Home accessories and products that reduce anxiety and stress
I have long believed that our homes should be our sanctuaries and havens in an often stormy world. In fact, as someone who has struggled with anxiety for most of my life, I remember trying to beautify and optimize my surroundings from a young age. These days, in the age of the pandemic, I don’t think my home has ever been so dear to me. I’ve been trying to make it even more of an oasis lately, hanging artwork, installing mood-changing smart light bulbs, layering weighted blankets, and generally creating real comfort – the kind that makes me feel good down to my toes.
Of course, I’m not the only one trying to use my home as a balm for my anxiety. “Wellness home design” has never been more popular, and that makes sense. Studies have shown that even the smallest details, like the colors in a space, can impact mood. Additionally, a 2015 research paper in Perspectives on Psychological Science concluded that the overall vibe of a space can affect the psychology of those who reside there.
I consider myself living proof that home accessories really do have the power to soothe tangled nerves and make us feel better when nothing outside our walls seems to make sense. Ahead, find some of the anti-anxiety home products that I would recommend to almost anyone.
An affordable weighted blanket with great reviews
Weighted blankets have grown in popularity over the past few years, and for good reason. Filled with weighted granules or glass beads, these blankets sit tight on the body and have been proven to help with insomnia, general anxiety and that sometimes overwhelming fight or flight response. When shopping, aim for one that is around 10% of your body weight. (If you weigh 150 pounds, for example, you should buy a 15-pound blanket in order to really feel its effects.)
Most weighted blankets are attractive enough to display around a home. For an extra touch of style, you can opt for a chunky knit. Just be sure to place them where small animals can’t reach them (it can be dangerous for a cat or dog to find their way underneath).
A color-changing diffuser with an elegant design
A diffuser is a great way to enjoy aromatherapy, especially if you work at a desk all day. You’ll be able to soak up the fragrant benefits, and you can get one that’s pleasing to the eye to boot. Cutouts in the Opalhouse diffuser above allow soothing light to pass through, and the fixture can even change colors. One reviewer notes that the light is long lasting and adds, “It’s very pretty, the light is even soothing…This is by far my favorite diffuser.”
A smart bulb with a relaxing hue
As someone who lives with sensory sensitivities, light is a major issue for me. The last thing I want when I’m feeling particularly anxious is to be near bright or fluorescent lighting. A few years ago my husband introduced me to smart light bulbs, and they have become one of the most useful things I have purchased for my anxiety. Our Philips Hue bulbs connect to our Alexa devices throughout the house, allowing me to control the lighting in each room and decide how a lot the light I want too. For example, I can say “Alexa, turn the lights to 20%” for a darker, soothing ambiance. You even have the choice between different mood options, such as “Relax”. It may seem like an inconsequential thing, but changing your light bulbs is likely to have an impact that anyone with anxiety will feel.
A coffee maker that doubles as a tea infusion station
I’m a tea drinker, but I’m not a big fan of kettles. For a simpler approach, I like a Keurig; I have been using the device to brew my tea for years. While you absolutely can use K-cups, I prefer to just turn the machine on and allow it to pour a stream of hot water into which I dip my tea bag (the chamomile tea really helps calm my nerves, and I also enjoy Aveda Comforting Tea, a blend of licorice root and peppermint that feels like an anti-anxiety balm with every sip). I love the cool, modern look of the K-Slim, and it’s single-serve, which means it doesn’t take up much space. A real win-win.
A set of tealight candles to improve the mood
One day I hope to have a good fireplace, which will no doubt be a serious mood-booster. But in the meantime, to foster a relaxing ambiance throughout my home, I like to place timed tea lights in every nook and cranny. Not only do they help keep the space cozy, but the lights look great on the shelves next to my vintage pieces. I usually light flameless candles throughout my house in the fall and winter (which is when my Seasonal Affective Disorder starts kicking in). As the sun sets earlier and earlier each night, these candles really comfort me.
A smart speaker that can guide meditation and play soothing sounds
Sure, Alexa devices are certainly handy, but I also like to think of them as anxiety aids. Besides using them to turn off the lights when I need comfort, I like to use mine to play soothing playlists on Spotify (hello, Enya) or nature sounds from light rain to waves of the ocean. If you add Alexa skills, you can even use your own for guided meditation or to guide you through a yoga routine.
A wall full of mood-boosting greenery
Having natural accents in my home is another way to combat my anxiety. Specifically, I go for houseplants, and lots of them. Although many are fake, I keep several live plants in stylish wall planters. I’m a fan of these West Elm ceramics, which are perfect for tiny succulents or trailing plants. The one in my bathroom has a curvy philodendron that makes my space look like a cool, luxurious spa.