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There are ways to take the stress out your life, if even just for the moment. These just-for-me moments can lower your stress level and help you feel calmer and more centered instantly. Our 27 ideas will have you smiling and relaxed right away. Try one (or more) right now!
1. Sip hot tea
The inviting aroma, the warmth on your throat, the health-boosting anti-oxidants and those 10 minutes to sit back and unwind are all waiting in one delightful cup. Try a new flavor each day and see which is your teatime favorite.
2. Call an old friend
Forget about your daily worries by reminiscing with a childhood friend.
3. Pet your cat or dog
Take a few minutes to thank your furry friend for always being by your side. Stroking a pet reduces stress and makes him or her feel happy, too.
4. Brush your hair
Running a comb or brush through your hair stimulates the scalp and can relax a worried mind. You’ll take a couple minutes to just think about you and walk away with knot-free locks.
5. Take a walk
Even a short stroll around the block to stretch your legs can make a big difference in your productivity and concentration. Breathe in the fresh air and take in the sights around you.
6. Fold the laundry
While this may sound like work, that pile of clothing laying around can cause stress just by your knowing its waiting there for you. Take 10 minutes, put on some relaxing music and get things nice and neat. Once you’re done, you’ll feel relieved.
7. Paint your nails
It’s hard to concentrate on the woes of the day when you are trying to carefully polish your fingernails. Choose a bright, happy shade.
8. Enjoy a candy sucker
If you can’t tear away from work, pop a fruity sucker in your mouth.
9. Read a magazine
Catch up on your favorite celebs, get some health tips, follow the news or get some new dinner ideas. Even if you don’t have time to get through the entire magazine, a quick escape from the daily grind is a stress-reducer
10. Write a letter to a loved one
Think of someone you’ve been meaning to contact and let her know how much she means to you. Thinking of that special someone will help you forget your stress.
11. Visit an animal shelter
Even if you can’t adopt a new friend, simply visiting a shelter will make you feel good and will give the animals some companionship.
12. Bake chocolate chip cookies
They don’t take long to make, and the time spent paying attention to the recipe will take your mind off the day’s stress.
13. Watch cute videos online
Who can resist those adorable cat videos or cute toddlers saying the silliest things?
14. Take a hot bath
Showers get the job done, but nothing relaxes more than a soothing bath. Shut the door, dim the lights, and soak in a bubble bath of relaxing scents.
15. Hug your partner or child
Hugging relieves stress and makes you feel loved. That tight squeeze from a loved one releases endorphins making you feel great.
16. Lotion up
Take care of your skin and pamper yourself — you deserve it!
17. Make a smoothie
Sipping a healthy smoothie of fruits, veggies and other healthy ingredients will rev you up, make you feel energized and give you a boost.
18. Read with the kids
Reading old classics can bring back fond memories of your childhood and helps improve the literacy of your children.
19. Make a photo album
Print out your favorite photos you have stored on your phone and make an old-fashioned album.
Stretching relaxes those tense muscles and helps you focus on our body’s needs. Find a quiet spot to get out the kinks and tension and you’ll feel refreshed and limber in no time.
21. Light some candles
Pick out your favorite scents like vanilla, cinnamon or sage and carefully light some decorative candles around the house.
22. Play some tunes from your teen years
Find some old CDs or search online for some of those songs that remind you of high school. Dance around the house or sing along like no one’s watching or listening. Being silly and carefree will help you remember to not take things too seriously.
23. Pop a big bowl of popcorn
Popcorn is a great wholesome snack that takes just minutes to make. Sprinkle some seasoning and munch while working or as a break-time treat.
24. Get a massage
Because, who doesn’t want a massage?
25. Donate clothing to charity
You’ll feel wonderful helping others and less-stressed knowing you have cleaned out a long-awaited mess in your closet.
26. Watch a reality show
Take your mind off your own troubles and watch some mindless reality TV. The silliness of some of the programming will have you feeling a little more carefree.
27. Soak your feet
Here’s 3 ways to treat your feet and get ready for sandal season.
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Photo by Laurel Fan