Anxiety and Stress Relief – 15 Things To Do In Bed

Our 5 senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch & taste) have an incredibly powerful effect on how we feel mentally. Here are 15 things to do in bed to engage each of your 5 senses in a positive way to provide anxiety & stress relief and care for your mental health and wellbeing. 

Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational purposes only. I’m not a qualified practitioner and I’m not encouraging anyone else to do this. Please consult a qualified practitioner before implementing these things or changing your current treatment plan. This post contains affiliate links, meaning at no cost to you I earn commission if you click on a link and make a purchase. See my full disclaimer here.


Looking after our mental health is just as important as our physical health. My physical and mental health is closely linked – when my pain, dizziness, nausea or other symptoms worsen, my anxiety and fear heightens too. Yet I often solely focus on easing my physical symptoms and neglect looking after my mental health too.


The power of our 5 senses to improve mental wellbeing

Jay Shetty in his podcast On Purpose speaks about the powerful effect our 5 senses – sight, hearing, smell, touch & taste – have on how we feel. Finding things that you enjoy, that make you feel good and make use of all 5 of our senses is most effective at taking care of our mental health and easing anxiety and stress, as it helps bring our mind and body back to the present moment, preventing us from mulling over the past, reliving previous experiences or worrying about potential future events.


15 things i do in bed to care for my mental health

Below are 15 tools I use to engage my 5 senses for anxiety and stress relief, which can all be done in bed, so they’re especially beneficial for days when symptoms flare and you’re bedbound.


Sight for anxiety and stress relief

1). Bible verse/Quote. Have your favourite bible verse or quote hung up in your room for you to read every time a negative thought occurs or your mind wanders into the past or future.


2). Photos. Have photos of family and friends around you to look at. Look back at photos of weddings, holidays etc. and relive these happy experiences.


3). Watch your favourite tv show.


4). Watch a comedy or light heartened film. Avoid horror movies as these can increase anxiety and fear.


5). Read a book.


SMELL for anxiety and stress relief

6). Essential oils. These promote relaxation and emotional wellbeing, decrease heart rates and ease anxiety and stress (1). The most commonly recommended ones are:-


7). Burn a scented candle. Pick a natural toxin free candle that is made from soy wax with a cotton wick like Tofu, Touche or Octo in the UK, or Mile High Life, Prank Kiss or All Fur One in the US. Regular candles are made with paraffin wax and synthetic fragrances which release toxins when burned that can worsen symptoms.


HEARing for anxiety and stress relief

8). Music. Listen to your favourite music. Slow tempo calming music has also been shown to calm the nervous system, which reduces heat rates, promotes relaxation and provides anxiety and stress relief (2).


9). Play an audiobook. This is especially useful if you’re unable to read or hold a book.


10). Listen to an inspiring and encouraging podcast – Ferne Cotton’s Happy Place or Katie Piper’s Extraordinary People are a couple of good ones.


TOUCH for anxiety and stress relief

11). Weighted blanket. Cover your body with a weighted blanket, such as Mela Comfort in the UK or YnM in the US. These apply light pressure to the body which instantly calms the nervous system, relieving pain, easing tension and anxiety and improving sleep (3, 4).


12). Squeeze a stress object. The most commonly recommended ones are:-

Pay attention to the colour, weight and texture of the object. Focusing on every detail helps ground you, brings your mind and body back to the present moment and provides a distraction from anxious and stressful thoughts. Gripping and releasing a stress ball has the additional benefit of helping muscles relax, relieving tension.


TASTE for anxiety and stress relief

13). Eat nourishing foods. What this will look like will be different for everyone. I avoid gluten, dairy, refined sugar, soy and caffeine as these worsen my symptoms and increase anxiety and stress. Fruit, nuts and seeds require no prep and can be kept by your bed anytime you need a snack. Nakd bars and Go Raw bars are also great snacks, which are free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar and vegan friendly.


14). Herbal teas. These are great for anxiety and stress relief and improving sleep, which is especially vital during flares and bad days. The most commonly recommended ones are:-

You can combine some of them into one tea like in my Sleep Tea Recipe.


15). Lemon water. Have a bottle of lemon water by your bedside table to keep hydrated throughout the day. Staying hydrated eases the intensity of anxiety and stress, while also reducing fatigue, increasing energy levels and improving concentration, memory and alertness (5).


other mental health blog posts

Click to read my other blog posts with other tips and strategies that help me care for my mental health & wellbeing:-


Other health blog posts

Click to read my other blog posts with other tips and strategies that are helping me improve my health manage my conditions:-

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I hope these tips are helpful. How do you take care of your mental health? What tips do you find best for anxiety and stress relief? I’d love to know what benefits you. Leave me a comment below or message me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Youtube.


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anxiety and stress relief 15 things to do in bed

8 thoughts on “Anxiety and Stress Relief – 15 Things To Do In Bed”

  • Excellent tips! My favorites are a little Netflix but not too much. Lots of books, music, and art. Love candles and essential oils and I love my weighted blanket. Best of all, my kitties need to be in bed with me, preferably tucked between my legs or at my side.

    • Thank you Carrie! I agree with you, I’m tending to watch less tv now. I’m very jealous of you having kittens to keep you company, they always say pets are the best company and have so many benefits. They’ve been shown to improve our health too!

  • Great and simple tips and ideas for stress and anxiety management, thanks Lucy! I agree that physical and mental health are so much more closely related than many would believe! It’s always a vicious cycle that triggers each other off, and neither is more or less important. They both need nourishing and nurturing. Thank you once again!

    • You’re welcome! Thank you Sheryl, I appreciate your comment and support as always 🙂 I completely agree, they directly impact each other, when my physical health improves my mental health improves too. Looking after both is so important.

    • Thank you so much Caroline, I really appreciate it! I’m so pleased essential oils help you. Lavender especially really helps me sleep better too. I hope you’re well 🙂

  • Stress and anxiety have such an impact on health and we need to find ways to help ourselves. Your suggestions are simple yet effective. I like light dramas/movies so that I don’t need to think too hard about a plot. Weight blankets – I read so much about them but I don’t have one. I think I need to treat myself some time.

    • Thank you for your comment Elizabeth. Stress and anxiety really do make such a big difference to our overall health, I always feel so much better when I make time each day to unwind and focus on my mental health. I’m pleased light dramas and movies work for you. I hope you enjoy the weighted blanket and it benefits you if you treat yourself.

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