Why Do We Get Stressed?
Stress is your body’s way of responding to a demand or a perceived threat. Almost any aspect of your life has the potential to become a stressor. We often think of stress as a bad thing, but it’s actually designed to help you focus and become more energetic and alert in an emergency.
Stress boils down to the body’s flight or fight response, where adrenaline is released. Your heart pounds faster, you have more strength, stamina, and speed than before. For example, I felt very stressed after completing the driving part of my driver’s test to get my driving permit. I remember looking down at the stamp that said: “passed.” My hands were visibly trembling. Relief, elation, and excitement flooded through me. When I grabbed the door handle to get out, the handle broke! Yay! I got my permit, I passed! Now I have to roll down the window to open my door…
While the body is great at giving you these superpowers, it has a hard time distinguishing between physical threats and those that are more mental and emotional. I was in no actual physical danger when I took my driver’s test, but let me tell you, my heart was pumping and I had some super strength! Your body responds the same way as it would to a physical threat when it perceives something that’s mental or emotional.
Why Do I Need Actual Products to Relieve Stress?
You don’t absolutely have to have any sort of product to relieve stress, but you do need some time to decompress. These products work because most of them are tied in with self-care. We all need a bit of pampering every now and then. That’s why I have included some free things to do at the end as well as a few of the best DIY products to relieve stress.
Best Affordable Stress Relief Products Under $50
I love a hot cup of tea on a cold day. It’s a very sensory thing. I feel the warm cup in my hand, I smell and taste the tea. If it’s hot outside, I also like a glass of iced tea. For me, it works best to sit down and do nothing else but drink my tea. If it’s pretty outside, sometimes I will go sit on my porch and listen to the birds sing while I drink it.
I love this herbal neck wrap! You can use it hot or cold plus it smells great! It relieves pain and helps you relax. This one also comes with a complimentary sleeping mask to block out the light and help you sleep better.
Essential oils are increasing in popularity. Many of them are said to have different properties and lavender is one of them. Lavender is supposed to relax you, plus, I personally think it smells nice. Combine it with a bath or shower, and you have a little burst of stress relief in a bottle while you do something that you were already going to do in the first place.
I am a sucker for a back massage. When I am stressed, my back winds up in knots. Having a massager like this means that I don’t have to depend on anyone else to work the kinks out of my muscles. What I love about this one is that it’s portable and battery powered. I also love the little balls that give a deep tissue massage, instead of one big head that just vibrates.
I admit I am biased on this one because it’s my book. When I wrote this, I was in a very stressful situation and desperately needed some stress relief. I have always enjoyed reading, but I wanted a book of things I needed to remember when stressed. I knew what I struggled with and thought that I might help others in the same situation. At a bit over 100 pages, it’s not all that long because I know time is precious. I wrote it to be both relatable and uplifting with actionable advice to help you shift your perspective and find your happiness in your life.
I have been journaling consistently for over a year, and it has helped a TON. When I am upset or super stressed, there is nothing like journalling to relieve my mind. My journal is one of the best stress relief products that I have ever bought. I have personally done both a free writing journal and, more recently, a bullet journal. There are many different kinds of journaling. Writing is one of my favorite ways to relieve stress. I will say that when I first got my bullet journal, I thought I didn’t need all the fancy pens to go with it. While I didn’t NEED the pens and the extras, they do make it much more fun! You can get a basic bullet journal for less than $10, but I really liked this one that comes with all the extras!
Hobby supplies – Price Varies
When we are stressed, we often overthink and find our minds focused on our problems. Having a hobby can help to shift your focus, and it is a huge stress reliever to do something that makes you happy just because you enjoy doing it. Grab some supplies and start your favorite hobby today! (Or check out this post explaining the benefits of hobbies that happy people want you to know as well as a list of over 100 hobbies to try!)
Some people find that coloring in adult coloring books is very relaxing. It takes your mind off your stress and you get lost in a world of color. There is something that can be quite relaxing about just enjoying the simple pleasures of life and not thinking about much of anything else.
If you don’t like coloring but do enjoy pictures, another of the best stress relief products is actually a sticker book. It’s like a paint by number with stickers. My kids got some for Christmas, and they are quite fun! The stickers are all numbered and you just put the right sticker in the corresponding spot. When you are done you have a very pretty picture made up entirely of stickers.
With the increasing popularity of essential oils, more and more people are becoming convinced of their benefits. While I have not experimented much with them, as my husband is very sensitive to scents, many people love them. Regardless, I love the smell of lavender and it is quite a relaxing way to go to sleep.
Audible/Audiobooks -Free for 30 days then $15/month for membership
Books transport you to a different world. That’s one thing that I’ve always loved about them. No matter how big my problems seemed,, the main character in my books usually had it worse. As an adult, I find that I don’t’ have the time to read like I did when I was a kid. However, I do spend a lot of time in my van. The kids and I started listening to audiobooks, and we all really enjoy them. As a bonus, it gets my kids excited about books too. We usually get ours from the library, but you can get 2 free ones through audible to try it out.
Being outside relaxes me, especially when the weather is nice. Laying in a hammock makes me feel like I’m being hugged and I love the gentle sway. I have seen many of these hammocks during my time outside and it will very likely be my replacement hammock when my rope one wears out. I do not recommend the rope hammocks – the ropes can shift, leaving a big hole for kids (or adults) to fall through. (Yes, that is a personal experience – ha!) These hammocks are weather resistant and very portable, making them perfect to take to the park or camping, as well as for your own backyard.
Best Premium Stress Relief Products Over $50
Weighted blanket $50-$200
Especially if you have anxiety, I have heard great things about weighted blankets. They are designed to be heavier than normal blankets and calming through pressure. All the review say it feels like a blanket that hugs you.
Walking Shoes $47-$70
My sneakers are one of the best stress relief products that I have ever bought. I wear them all the time because they are just plain comfortable. When I am stressed, I like to go outside and go for a walk. In the summertime, morning is my favorite because it’s not hot yet, and all the birds are singing their little hearts out.
Massager with Heat $140
I mentioned that I was a sucker for a back rub, didn’t I? When I get stressed my back muscles get in knots. While the little ones are nice and better than nothing, I love this one with the rotating balls and heat. Last year my husband and I went to the mall for a date night, but he needed to finish Christmas shopping for me. I sat down in a mall chair that had a similar system to wait and he slipped some money in there. As the roller balls activated and started to give me a massage, I sank down farther into the chair, perfectly content to wait for as long as possible. I left feeling totally relaxed and like a noodle. Does anyone need a gift idea for me? (Hint, hint, sweet husband! 😛 )
(If you still want a massager with heat, but don’t want one quite that big, there is another one from the same company that runs around$50)
Again, you can tell that I love getting outdoors to relax. Kayaking is quite fun. The boats are lightweight enough that you don’t need a trailer. You can simply strap it to the roof of your vehicle. Paddling is great exercise and you can get to otherwise inaccessible places while enjoying the quiet sound of your paddle dipping into the water and the birds singing. You can also bring your fishing pole to try your luck at catching dinner while you are at it.
There are many types of kayak’s out there, but I loved the reviews on this one. It weighs only 52 lbs and had 4 and 5-star ratings. It does not come with a paddle, so you will need to purchase one of those too. Amazon also has youth models for around $100, so you can make it a whole family adventure.
Best DIY Stress Relief Products
I made my husband a rag quilt a few years ago at Christmas time. He LOVES it. It is one of his favorite presents of all time. Before you begin on this, let me tell you, it may be cheap if you have scraps of clothing laying around, but it is very labor intensive. I made his out of denim from torn jeans, fleece for the middle layer, and an old flannel sheet for the backing. It’s fairly heavy for a regular quilt weighing in at about 7-8 lbs. You can see the tutorial that I followed here.
DIY Microwave Rice Packs For Stress Relief
Rice packs are not very labor intensive at all. You don’t even have to sew if you don’t’ want it fancy. I have made them out of rectangles of sewn together fabric (like a mini-pillow) or used an old sock simply tied up at the end. Fill your fabric with plain rice, seal it up, and then microwave for 1 minute. It creates a heat pack that holds heat for around 20 mins. No need to add water or anything like that. Just pop it in the microwave. You can also keep it in the freezer for cold therapy.
Free Things You Can Do to Relieve Stress
You don’t have to spend a dime to relieve stress. As nice as the best stress relief products are that I have featured here, there is no one cure-all that you can buy to make your stress go away. It’s about your state of mind and stopping to take care of yourself and fill your cup. If you don’t like any of the best stress relief products that I featured, you might try doing one of these free things to relieve stress:
- Spend time with your family
- watch TV
- Youtube for music or funny videos
- Read a book
- Listen to an audiobook
- Learn something new
- Write it out
- Walk around the mall
Other Ideas For the Best Way to Relieve Stress
We all have our favorite ideas for ways to relieve stress and our own opinions about the best stress relief products. The great thing about relieving stress is that you don’t have to purchase anything to do it well. Check out this great advice from my friend, and fellow blogger, Nadalie, from It’s All You Boo:
“I so hate it when the stress gets to me. I think it’s there all the time, but when my protective layer gets think or I drop my guard it gets to me. Or if I’m hungry, tired or like melting because my office is overheating in the summer.
Stress relief for me comes in all forms, from yelling my head off (yes, actually screaming), putting on that song that makes me feel invincible and dancing intensively to it, eating a freezing cold popsicle or forcing myself to stop and breathe. Just breath in and out deeply while stretching.
Taking a break really helps as well, just walk away, letting the clouds clear helps too. Sometimes I go drink a cup of tea, go take a shower, go watch that TV show that lets you forget. Having these little breaks built into my day definitely helps keep the stress off as well.”
When I am stressed, one of my favorite things to do is journal. Sometimes I will also read my Bible, or grab a cup of hot tea or coffee and just sit out on the porch and listen to the birds sing. I also like going for a walk, and working on the blog.
What do you do for stress relief? I’d love to feature your advice too!
The Last Thing You Need to Know About the Best Stress Relief Products
Our bodies are not designed to handle stress long term. You need to take a break, fill your cup, and take care of yourself. Stress relief is a huge part of self care. Even the best stress relief products are not a magic cure-all. You still have to take the time to use them. What is your favorite way to relieve stress and what are your favorite stress relief products? Leave me a comment below!