Listen, it's been a stressful year. And now, in addition to, well, everything, it's also so hot. So we understand if you're feeling a little extra stressed right now — to be honest, it's only natural.
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But just because the temperature is rising, doesn't mean you have to lose your chill. In fact, it's more important than ever to focus on some self-care and slow down — whether you can only find time for five minutes of meditation on the fire escape or you're ready for a full-on home yoga studio renovation. Here are our favorite picks to help you stay cool — mentally and physically — this summer.
We rely on our smartphones for so much — but maybe we shouldn't be ending our meditation sessions with their loud, synthetic-sounding alarms. This elegant, analog solution by 3rd Ritual uses fire and gravity to mark the passage of time — is there anything more beautifully elemental and primitive than that? As the candle burns, it loosens solid brass pegs which fall with a reassuring "ding!" into the brass candleholder below, signaling time is up. The pack comes with three candles as well, so you get more bang for your buck. (Believe it or not, it's sold out most places — a true sign of these stressful times — so jump on it.)
Another place your smartphone habit might be doing more harm than good? The bedroom. This highly-hyped crowdfunded alarm clock replaces a handful of items on your nightstand (your white noise machine, your phone, your nightlight ...) and leads to better sleep with built-in meditations, breathing exercises, and integrations that let you put your own sounds, classes, and more in this auto-dimming, soothing clock.
Weighted blankets are all the rage for easing stress and keeping things chill, but some of them are ... straight-up not passing the style test in our bedrooms or living rooms. Bearaby's latest styles change all that, with a chunky, Instagrammable knit look and on-trend hues that we'd easily reach for even if they didn't come with all the soul-soothing properties of a weighted blanket. And in an eco-friendly tencel material, this collection is somehow heavy and light at the same time — perfect for summer temps.
Leave it to the eco-chic folks at Brentwood Home to design yoga and meditation props that we actually want to leave out in plain view. These elegant bolsters and cushions feature an embroidered cover with soft half-circles that will have you feeling zen before you even close your eyes, and the natural buckwheat filling offers both softness and support to enhance your practice — and they're vegan-friendly.
Another lo-fi way to get more in tune with your body, the SHIFT by Komuso Design is a simple tool worn on a chain around the neck that you breathe into in times of anxiety to regain control of your breath and get back to a more mindful mindset.
Summer can be hard on the body — whether from all the yoga you're suddenly doing, or just from being out in the sun, hiking, biking, swimming ... or whatever you're doing to stay busy. This creamy salve from CBD experts MINERAL has a gentle cooling sensation without being overly minty (its scent profile also boasts sandalwood and sage, lending a more richly layered, earthy vibe we love) and soothes everything from sun-exposed skin to achy muscles while helping you tune into your physical space. A bedside essential.
If you're having trouble falling asleep (or staying asleep, for that matter) lately, well, join the club. Gossamer created this CBD formulation specifically for that problem, and it's since been lauded as one of the best CBD products for turning sleepless nights into zzz's. And if you're, er, sleeping on Gossamer's smart and sophisticated cannabis publication, you should remedy that immediately as well.)
The thing we miss most about visiting our local yoga studio? The ice-cold eye pillows for savasana after a hard and sweaty workout. These botanical-dyed silk eye pillows are a chic way to replicate that invigorating sensation at home — just pop them in the freezer for a bit, or heat them up slowly in the microwave for the opposite, but equally soothing, effect.
You've heard of acupuncture — this is, well, not that. But this unassuming little mat (and neck pillow) can deliver muscle tension relief and help you feel calm, chill, and ready for sleep (or just ready to tackle the rest of your day) with minimal effort. Just lie on the mat and feel your weight distributed evenly over the little spiked discs. Seriously, you just lie there. How easy is that? Oh, and it comes in a variety of fun colors if you're the type who cares about that (raises hand).
Retreating to the bath is already a go-to play in the "de-stress" handbook, so popping one of these CBD bath bombs (choose from 50-200mg) in can only make it more luxurious and soothing. Highly recommended for when everything becomes just too much. Leave your phone in another room.
Emily Bihl is a freelance writer and sometimes-songwriter who can invariably be found rearranging furniture in a domicile somewhere along the Mississippi River. She lives with her black labrador Selkie and a small army of homemade ceramics, and has not willingly closed a browser tab since 2011.