11 Items to Always Have in Your House If You Have Anxiety
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For many people with anxiety, myself included, there are certain anxiety relief products that can help a bit. They might be comfort items or tools for coping, but they can look different for everyone. I found that I didn’t really find people giving me advice on what to use helpful, but rather, I had to “discover” it for myself. The self-care and wellness industry will try and convince you that if you buy all of these things, you will magically feel better. It doesn’t quite work that way, and I’m wary of products or items to purchase being pushed down people’s throats as an easy fix.
That being said, there are some anxiety relief products that genuinely help me, and that I feel are worth the investment for me. Whether I need to use them regularly or not, it’s nice having them just in case (because anxiety loves the “what ifs” and “just in cases”).
Weighted blankets are pretty heavy and can be a bit expensive — over $50 for the cheapest ones, or over $100 for the more expensive ones. Anxiety makes me feel really lonely sometimes, and I live by myself, so a weighted blanket helps when I wish I could just be hugged. I don’t always want to be around others when I’m anxious, so a weighted blanket sort of fills the need for physical touch when I’m by myself. Is it perfect? No. Is it just like a real hug? No way. But is it good enough? Yeah, I’d say so!
So this might be a total hoax, but years ago when I saw a naturopath, she recommended taking lavender oil capsules. I thought it was a bit hokey at first, but I gave it a shot, and it actually really helped my anxiety! I wouldn’t recommend starting supplements like this without consulting a professional to see if there are any interactions you need to be aware of, but it worked great for me. I don’t take it every day anymore, but I like keeping it around.
Whether I pop a few drops into my diffuser or rub it into my skin, I’ve found essential oils to be comforting and soothing anxiety relief products. I have a few oil roll-ons that I like to keep around for when I’m feeling extra anxious. Some of them help with nausea and pain relief, two things I need when I’m anxious because anxiety makes my muscles really tense and I always feel like I’m going to throw up.
4. Muscle Rub, Topical Pain Relief, or Muscle Relaxants
Since anxiety makes me clench my muscles and tense up, I often experience sore muscles. I’ve found that muscle rubs not only relax my muscles when they’re really tense but also help with the soreness from being uptight all day long. Muscle relaxants can help too because sometimes my anxiety is so bad that I can’t relax my muscles even if I try, but the relaxant helps me unwind, which helps my anxiety. I find if my body is relaxed, it can help my mind relax when I can’t do it the other way around.
5. Fidget Toys
Fidget toys are some of the best anxiety relief products I’ve tried. I don’t know what I’d do without my fidget cube. Anxiety makes me extra fidgety, so having something to play around with or fiddle with keeps my hands occupied and scratches that itch. If I can fidget a lot, I can appear much calmer than I am inside, which really comes in handy when I’m working and in meetings.
6. LEGO Bricks
For me, LEGO bricks are really calming. But really, this can be any activity that you find calming or relaxing. I like LEGO because it keeps my hands and mind occupied without requiring much effort at all. It holds my focus without being too complicated, and I like that it’s methodical and comes with steps.
7. Frozen Meals or Instant Noodles
Most people will say that if you’re not feeling great, mentally or physically, you should have a “good” or “healthy” meal. But honestly, when I’m anxious, I can’t possibly think of trying to make something complicated. I know I need to eat, but the idea of something taking more than three steps or five minutes stresses me out when I’m really anxious. Chicken nuggets are my favorite.
My headphones are my lifeline. Music is incredibly calming for me, and I find it quite helpful. Using headphones instead of speakers can help me zone out and relax. I have a few playlists that I like to rotate through and the repetitive nature of the songs is grounding.
Almost all my clothes have been chosen for comfort, but I have a few items that are extra soft, or extra comfy. Sometimes they’re just clothes that I like, and I immediately feel better and more comfortable in them. Anxiety heightens my awareness of everything, so pants feel a bit tighter, shirt labels dig in a bit more, and clothes that usually don’t bother me become irritating.
10. A Robot Vacuum
On a good day, I barely have the energy to clean up after myself but on an anxious day? No chance at all. Being able to send my robot vac, Vincenzo, out for a spin makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something without having to do anything. It crosses something off my to-do list, which eases my anxiety a bit.
11. A Heating Pad / A Fan
Anxiety makes temperature regulation go out the door, so one second I’m too hot, and the next I’m freezing cold. In order to ease my anxiety, I need to be able to adjust the temperature quickly, so I often use a heating pad or a fan to quickly warm me up or cool me down.
These are a few anxiety relief products that worked for me, and while the cost of these can add up quickly, it’s taken me years to find what works best and it is worth the investment for me. I hope that you have a few items around your home that help with your anxiety because you deserve to feel safe and comfortable in your own home.
Getty Images photo via Deepak Sethi