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I Keep These Stressbusters on My Desk, and You Should, Too

Aromatherapy diffuser, candle, spill-proof tumbler.
SpaRoom/Wax & Wit/Contigo

Whether you work from home or at an office, stress is often part of the equation. While there’s no miracle solution, there are some items you can keep on your desk to ease anxiety and help you relax.

I keep the following soothing items on my desk at all times. Then, whenever I get stressed, I have something to guide me through it. Of course, you can tweak all of these according to your preferences when it comes to scents and sounds.

An Aromatherapy Diffuser

Small aromatherapy diffuser on a desk.
SpaRoom

Some of you are probably picturing a big diffuser pushing out a mist of essential-oil-laced water. That’s not what you want on your work desk. Instead, consider a small non-ultrasonic aroma diffuser like this one from SpaRoom.

Studies have shown that aromatherapy can have a calming effect. While lavender oil is popular for relaxation, you can choose any scent that gives you the most comfort.

This diffuser has a USB connection, so you can run it right from your computer. Not only is this safer if you have a pet, but it also prevents oils from damaging your computer. It releases air, not mist, so it doesn’t require water. You just put a few drops of essential oil on the fabric pad and you’re all set.

A Scented Candle

Coffee scented candle on a table next to a mug.
Wax & Wit

Many find the comforting glow and pleasing scent of a candle incredibly relaxing. Scented candles can also mask other not-so-pleasant smells, whether they’re coming from the cubicle next door, the break room, or your dog.

To get an extra boost of energy during your workday without actually ingesting more caffeine, consider a coffee-scented candle. You can get that awakening jolt without being awake all night. If you’re not a coffee lover, no worries—there are other scents to choose from, including Happy Hour Piña Colada. Yes, please!

Stress Balls

A woman holding the MindPanda Positivity and Gratitude stress balls.
MindPanda

Squeezing a stress ball when you’re feeling tense about a tough project or prepping for a big meeting will help you let it all go and relax. Stress balls also help strengthen your grip, which can be beneficial as you age.

When shopping for stress balls, look for some that are motivational, too, like this set of three from MindPanda. A positive word, phrase, or even a funny picture can remind you to stay focused and de-stress. These are also scented to create an even more calming environment.

A Light Therapy Lamp

A woman holding a mug in front of the Miroco Light Therapy Lamp.
Miroco

Whether it’s the dark days of winter or you work the night shift, light therapy can give you an energy boost. Basically, you trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime, even if you’re working long after the sun has left the building.

This Light Therapy Lamp from Miroco is UV-free with an adjustable timer and multiple light levels. It’s also ultra-thin, so it won’t take up too much space on your desk. The stand pivots 90 degrees so you can direct the light wherever you need it most.

A Fun Pen Holder

Leaky bucket pencil holder on a desk.
Zoohot

You know the old saying, “Laughter is the medicine,” right? Well, it works for stress, too! From jokes to funny calendars, it helps to keep the mood as light as possible at your desk. That’s why I love this comical pen cup.

It looks like a bucket leaking water, and it’s sure to lead to a happier workday. It’s also the only spill that won’t damage your computer! It comes in different colors and is big enough to keep all your pens, pencils, and Sharpies handy.

A Spill-Proof Tumbler

A Contigo Spill-Proof Tumbler lying on its side.
Contigo

Speaking of desk spills, a spill-proof beverage container is a must. This 24-ounce, tumbler from Contigo might not instantly offer stress relief. However, not having to worry about damaging your keyboard or electronics with spilled liquids means you can drink coffee to your heart’s content!

This lifesaver won’t even leak if you accidentally tip it over on your desk. It’s BPA-free and dishwasher safe, and so is the included straw.

Picture Frame Drink Coasters

Two drinks sitting on photo frame coasters.
Southern Homewares

Coasters are also a good idea to protect the surface of your desk. Plus, who wants to accidentally rest their arm in a wet circle from a cold, sweating beverage? They also make a good protective barrier between a hot mug or glass candle and your desk.

They’ll help you keep your desk looking nice, but the right coaster can also bring a smile to your face. You can create your own using pics of your friends and family with Southern Homewares’ cool photo frame coasters. After all, what can ease stress faster than the smiling faces of your loved ones?

An Adjustable Phone or Tablet Stand

A woman drink from a mug while watching her phone on a Lisen media stand.
Lisen

Sometimes, watching a favorite show while I’m working helps the day go faster. It can also make me laugh or feel nostalgic. If you don’t have a TV in your home office, a phone or tablet stand will prop up your device, so you can stream a few of your fave episodes.

It can also be helpful if you only have one monitor and need a second screen. This stand by Lisen is telescoping, so you can place it next to your desk instead of on it. You can adjust the height from 7.1-8.5 inches, and the angle from 5-85 degrees.

Give Your Mouse Wrist a Break

The Vankey wrist pad on a desk next to a computer.
Vankey

If you suffer from wrist pain, that certainly does little to ease any work stress. You don’t have to replace your favorite mousepad to get more comfort, though. Just add some more support with stand-alone memory foam wrist rest. It will help ease any fatigue from repetitive motions and can even help if you suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

It’ll definitely make your workday go smoother and maybe even prevent you from having to invest in a wrist brace later.


Add these great products to your desk to reduce the stress you deal with each day. The less stress you have, the smoother your workday will be and the more energy you’ll have to enjoy the time after you punch out.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »

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