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Top 10 Stress-Relieving Gifts and Products for Every Budget


Updated November 29, 2010

If you’d like to really get value for your money, why not buy something that can be used to promote wellness, relaxation and increased inner peace in the face of stressful times? Whether you’re looking to give the perfect gift for that stressed-out person in your life or you’re looking to treat yourself, these gifts keep on giving!

1. Scented Lotions

Lotions are a great, inexpensive gift for yourself or someone else. Smoothing the lotion on can be relaxing and soothing, and the scent you carry from it throughout the day can remind you that you are caring for yourself. You can also use lotions as part of a massage (again, for someone else, or a self-massage), to soothe tired feet, to feel pampered, or just to keep your skin healthy. I love Archipelago’s Brown Sugar and Vanilla Sugar Lotion, as it smells yummy and is great for your skin!
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2. Aromatherapy Oils and Candles

Aromatherapy has gained popularity in recent years as people have realized that our sense of smell can be tied to our moods and really change how we feel in subtle ways. By burning scented oil in a diffuser, burning scented candles, or spraying a scent in the air, you can use aromatherapy to reduce the stress you feel and create a more calming atmosphere in your home or perhaps your office. Here’s a great package that includes a diffuser, oils and a massage tool for a great overall experience.
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3. Stress Management Books

Although this website is, of course, my favorite resource to recommend, books on stress management are a great way to begin developing a life that contains less stress and brings you more pleasure, plus, you can easily gift them. There are literally thousands of stress-related books out there, but one of the very best stress management books you can find is called The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook. It’s been around for over 25 years, and you can find it here.
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4. Funny Books

Funny books can also reduce your stress. Laughter can reduce the tension you’re feeling, relax your body physically, and take your mind away from what’s stressing you, giving you new perspective for when you come back. One of my very favorites, a comedic classic, is Jerry Seinfeld’s SeinLanguage. It’s written in short chunks, so you can read as much or as little as you have time for, and it could have you laughing out loud. (Added bonus: it’s an older book, so you can get it cheap!)
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5. Stress-Relieving Music

Whether you’re in the car, at home, or out for a walk, listening to music can transform your experience, and the type of music you listen to can make all the difference. Here’s a list of some of the best music you can listen to for stress reduction, with recommendations on when to listen to what.
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6. Soothing Sounds

Another great way to reduce stress through your sense of hearing is to get a nature sounds CD, or a Sound Spa, which is a machine that produces the soothing sounds of the ocean, waterfalls, rain, or other beautiful sounds found in nature. The one I have is from Homedics, and I use it every night to drown out the other noise in my house and in my head. You can also use them in conjunction with guided imagery, to really help you feel like you are in nature. This is also a great gift idea.
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7. Electronic Massager

It’s always great to get a massage from a loved one or a professional, but it’s perhaps even better to have an electronic massager, always there at your beck and call, never complaining of tired fingers or expecting a tip! There’s a variety of massagers out there, ranging from handheld models to vibrating chair attachments, and at all different price levels. I like this hand-held massager because you can actually effectively massage your own back with it, without paying the steep price of a massage chair.
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8. Spa Products for the Tub

Relaxing in a hot tub with massaging bubbles makes it virtually impossible to stay tense. Fortunately for those who don’t wish to invest thousands of dollars in an outdoor spa, you can turn your bathtub into a bubbly hot-tub with the help of a relatively inexpensive product made for your tub. Conair makes a great one that sits as a bath mat and releases bubbles into the tub. Couple it with some scented candles, and your bathroom becomes a haven!
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9. Really Great Sheets

Since we spend a third of our lives in bed, and sleep is so important to our daily functioning, I have to include sheets in my list. Great-quality sheets with a high thread count can really help you feel relaxed and pampered when you’re in bed, and help you get better sleep, which will help you be more functional and less stressed when you’re not in bed. As a gift idea, sheets may seem a little boring, but really great sheets make your recipient feel pampered, and they'll think of you often.
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10. Hammocks!

Lying in a hammock is practically synonymous with relaxation and escape from pressures, and I’ve found this stereotypical image to be accurate. I have a hammock, and when I lie in it and close my eyes, I can’t help but feel great, even if I’ve had a hectic day up to that point. With the comfortable hammocks and sturdy stands currently available, owning a hammock is no longer a luxury reserved for those with two trees the perfect distance apart! Hatteras has some great options.
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