Comfort items are not just for kids. When the day gets stressful and I don’t feel like working out, I hit the next best thing to calm anxiety, feel safe, and reset: All the things that make me feel good. Whether I’m needing gentle support midday or hunkering down before bed, the serenity supplies in this roundup really hit the spot — just when I need it most.
I have put nine of the items on this list through the wringer, but the first tried-and-true item, NatraCure’s Cold Therapy Socks, was tested by my dear friend Michelle Morris who doesn’t mess around when it comes to product reviews. If Michelle likes it, you will too. Who doesn’t love a good word-of-mouth referral, right?
Take a deep breath, cuddle up with your favorite comfort item, and dive into this list of self-care essentials that will aid in your mission toward more peaceful living.
Soft and stretchy, these therapy socks are designed to relieve foot injuries and inflammation, and aid in soothing conditions like arthritis and plantar fasciitis. Removable chilled gel packs can be inserted along the length and top of the foot or behind the heel. “After a long day on my feet, the last step before I go to bed is to put on my pink therapy socks,” Michelle says. “I use the socks in my nightly ritual, which helps tell my body that it’s time to wind down and relax. I have very hot feet and work standing up all day, so the combination of my feet hurting exacerbates my already anxiety and rocky sleep habits.”
Designed to help you sleep better, this weighted blanket provides deep pressure to the body. According to recent studies, weighted blankets are known to lower heart rate, stimulate serotonin, and reduce cortisol, and they’re helpful for individuals with restless leg syndrome, autism, and anxiety. The weight of the blanket is created by the addition of glass beads and feels like a gentle hug.
Used in the traditional Indian medicine system Ayurveda, Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an herb commonly known as “Indian winter cherry” or “Indian ginseng.” While research is still being conducted to prove the stress-relieving and adaptogenic properties, Ashwagandha has a long history of use in maintaining well-being. My personal experience includes falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night. However, I did notice upon taking Ashwagandha for consecutive days I became quite tired during the day. At the advice of my primary physician I switched to taking Ashwagandha as needed instead of daily.
Made from natural latex and filled with Melofoam™, the Hugget pillow provides a soft and squishy sensory experience to keep stress at bay. Gently weighted, these knot-shaped cushions make excellent lap pads and allow hands to slip into the loops. The small-sized pillow helps me ease stress discreetly, especially when I’m on my fifth Zoom call of the day.
A small metal ring made of triangular-shaped points, this wearable dose of acupressure stimulates the fingers. Acupressure applies the same principles as acupuncture, but does not penetrate the skin, bringing a dose of instant relief through pressure points. The initial itchiness took some getting used to but I found relief from tension after frequent use.
Made to restore the body in a similar way to a deep tissue massage, this spiked mat is an intense experience that targets muscle pressure points to increase blood flow and circulation. Mats are offered in three intensity levels ranging from 4,000 to 8,000 spikes. I was hesitant during my first encounter with the Shakti mat, as I felt quite uncomfortable applying my full weight to the spikes and had to tap into deep breathing techniques for the first 10 minutes on the mat. I did experience a strange physical relief in my muscles and then had to get off after 15 minutes. Using the mat has continued to get easier each day. Some users stay on the mat for up to 40 minutes and even fall asleep, which baffles me since I can only manage 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
Finding the right eye mask to suit your sleepy time needs is a personal preference, and I’ve wasted a lot of money on all kinds of sleep masks. However, FRESHME takes the cake. While other sleep masks are made from silk, this one is made of soft organic cotton, and it’s adjustable. The wide panel allows for complete blockage of light and does not apply unnecessary pressure to the eyes.
The Papillion meditation ring is pretty fidget tool for those who need a little sensory relief. With a name that means “butterfly” in French, the ring features four butterflies that spin around the wide floral band for a sense of calm. Made with bright oxidized sterling silver, the statement piece helps me release nervous energy throughout the day.
Sweet dreams are made of … teas. This gorgeous blend of lemongrass, peppermint, chamomile, rose hip, spearmint, valerian root, hibiscus, and cornflower petals produces a smooth herbal taste with just a hint of mint. I use it during my nighttime ritual to ease into a lovely night’s rest.
Move over yoga pants, this crazy soft ginormous hoodie is at the ready for binge-watching murder documentaries and/or PMSing. Made from super soft high-quality flannel, the design is perfect for any body size and it’s machine washable. Features include a kangaroo pouch, ribbed cuffs, and so many fabric patterns you won’t know which one to pick!
Health disclaimer: Please contact your health provider when using any products marketed with health claims. This review is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.
What’s your go-to comfort item? Share in the comments below.
Elizabeth Rago is a wife, mama to three kiddos, writer, and the editor of The Modern Domestic Woman, an online support group and safe space for women in need of practical resources. She works as a paraprofessional in a Neurodiverse Learning Program with students on the Autism Spectrum and loves to witness Autistic joy on a daily basis. In her spare time, she likes to garden and write novellas. Her first work of women’s fiction,On Tenterhooks, was published in 2018.
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