With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, feeling overwhelmed may seem like par for the course. And just when you think you have a handle on things…you go for bogey. Since we barely get a minute to ourselves, we tapped 14 women to get their take on the one item that instantly makes them feel calmer. You might want to write these down.
“Writing down a to-do list, then prioritizing all of the tasks on my mind gives me a sense of clarity and focus when I’m feeling stressed. I like to keep a notepad (like this one) near my bed so I can easily jot things down when I can't sleep.”—Candace D.
“Call me crazy but nothing calms me more than a well-organized to-do list. I love being busy, but I hate not having my workday organized ahead of time. Every evening, I map out what I need to accomplish the following day so I can start my morning off on the right foot. This planner from Anthropologie is adorable, functional and reminds me to eat my vegetables.”—Catrina Y.
“I have a slight obsession with candles and (I have an entire cabinet full of them) and I find the entire ritual of burning candles very relaxing. I typically lean toward citrus and floral fragrances and the Glade® Exotic Tropical Blossoms™ 3-Wick Candle is a great balance of the two. It’s infused with essential citrus oils and blended succulent fruits, along with florals like monoi blossom and soothing jasmine. The scent is comforting and tranquil yet allows me to escape.”—Rachel G.
“I’ve been using these homeopathic pastilles for a few years now, and while it might be the placebo effect, they really help me stay calm on airplanes, before big meetings and whenever I need to chill out. I keep a tin in my purse and one at my desk. Also, they taste amazing.”—Lindsay C.
“This chamomile and neroli face mist is so relaxing. I spritz it on before bed and again in the morning. The smell is super earthy and natural, and just feels so good on my face. Plus, it helps with dehydration and redness.”—Emily V.
Heated Eye Masks
“The warmth from the soft mask on my tired eyes at night (or if I need nap) is so soothing and instantly makes me feel more relaxed. These ones are self-heating and last for about 20 minutes.”—Ali B.
“I haven’t done much self-care during quarantine (sob), but the one relaxing ritual that I’ve made time for is a hand mask! It started out because my husband was complaining about how dry his hands were and I suggested a hand mask, something he had never even heard of. So, I bought a bunch of masks for us and we did it together while watching a show. It’s a nice way to feel pampered in a short amount of time (because...childcare). And surprise, surprise: my husband loved it.”—Alexia D.
“I was very hesitant to get on board the AirPod train (they’re so expensive!), but once I did I’ve never looked back. Any time I’m feeling stressed-out or down or any type of negative emotion, I pop these babies into my ears, turn on my “No Stress” playlist (which I’ve crafted over a few years) and take a few deep breaths. Music has always calmed me down, and my AirPods make it ways easier—hands free!—to take advantage of its restorative power.”—Sarah S.
“I’ve never been all that good at meditation, but Core is a handheld meditation device that really makes it so easy to zone out and let the world around you go. A lot of times, I only have 10 minutes—chasing after my toddler and all—but the meditations are designed for that. (They also go more in depth if you want more.) There’s something about holding Core in my hand that gave me a concrete place to focus my attention—and channel calm.”—Rachel B.
“Being in quarantine, I have tried to finally establish a morning meditation habit. I use the Headspace app and I have found it provides helpful guidance and encouragement. When your mind is spinning at night, they also offer great guided sleep meditations, too!”—Deanna J.
“Whenever I’m overthinking things (#LibraProblems) or just overwhelmed, a quick 30-minute jog around the neighborhood always gets my head in the right place. I run in my On Cloud X running shoes that help me literally stamp out my stress. The three mile run helps give me time and literal space to organize my thoughts into cohesive to-do lists so I can focus and prioritize. Plus, the exercise releases endorphins, so getting a good reset in that department always help me calm down.”—Roberta F.
“I find doing something repetitive typically calms me down. A lot of times I try counting things, but when I’m home I like to pick up my jade roller and give my face a calming massage. It helps even more that I know I’m doing something good for my skin in addition to abating my nerves.”—Abby H.
“I keep this salt lamp on my bedside table and as soon as I switch it on in the evening, I instantly feel calmer. There’s something about the warm, yellow glow that makes my room way more peaceful.”—Kara C.
“I love this YouTube channel called Yoga with Adriene. She has every type of class available (for free!) and a lot of 30-day programs to jump start your yoga journey. Whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed, I pop on a class. Her soothing voice and approachable pace really relaxes me!”—Stephanie P.