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“Treat yo’ self!”
We can go ahead and thank “Parks & Recreation” for introducing that catchphrase into our modern-day lexicon. (Anybody else hear Aziz Ansari’s affirmations when deciding to reach for a cupcake?)
In all seriousness, though, Americans are stressed to the max—especially if you live in one of these states where stress levels are really soaring. Stress can wreak all kinds of havoc on our health, ranging from stomach aches to high blood pressure.
A solution? Take a deep breath. Put your out-of-office reply on. Book a one-way ticket to a tropical island.
A more practical solution? Figure out some small, but effective, rituals to “treat yo’ self” on the reg. That’s why we’ve scouted out five inexpensive products that even science agrees will help relieve stress.
1. A bathtub wine holder
What it is: Bubbly in a bubble bath? Heck yes, let the wine and bath tub runneth. This caddy will hold your glass of wine while you soak in the tub.
Why it’s good for stress: Really, this could be a one-two punch to knock out stress if you’re a red wine drinker. First, a study published in Nature found red wine can reduce stress. The health benefits of red wine come from the resveratrol, which is found in the skin of grapes. As for the hot bath, a British univeristy study revealed it could be a natural way to increase optimism.
Buy it: SipCaddy Bath & Shower Portable Suction Cupholder Caddy, $13.95
2. An adult coloring book
What it is: The coloring book craze has been playing out for a couple of years now. Illustrators have created dozens of themed books designed just for adults—Edgar Allan Poe, snarky mandalas, serene scenes, stress-relieving patterns. Nobody gives a darn whether you color in the lines.
Why it’s good for stress: To get this right, you’ll probably want to go with a coloring book that’s full of mandalas or other geometric patterns. That’s because a 2005 study found that coloring mandalas helped reduce anxiety levels in adults. The researchers believe that coloring the complex patterns helped induce a meditative state.
Buy it: Adult Coloring Book – Stress Relieving Patterns, $11.69
3. Funny face dog toys
What it is: A ridiculous toy that, when your dog clutches it in his mouth, will give him an animated, cartoon-like smile.
Why it’s good for stress: For starters, your pet can help you reduce stress, obesity and cholesterol levels, according to studies from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But tack on some laughter, and you’re doubling down on stress because a good laugh can also reduce tension.
Buy it: Hangqiao Funny Pet Dog Teeth Silicon Toy Puppy Chew, $4.99
4. Essential oil diffuser
What it is: This colorful gadget vaporizes water and essential oils in the tank to create a dry, fragrant mist. The LED lamp gives you seven colors to choose from.
Why it’s good for stress: To get the most out of this diffuser, you’ll want to load it up with lemon, mango or lavender-scented essential oils. That’s because Japanese scientists found inhaling those fragrances can alter gene activity and blood chemistry in ways that can ultimately lower stress levels.
Buy it: Radha Beauty Essential Oil Diffuser, $19.95
5. A fidget cube
What it is: It looks like a toy, but it’s actually a stress cube for adults who like to fidget. Whether you’re a clicker, flicker, roller or a spinner, you can fidget with this device. The six-sided cube has 7 stress-relieving features.
Why it’s good for stress: Research has shown that these kinds of “fidget widgets” can boost your memory and help you focus, while detracting from stress.
Buy it: Balai Fidget Cube Toy Anxiety Attention Stress Relief, $3.29