relieve stress en-US Gift Giving Hacks That Will Save Your Money and Your Sanity <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/gift-giving-hacks-that-will-save-your-money-and-your-sanity" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="gift shopping" title="gift shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The holidays are fast approaching. This knowledge tends to stress me out for two reasons:</p> <ol> <li>Every major bill of mine is due between now and February. My property taxes. My insurance. Every ding dang subscription including Skype. I have no money extra money to buy gifts.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Every single one of my part-time jobs have end-of-the-year deadlines. I have no free time to go shopping.</li> </ol> <p>I lucked out for a long time. My immediate family doesn&rsquo;t celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, and my extended family that does celebrate Christmas agreed to stop exchanging Christmas gifts a decade ago. I only had to figure out gifts for a few close friends and neighbors. Giving handmade and/or carefully selected holiday gifts was easy. (See also: <a href="">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>Unfortunately, I married into a stereotypically gigantic Catholic family. My husband is the youngest of six children. Suddenly gift-giving got really complicated. I needed to get organized. Here&rsquo;s a list of gift hacks that save my money and my sanity. (See also: <a href="">25 Gifts That Save Money</a>)</p> <h2>Keep a Gift Diary</h2> <p>Yeah, yeah. Keeping all your gift-giving straight sounds like a Rich Person Problem. But you know, gift registries exist for reason. And that reason is avoiding embarrassment. Every year I hear some nightmare regifting story that usually involves a couple bringing a gift bottle of wine to a white elephant party&hellip;hosted by the person who gave them the wine in the first place. And although everyone has found that elusive one-size-fits-most gift that can be purchased in bulk, the awesomeness of many gifts fades with repetition. For example, a gift diary would have prevented my friend from giving me the exact same book two years in a row. Is my house so bad that I needed not one but two copies of the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0517577003&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">Martha Stewart Housekeeping</a> book? Sadly, I unwrapped the second copy in front of her, and I&rsquo;m sure the expression on my face, as I stumbled through a thank you, was not one of joy but of confusion. Awkward. At any rate, guess what she&rsquo;s getting for Christmas this year? (See also: <a href="">A Guide to Regifting</a>)</p> <h2>Keep a Gift Drawer</h2> <p>Throughout the year, I sew and knit small handmade gifts like hats, gloves, and scarves and stick them in my Gift Drawer. (Fancier people commonly refer to a similar space in their home as a Gift Closet). I also collect small vintage items as future presents from garage sales and swap meets. The small drawer size ensures that my house does not become a storage shed for things I'm not personally using.&nbsp;A potential gift has to fit in the drawer, or it doesn&rsquo;t get to come home with me.</p> <h2>Pre-Shop for Next Christmas This Christmas</h2> <p>My friend Ellen is the master of this shopping technique. Ellen lives far from her large family. Rather than pay a week&rsquo;s salary in shipping costs or schlep all her gifts home with her on the plane, Ellen does all her family gift buying <i>for the following year </i>while she&rsquo;s home for the holidays at after-Christmas sales. After buying next year&rsquo;s gifts at a steep post-holiday discount, Ellen sneaks her purchases home and, while everyone else is fast asleep, she wraps and addresses everything in one fell swoop with paper and gift cards she also purchased on sale. She then shoves the wrapped-and-ready gifts under the bed (aka. the Gift Under the Bed Storage Space) in the guestroom, where they wait for her arrival next year.</p> <h2>Arbitrage Your Stuff</h2> <p>Throughout the year I trade in my old books for store credit at my local used bookstore. In November I usually have about $100 in trade saved up that I use to &quot;buy&quot; gifts for my favorite readers. Or sometimes, I just give my trade credit as a gift card to a fellow fan of the bookstore.&nbsp;For people who live in areas that don&rsquo;t have used book, record, or clothing stores, this idea can be easily replicated by selling your stuff online, and keeping your Amazon or PayPal account as your gift slush fund. Your house stays tidy, and you have a painless way of saving money for the holidays. Be sure to keep store credit receipts or gift cards either in your wallet for easy access or in your Gift Drawer or your gift diary. Also, pay attention to the fine print on store credit. Some places impose annoying &ldquo;use it or lose it&rdquo; deadlines. Unintentional book donations due to lost or expired store credit receipts hurt like a paper cut. (See also: <a href="">10 Gift Ideas That Cost Almost Nothing</a>)</p> <h2>Gifts in a Jar</h2> <p>I'm a beekeeper, and I make award-winning preserves. Honey and jam are both great gifts. Since I'm already storing my surplus jams and pickles in the kitchen pantry, I'm not creating a storage problem in my house.&nbsp;Besides, space can be made at any time in the Gift Pantry by snacking. (See also: <a href="">15 Delicious Gifts You Can Bake</a>)</p> <h2>The Gift of Time</h2> <p>Instead of buying birthday presents for friends, I generally prefer to either bake them their favorite cake or take them to lunch. Either way, I get to enjoy the present too. For people on a money diet, <a href="">give friends coupons</a> for babysitting, a cleaned bathroom, a ride to the airport, etc...</p> <h2>Buy the Entire Collection, but Gift One Piece at a Time</h2> <p>My maternal grandmother perfected this technique, which works especially well for people with kids. Like a lot of kids, I had a rock collection. Because Grandma did not have the wonder that is the internet, and she didn't have time to go to a gem and rock convention every time she wanted to give me a gift, she bought thirty different &quot;collectible&quot; rocks during one visit to the Natural History Museum gift shop. For the next few years, she doled out the rock samples to me, one at a time, for every gift-giving occasion. The rocks were also individually labeled and packaged in a clear plastic display cases, so she didn't even have hunt around for gift boxes. She had the pleasure of finding the perfect (thirty) gifts, and the pleasure of watching me gleefully add each rock to my collection, with the convenience of one-stop, one-time shopping.</p> <h2>Don&rsquo;t Buy Wrapping Paper or Gift Bags</h2> <p>In addition to being an expensive, single-use item, most wrapping paper isn&rsquo;t recyclable. Instead of buying wrapping paper, I reuse brown craft paper, maps, photographs from old magazines or calendars. I also like to use things such as cereal boxes as wrap jewelry, <a href="">cashmere sweaters</a>, or other fancy presents. (It's like a white elephant gift in reverse). Reused wrapping is way cheaper and saves time because I don't have to leave the house to find it. (See also: <a href="">10 Cheap Gift Wrapping Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>Make the Wrapping Part of the Gift</h2> <p>I like using vintage pillowcases and scarves as wrapping for things. For a recent gift, I packed a baby sweater into a Tupperware storage container instead of using a box and wrapping.</p> <p><em>Do you have a favorite gift hack? Please share your genius in the comments section!&nbsp;</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Max Wong</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">9 Thrifty, Meaningful Gifts for Mom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">The 5 Best Luxury Pens</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">The 5 Best Exercise Mats</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">25 Awesome, Useful Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Lifestyle Shopping affordable gifts cheap holidays product reviews relieve stress Tue, 11 Dec 2012 11:24:35 +0000 Max Wong 955129 at 25 Ways to Feel Better Fast <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Joyful people running in a field" title="Joyful people running in a field" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Winter is often thought of the season of holidays and happiness. However, it&rsquo;s also the time of year when you&rsquo;re more prone to the sniffles, holiday stress, cold-weather sadness, and general irritation. When the bug bites you this season (whatever form it takes), don&rsquo;t just take it lying down &mdash; fight back by using these 25 ideas to feel better fast! (See also: <a href="">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</a>)</p> <h2>Get Over an Illness</h2> <p>Nothing is worse during the dark winter months than getting sick. A cold alone lasts for two weeks on average. Shorten the duration of your illness (or just feel a bit better faster) by following one of these suggestions.</p> <p><strong>1. Gargle With Salt Water</strong></p> <p>Not only does gargling with warm salt water help to ease a scratchy throat fast if you&rsquo;re already sick; according to one New York Times blog, it can help <a href="">stave off respiratory infections</a> altogether. I think I&rsquo;m going to add salt water gargling to my own daily regimen this winter to see for myself!</p> <p><strong>2. Take a Hot Shower</strong></p> <p>Taking a hot shower when you&rsquo;re feeling sick is an instant pick-me-up. Similar to a humidifier, a hot shower produces steam that can help relieve cold or respiratory symptoms. Not too mention how great it is to be enveloped in warmth for a few minutes during the coldest winter months.</p> <p><strong>3. Drink &mdash; A Lot </strong></p> <p>No, not alcohol (sorry!); that would be counter-productive. Because your body becomes dehydrated more easily when you&rsquo;re sick, it&rsquo;s important to drink even more liquids than you normally do. Water, tea, lemon-lime soda, even <a href="">dairy</a> &mdash; as long as you&rsquo;re staying hydrated; it&rsquo;s all fair game.</p> <p><strong>4. Eat Some Soup</strong></p> <p>Who doesn&rsquo;t love soup when they&rsquo;re feeling sick? My personal must-have is tomato soup with a side of grilled cheese (delicious), but you might prefer a good <a href="">chicken noodle</a>. Or try this <a href="">cranberry soup recipe</a> for sick days (hint &mdash; cranberry beans can be substituted for more commonly found red kidney beans).</p> <p><strong>5. Take a Day Off</strong></p> <p>You know that first real day when you <em>think</em> you&rsquo;re coming down with a cold? Give yourself permission to take the next day off, and <em>don&rsquo;t </em>use is at an excuse to try to get things done at home. One really good day of sleep and rest can help you to bounce back much more quickly than if you try to power through your cold. Your co-workers and friends will thank you, too.</p> <p><strong>6. Go for a Jog</strong></p> <p>Exercise when you&rsquo;re feeling sick seems counter-intuitive, but if you&rsquo;re a regular exerciser anyway, getting off the couch and increasing blood flow can make you feel better in a hurry. How do you know if you&rsquo;re too sick to do your normal routine? If your symptoms are primarily <a href="">above the neck</a> (as in, a sinus problem), you&rsquo;re probably OK. If you&rsquo;re having symptoms below the neck, however, it&rsquo;s probably best to wait until those subside.</p> <h2>Relieve Your Stress</h2> <p>Being stuck in cramped quarters with distant relatives for extended periods of time, project deadlines, grad school finals &mdash; all things that can raise your blood pressure toward the end of the year. Don&rsquo;t let stress overwhelm you this year, though; instead, give these techniques a try.</p> <p><strong>7. Take Five Minutes to Breathe Deeply</strong></p> <p>When you&rsquo;re stressed, your breath becomes shallower, depriving your brain of oxygen it needs to think more clearly. If you&rsquo;re feeling particularly stressed, take a few minutes to do some deep breathing exercises. Need some specific guidance on <em>how</em> to breath deeply? Try these <a href="">breathing techniques</a>.</p> <p><strong>8. Stretch</strong></p> <p>Like breathing, stretching increases blood flow. Start feeling less stressed right now with these easy <a href="">yoga stretches</a> you can do at your desk.</p> <p><strong>9. Play With a Pet</strong></p> <p>If you don&rsquo;t have a pet, try finding one. If you&rsquo;re a student at George Mason University School of Law, a <a href="">pet might even be supplied for you</a>. During final exams this year, GMU Law provided puppies for a couple of hours once a week so anxious students can decompress. It&rsquo;s not just GMU Law that has recognized the benefit of pet therapy, however; psychologists, veterinarians, and researchers have found <a href="">beneficial effects from interacting with animals</a> too.</p> <p><strong>10. Write It Down</strong></p> <p>You know the feeling you get when one problem keeps nagging at you, and you can&rsquo;t get that single idea out of your head? Try putting that thought down in writing &mdash; even clarifying <em>what</em> it is that&rsquo;s bothering you, without thinking about a solution, can make you feel better.</p> <p><strong>11. Laugh It Off</strong></p> <p>The old saying that laughter is the best medicine is really true. I have a fellow law student who, when the stress of finals threatens to overwhelm her, watches <a href=""><em>The Daily Show</em></a> on her laptop in the library. Hearing her laugh actually eases <em>my</em> stress, too. Don&rsquo;t dig <em>The Daily Show</em>? Take a break with a few of my other personal favorites: <a href="">Awkward Family Photos</a>, <a href="">Funny or Die</a>, and <a href="">The Onion</a>.</p> <p><strong>12. Take a Break</strong></p> <p>If you&rsquo;re stressed because you just can&rsquo;t solve a complex problem or because you just can&rsquo;t find the right words for your presentation at work, take a break. Psychologists have found that taking a short break from problems that puzzle you can actually help you solve them faster. This phenomenon, called the <a href="">Incubation Effect</a>, is based on the notion that learning can take place unconsciously. So do yourself a favor, and forget about your problems!</p> <h2>Lift Your Mood</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re more prone to let anxiety and stress get you down, give yourself an instant lift by trying some of these mood-boosting moves.</p> <p><strong>13. Call Someone You Love</strong></p> <p>Taking five minutes to talk to someone you love when you&rsquo;re feeling down can do wonders toward helping you feel better fast. Although complaining may only <a href="">make you feel worse</a> (and make your loved one feeling like a dumping ground for negativity), connecting with loved ones in general helps strengthen your social bond with that person, and research has shown that <a href="">being sociable is good for your health</a>.</p> <p><strong>14. Indulge in Something You Love</strong></p> <p>Sometimes, when it feels as if nothing is going your way, you can stem the tide of pessimism by stopping what you&rsquo;re doing and indulging in something you don&rsquo;t normally do. For me, that involves reading a good fashion mag. For you, that could mean soaking in a hot tub, watching an old movie, or treating yourself to some really good coffee. Injecting something that you know you love into your day can often do wonders for helping your overall perspective on things.</p> <p><strong>15. Help Someone Else</strong></p> <p>You know that feeling you get when you help someone else? Warm and fuzzy. It also gives you perspective &mdash; maybe your own problems aren&rsquo;t all <em>that</em> bad, in the grand scheme of things. It also gives you something else, as it turns out &mdash; <a href="">better physical and mental health</a>. So next time you&rsquo;re feeling down, think about volunteering to turn your mood around fast.</p> <p><strong>16. Take a Hike</strong></p> <p>Like helping others, getting out in nature can help give perspective to your problems and help you feel better fast. And walking in the great outdoors has <a href="">specific physical and mental health benefits</a> that indoor exercise doesn&rsquo;t appear to offer.</p> <p><strong>17. Hold Hands</strong></p> <p>The next time you&rsquo;re feeling down, grab the hand of someone you love to feel better fast. Holding hands is an act of intimacy, which helps strengthen those social bonds we talked about in #13. It&rsquo;s not all in your head, either &mdash; researchers have shown that the simple act of locking fingers has <a href="">locking fingers has positive effects</a>.</p> <p><strong>18. Give Up</strong></p> <p>No, I don&rsquo;t mean that you should give up on your job, or your relationship, or whatever project you happen to be working on. If you&rsquo;re feeling down because you can&rsquo;t live up to some standard, however, try giving up the standard in order to feel better fast. Those who set unattainably high standards for themselves often <a href="">set themselves up for failure</a> and feelings of depression. So go ahead: give up your standard, forgive yourself for not living up to that standard, and re-adjust your thinking.</p> <p><strong>19. Take a Power Nap</strong></p> <p>I am a big proponent of the power nap to feel better quickly in the midst of a bad day. I like to think of it as &ldquo;resetting&rdquo; a bad day and turning it into a good one. Even a 15-20 snooze will do; science has shown that this amount of shut-eye has <a href="">positive, mood-boosting effects</a>.</p> <h2>Appease Your Anger</h2> <p>Few things can ruin a day like anger, but only if you let it. Turn your day around fast by using one of these guidelines.</p> <p><strong>20. Acknowledge Your Anger</strong></p> <p>If you persistently suppress your anger (either because you dread confrontation or because you don&rsquo;t think you <em>should</em> be getting angry), it can lead to one giant display of anger that leaves you regretful and others hurt. Instead, feel better fast by stopping and acknowledging your anger and defining where it came from, if possible. Even if you do nothing more, you&rsquo;ll feel better.</p> <p><strong>21. Think of a Solution</strong></p> <p>If you find yourself getting irate at a customer service rep who won&rsquo;t let you return an item, feel better fast by thinking of another solution. Even though you might not be able to return the item, you may be able to ask for store credit, <a href="">sell the item on eBay</a>, or (if it makes you feel better), tell the store you won&rsquo;t be shopping there again. Just getting angry without thinking of what would resolve your anger leads to more frustration, and nobody wins in the end.</p> <p><strong>22. Express Your Anger</strong></p> <p>Does everybody else find those passive-aggressive workplace fridge messages as annoying as I do? &ldquo;To whomever used my mayo yesterday &mdash; hope it made your sandwich tasty, because there was none left for me.&rdquo; If you know who used your mayo, confront them politely and directly. The same goes for any other situation where your passive-aggressive behavior could be avoided with direct expression of anger. I promise, it will make you feel better much faster than you otherwise would.</p> <p><strong>23. Visualize a Relaxing Experience</strong></p> <p>Feel better fast when you start to get angry by thinking about something else &mdash; something relaxing. Not only does it help to force yourself to stop thinking about what&rsquo;s making you angry; it also helps to focus on something that calms you. After all, who could be angry when thinking about laying on a beach in Fiji?</p> <p><strong>24. Turn It Around on Yourself</strong></p> <p>A lot of anger comes from judging others, which, as we all know, is a largely hypocritical activity. So next time you find yourself getting angry at your spouse for <em>never</em> picking up after himself, think about how your own shortcomings might be annoying or disappointing to him, too. We all have flaws, and getting angry at others for theirs won&rsquo;t make them change.</p> <p><strong>25. Do Nothing</strong></p> <p>If someone seems to actually get pleasure out of making you angry (a bad boss, a frenemy, or just a generally ill-willed person), deprive them of the pleasure of seeing you get heated by&hellip;doing nothing. Not only will it stop you from doing something you&rsquo;ll regret, but it will also signal to the other person that they can&rsquo;t get a rise out of you.</p> <p><em>What methods do you use to feel better fast when you&rsquo;re sick, stressed, depressed, or angry? Share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!&nbsp;</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//;;description=25%20Ways%20to%20Feel%20Better%20Fast" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="" alt="25 Ways to Feel Better Fast" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">4 Signs You&#039;re Burned Out (and How to Recover)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Invest Your Time in These 13 Things While You&#039;re in Your 20s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">9 Reasons Alone Time Is Good For Your Soul</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">100 Small Things That Can Bring You Joy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">8 Powerful Brain Hacks You Can Do in Under 2 Minutes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Personal Development feel better fast happiness relieve stress Thu, 15 Dec 2011 11:36:17 +0000 Janey Osterlind 823515 at 99 Free or Virtually Free Ways to De-Stress <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/99-free-or-virtually-free-ways-to-de-stress" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's no way around it &mdash; life is stressful. In between schedules, working, making ends meet, and spending time with family, there's very little time to unwind. When stressful situations happen (and these days, who isn't anxious?), it's important to take a step back and re-focus on your center. If you have no idea where that is, you are definitely overdue for some de-stressing in your life. Here are ways to de-stress yourself, instantly, effectively, and legally. (See also: <a href="">Feeling stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</a>)</p> <ol> <li>Read a book.</li> <li>Look through magazines.</li> <li>Play an instrument.</li> <li>Go for a walk.</li> <li>Throw a ball for your dog.</li> <li>Read to your kids.</li> <li>Have sex.</li> <li>Play Solitaire.</li> <li>Go for a hike.</li> <li>Throw away ten things from your basement/garage.</li> <li>Practice yoga.</li> <li>Write a poem.</li> <li>Write a love letter.</li> <li>Write a &ldquo;Thank You&rdquo; note.</li> <li>Pray.</li> <li>Take a bath.</li> <li>Browse a catalog.</li> <li>Pet your cat.</li> <li>Listen to Brazilian Jazz (I highly recommend Antonio Carlos Jobim).</li> <li>Give yourself a manicure.</li> <li>Give yourself a facial.</li> <li>Put on sweat pants.</li> <li>Light candles and turn off the lights.</li> <li>Sit in front of a lighted fireplace.</li> <li>Paint a piece of furniture.</li> <li>Use Chinese stress balls.</li> <li>Sing.</li> <li>Drink peppermint tea.</li> <li>Drink warm milk with honey.</li> <li>Practice deep breathing techniques.</li> <li>Dance alone in your room to your favorite music.</li> <li>Doodle.</li> <li>Cook.</li> <li>Go for a drive (away from traffic).</li> <li>Garden ( I have never seen a stressed out gardener).</li> <li>Make bread.</li> <li>Piece together a puzzle.</li> <li>Do a crossword puzzle.</li> <li>Do a Sudoku puzzle.</li> <li>Watch a funny movie.</li> <li>Look at travel sites.</li> <li>Listen to records (how retro).</li> <li>Quilt.</li> <li>Scrapbook.</li> <li>Shoot hoops.</li> <li>Jog.</li> <li>Laugh.</li> <li>Eat chocolate.</li> <li>Cry.</li> <li>Smell flowers.</li> <li>Hug your children (or borrow someone else's, preferably someone you know).</li> <li>Go shopping.</li> <li>Call your mom.</li> <li>Call your best friend.</li> <li>Take pictures.</li> <li>Watch birds.</li> <li>Ride a bike.</li> <li>Roller skate.</li> <li>Sit in a coffee shop.</li> <li>Go to antique stores.</li> <li>Go to thrift stores.</li> <li>Go to garage sales.</li> <li>Sew.</li> <li>Knit.</li> <li>Crochet.</li> <li>Have a hot shower.</li> <li>Put Christmas lights up in your living room.</li> <li>Slow dance.</li> <li>Drink hot chocolate.</li> <li>Make lemonade.</li> <li>Watercolor.</li> <li>Color with crayons.</li> <li>Finger paint.</li> <li>Play with Play-Doh, with or without kids.</li> <li>Make a craft.</li> <li>Make your bed, then take a nap in it.</li> <li>Paint a wall.</li> <li>Press flowers.</li> <li>Watch a black and white movie.</li> <li>Watch a sports game.</li> <li>Go swimming.</li> <li>Go fishing.</li> <li>Skip rocks.</li> <li>Catch frogs.</li> <li>Watch the sunset.</li> <li>Snuggle.</li> <li>Sleep in.</li> <li>Watch animal clips on Youtube.</li> <li>Watch baby clips on Youtube.</li> <li>Play with a marshmallow shooter.</li> <li>Roast marshmallows over the stove.</li> <li>Play with a Rubik's cube.</li> <li>Block drama-prone friends from your facebook.</li> <li>Take three things off your &ldquo;to-do&rdquo; list for today.</li> <li>Ask yourself if this will really matter in 100 years.</li> <li>Stop reading the news.</li> <li>Only check your email once a day.</li> <li>Turn your phone off (or at least put it on vibrate).</li> <li>Know when it's time to walk away.</li> </ol> <p>People do all sorts of things to de-stress. Some watch the weather and others play video games. Some people work out really hard while others watch television. But the whole idea behind de-stressing is to take a step away from your situation to get some healthy perspective. Stop watching the world fall apart and remember what matters in your sphere of influence. Think of what you have to be grateful for, and embrace it. This is the only life you get, so remember to take the time to enjoy it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Sonja Stewart</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">6 Ways Living Alone Affects Your Health</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">5 Ways to Keep Anxiety From Ruining Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">8 Ways to Actually Relax Over the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">7 Ways to Stay Calm in Stressful Moments</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">8 Stress Relief Items You Need in Your Life That Are Under $20</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty being happy relieve stress stress Tue, 05 Apr 2011 09:48:05 +0000 Sonja Stewart 515338 at