The workday is stressful enough without a global pandemic and worrying about the 2020 US presidential election. Here are tools to ease anxiety.
Work has significant impacts on employees’ mental health. The stress of completing tasks, balancing responsibilities, managing time, and keeping superiors happy can be exhausting. More than half (55%) of US employees experience burnout at work, with the majority of those (86%) directly connecting their burnout to job satisfaction, a University of Phoenix report found.
One way to avoid burnout is through better self-management, reported TechRepublic contributor Mary Shacklett, which can be achieved through meditation. A common self-care practice, meditation has been practiced for thousands of years and is more modernly used to help reduce stress.
Research from the Mayo Clinic found that meditation can reduce negative emotions, help manage stress, increase self-awareness, and more. However, meditating independently can be difficult for beginners, or even experienced meditators. The following meditation apps and self-care products can help lead the way in reducing stress.
Image: Headspace/Apple App Store
One of the most recognizable apps on the market, Headspace has hundreds of guided meditations to help keep restless minds at peace. With two new features—The Wake Up and Move Mode—the app can also guide you through quick exercises to relieve stress. Headspace even has short SOS meditations for quick moments of mindfulness throughout the day.
Insight Timer app
Image: Insight Network/Apple App Store
Winner of TIME magazine and Women’s Health Apps of the Year award, Insight Timer offers thousands of guided meditation from neuroscientists, mindfulness experts, psychologists, and professors. Users can select sessions from a variety of topics including how to sleep deeply, dealing with anxiety and reducing stress, focus and concentration, leadership, and more.
Image: Calm/Apple App Store
Another well-known app, Calm offers guided meditations, breathing programs, stretching exercises, sleep stories, and soothing music for users. The guided meditations are featured in lengths of three, five, 10, 15, 20, or 25 minutes, depending on your schedule. Sleep stories are bedtime stories that help anxious minds settle. Users can track their mindfulness progress by seeing daily streaks and their amount of mindful minutes.
Image: Stop, Breathe & Think/Apple App Store
MyLife (formerly known as Stop, Breathe & Think) has more than 55 personalized guided meditations, as well as yoga and acupressure videos. The app provides a daily check-in so users can record how that day’s meditation went, as well as their moods. Users can track daily streaks, weekly settledness, their top emotions, and total time meditated.
Image: Aura Health/Apple App Store
Aura offers three-, seven-, or 10-minute meditations to help reduce stress and boost positivity. The meditations are personalized for the user and can be saved to listen to again. It also features an unguided meditation with sounds of nature for a more free flowing session. Users can track their mood to learn about their mood pattern, integrate Aura with Apple Health, and set up daily mindful breathing reminders.
CalmiGo Calming Device
CalimiGo is a drug-free stress-relief device. According to the manufacturer, the calming device uses personalized breathing regulation and sensory stimulation to help the user feel calm, controlled, and confident within three minutes of use. For continuous reduction in stress, three minutes, three times a day is recommended.
Asutra Instant Stress Relief Aromatherapy Mist
The light, clean mist is infused with patchouli and bergamot essential oils to help combat stress and calm your mind within minutes, according to the company’s website. It’s ideal when you just want to mist your stress away.
TouchPoints for Calm
TouchPoints use a proprietary neuroscience BLAST technology with gentle, alternating micro-vibrations to calm you in seconds, according to the manufacturer. TouchPoints can be worn on your wrists or carried in pockets, socks, or tank top straps to help “move your brain back into a state of calm at the push of a button when you feel anxious or overwhelmed.” TouchPoints offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and comes with a 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
Casper Glow Light
According to Casper’s website, its Glow light is a self-dimming warm light that helps lulls you into better, deeper sleep.
Bed Buddy Neck Pillow Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulders
The Bed Buddy Neck Pillow with a moist heating pad (no water required) is scented with lavender and chamomile to provide “a soothing calming aromatherapy while also being a neck warmer, treating shoulder pain, neck pain, or a stiff neck” according to the manufacturer. The Bed Buddy pillow can be also be used as a cold therapy pad to suit your relaxation needs.
MZOO Sleep Eye Mask
The MZOO eye mask is ideal for meditation, yoga, travel, napping, or insomnia. Made with rebound memory foam and a unique heat-bonded sturdy and durable material, the mask puts no pressure on eyes, fits all size head circumferences with a fully-adjustable buckle strap, effectively blocks lights, and allows your eyes to freely blink, according to the manufacturer. The mask is available in Black, Blue, Red, and Purple.
RENPHO Foot Massager
The RENPHO foot massager comes with a rotation ball, rolling stick, heating option, and Shiatsu foot massage feature. According to the manufacturer, “The ergonomic design provides a comprehensive and comfortable massage.” With three kneading and three squeeze intensities, the foot massager can be adjusted to personal preference. The RENPHO foot massager can accommodate most foot sizes (up to men size 12).
Smart Wi-Fi Wireless Essential Oil Aromatherapy Diffuser
This addition to your smart home “is powered intelligently and Wi-Fi compatible,” according to the manufacturer, and can be used like a normal diffuser for up to 12 hours of continuous mist. The companion app can be downloaded to control LED color, mist intensity, timer settings, scheduling, and more directly from your phone. The smart diffuser is also Alexa and Google Home compatible and can be used with Echo or Dot to control the device with your voice.
Editor’s note: Macy Bayern wrote about the meditation apps, and Kristen Lotze reported on the self-care products.