April 16 Is National Stress Awareness Day – Gifts to De-Stress Coworkers

Stress is a serious problem in our culture. We’re far more overworked and overstressed than ever before, and that’s leading to some serious health problems. On April 16th, you’ll have a chance to spread awareness of stress (and all of its related problems) by picking out the perfect stress busting gifts for coworkers.

But what are they?

A simple tabletop fountain can be a great gift for coworkers feeling stressed out. The sound of running water is calming and soothing. These gifts aren’t very expensive, either, and come in a huge variety of styles.

Small, table-top fish tanks make great stress busters, too. Watching a mini reef, or even a goldfish swimming aimlessly about can help take the mind off of the matter at hand for at least a moment, leading to a brief respite from the daily grind.

If your office won’t allow you to keep these types of gifts for coworkers in your cubicle, you could always consider a mini Zen garden. There are a number of kits that not only allow your coworkers to understand how to use them, but also why they help to relieve the stress that’s building up every day.

Continuing along with the Eastern-inspired theme, there are plenty of teas that make great gifts for coworkers high-strung on stress. Consider caffeine-free blends, such as mint tea, chamomile tea, and lavender tea. They’re all shown to help reduce stress, and they make a great replacement for the afternoon cup of Joe (that’s caffeinating your coworkers and contributing to their stress).

Plants can also help reduce stress, but they’re certainly not good gifts for those who don’t have a green thumb. Stick with hardy plants if you’re not sure how plant-savvy your coworker is. The last thing you want to do is to cause your coworker more stress when they end up killing the plant.

Typical choices for cubicle plants include the wandering ivy and bamboo shoots. Both are incredibly hardy, easy to care for, and relatively inexpensive. If you want to your gift to really pay off in stress-busting dividends, consider an AeroGarden gourmet herb kit. It’s dirt-free, easy to use, and provides edible herbs that can be cultivated after just a few weeks.

Hook your coworkers up with a book (or audio CD) by Thich Nhat Hahn, a Zen monk who advocates “Mindful Living.” In essence, it’s a Buddhist practice that calls for focusing on what’s happening in the moment – instead of allowing our minds to wander to some place far more stressful. Anything written by Thich Nhat Hanh should provide the guidelines necessary to get to truly stress-free living, but the best introductory material on the topic is The Art of Mindful Living, which is an inexpensive audio book.

Whatever gift you choose, just be sure to provide your coworkers the acknowledgment and appreciation they seek. Feeling unacknowledged and underappreciated is one of the biggest causes of stress in the workplace, and you can help your coworkers feel less stressed out by letting them know you care.

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