As if you needed another reason to kick your feet up at the end of a long work week, the World Health Organization (WHO) just added burnout to its International Classification of Diseases, describing the syndrome as “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
According to the WHO, there are three major symptoms of burnout: feeling exhausted or low-energy, becoming more distant or negative toward your job, and having trouble completing tasks. If any (or, yikes, all) of these sound like you, you should of course consult your doctor.
But if you’re not quite there yet—and if you could use a little more R&R in your life—we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite finds to help you destress and achieve that seemingly-impossible goal of work-life balance.
1. A cozy blanket...but make it weighted
For those moments when you need a hug but find yourself all alone, a weighted blanket could be a great alternative. Often filled with plastic pellets or glass beads, the throws may reduce anxiety thanks to something known as deep pressure touch stimulation, which can calm your autonomic nervous system. In our opinion, the Goldilocks of the weighted blanket world is the Gravity Blanket—at 15 pounds, it’s not too thick and not too thin but just right.
2. An incredibly affordable oil diffuser
Aromatherapy can have positive effects on your stress levels, according to a study last year which found that lavender activates certain receptors in your brain that lower anxiety. One way to take advantage of those benefits is to use an oil diffuser, like the InnoGear Upgraded 150ml, which topped our list of essential oil diffusers. Our Smart Home Editor Sarah Kovac swears by hers, noting that her personal favorite is a combination of lavender and lemon.
3. The yoga mat you’ll fall in love with
While daily exercise has long been proven to boost mood and improve mental health, yoga in particular is one of the most effective ways to destress, according to science. Not only have experts found that it calms the body’s fight-or-flight response but it also improves sleep and overall quality of life. Try channeling your own inner zen with the Lululemon Reversible Mat, which came out on top when we tested the best yoga mats.
4. Noise-cancelling headphones that are even better than Bose
Between the pinging of email notifications and your kids playing “Baby Shark” for the millionth time, it may feel like the noise never stops. Research has shown that constantly being bombarded by outside sounds can increase blood pressure and the risk of heart attack. To tune it all out, slip on a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, like the best ones we’ve ever reviewed, the Sony WH-1000XM3.
5. The sleep mask you never knew you needed
It’s no secret that for most people, more sleep = less stress. And one way to snag a few extra Z’s is with a sleep mask, which blocks out any pesky light and helps create a better snoozing setup. Of all the options out there, we love the Nidra Deep Rest Eye Mask for its comfort and ability to stay on all night.
6. An electric tea kettle that’s super speedy
When it comes to your daily cuppa, not all teas are created equal. For the most stress-relieving benefits, skip the caffeinated stuff (looking at you, Earl Grey!) and opt for decaf green tea, which a 2017 study found helped people fall asleep more easily and feel calmer throughout the week. Try brewing your own soothing sip with our top-rated electric kettle, the Cuisinart PerfecTemp 1.7 Liter.
7. A planner to keep track of all of the things
If your mind is going a million miles a minute with all of the things you need to do, from finishing that presentation for work to helping your kid with their science project, you’re likely going to feel more than a little overwhelmed. Enter the multi-tasker’s must-have: the Passion Planner. Voted our best planner of 2019, it can help you get (and stay) organized so you aren’t quite as stressed about your never-ending to-do list.
8. Our favorite meal kit delivery service
Unless you’re one of those superhumans who manage to meal-prep for an entire week on Sunday afternoons, trying to figure out what’s for dinner every day can add even more to your already-full plate. This is why we’re big fans of meal kit delivery services, especially Home Chef, which delivers everything you need for delicious dishes right to your doorstep.
9. The most relaxing showerhead we’ve ever used
There’s a reason that showers make you feel so much better—they boost your levels of oxytocin, which is the hormone that promotes feelings of love and well-being. And while any shower will do, there are few as luxurious as those taken with a rain showerhead, like the Moen S6320 Velocity. Take it from us: You might forget you’re at home and feel like you’re in a five-star spa instead...
10. A sound machine that’ll put you to sleep
Another trick to a better night’s sleep (which leads to better stress management) is a sound machine like the Adaptive Sound Sound + Sleep. Its white noise setting is loud enough to block out disruptive sounds while still being soothing. Bonus: It has some nature sounds, too, which have been proven to lower heart rate and lessen anxiety.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.