Wednesday, December 12, 2012

5 Free, Easy Ways to Fight Holiday Stress.

If only life slowed down over the holidays...but this is America, where 65 percent of us are too busy at work to use our vacation days, and many of us don't even get those holidays off. So how do we find those happy moments amid the hububb? These all-natural cheap tricks aim to give your mood a boost with little to no effort!
5. Spa Your Shower
The shower should be your "big hug" at the beginning or end of the day, so make it a serene experience (why not, you have to do it, anyway!). So put your favorite playlist on, dim the lights, use that face mask your aunt gave you last Christmas, and say, "aaaahhh."
***Also, try these "Vicks"-like shower disks that clear your respiratory system, and your mind!
DIY 'VICKS' DISKS - Mix about 2-3 cups of baking soda with just enough water to turn it into a thick paste. Then add 15 drops of essential oils (I used rosemary and eucalyptus). Pour into a muffin tin and let sit overnight until firm. Drop one at the bottom of the shower and let the scented steam take you away!
4. Exercise
It's the last thing we want to do when Christmas shopping, holiday parties, and enjoying family time are at the top of our to-do lists. But guess what? It doesn't have to be much! I'm talking a 5-minute walk to the corner store to return your Redbox, or a 15-minute living room stretch. Just the other night, I blasted Spotify and started moving my body, and it turned into 45 minutes of groovin' and yoga moves...and sweat! Just because it felt good, and was fun! Just moving around will help your body relax, and your mind to release endorphins.
3. Enjoy Something Artsy
So much of society tries to suck the ART out of living. Cubicles, cash registers, car lanes. Give your brain a break and refresh your soul with a flash of art. Bust out a poem between emails....Google "Abstract Art" and contemplate a few images...go to an art gallery or a concert...sing your lungs out (Even out of key....sketch on a napkin...make a recipe....rearrange furniture...twirl across the kitchen floor...stare at something beautiful that catches your eye (how about yourself in the mirror? 'Preciate!!)...paint your name on your coffee mug...edit a photo....
2. Switch Up the Routine
Taking the "mundane" out of your day isn't as hard as it seems. Simply, change something about how you do your makeup, your hair, what you wear, what you DO. Your day doesn't have to be "work - gym- dinner - bed." There are 24 beautiful hours in a day that can hold all of your heart's desires. Yes, most of us have to work, but how about switching up your commute by carpooling, or riding the train? Or blasting new tunes in your car? After work, why not take your favorite book to a new coffee shop? Or stop by a friend's house for impromptu wine and cheese tasting? Which leads me to the next one...
1. Have a Moment with Someone You Love
Being in a supportive environment helps us feel at peace. I was feeling stressed yesterday, so I grabbed a girlfriend for a drink and an appetizer at a new restaurant. The laughter unwinded my nerves, and her words of encouragment gave me a lift. But you don't even have to spend money - this morning, I can't even begin to tell you how relaxed and loved I felt after my man woke up with me (3:30 a.m.!!) and made me coffee and an egg (actually, we were OUT of coffee, so he ran to the store and back just for me - sigh!). Those few minutes with him gave my day such a beautiful start, that nothing could trip that up. And if you have even less time than that, even a quick instant-message chat on Facebook can do the trick, as long as you're sincere and open.

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