relax http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6004/all en-US The 7 Most Relaxing Ways to Spend Your Lunch Hour http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-relaxing-ways-to-spend-your-lunch-hour <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-most-relaxing-ways-to-spend-your-lunch-hour" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000025339603_XXXLarge.jpg" alt="women lunch break" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Find yourself working through your lunch break? Are you stressing out about what's left on your to-do list when you should be resting and re-energizing? You're not alone. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-productive-ways-to-spend-your-lunch-hour?ref=seealso">The 10 Most Productive Ways to Spend Your Lunch Hour</a>)</p> <p>Starting today, set all that aside &mdash; 60 minutes of downtime never hurt anybody, after all &mdash; and learn how best to de-stress and re-focus on your lunch break.</p> <h2>1. Leave the Office and Have Lunch With a Friend</h2> <p>The most common way to leave the stress of work behind during lunch is to leave the workplace altogether. Plan a lunch date with an available friend and put your place of business out of sight and out of mind.</p> <p>&quot;If you're stuck at a desk from 9:00 to 5:00, and most of us are in that position, use your lunch break as a way to escape from the feeling that your day is owned by Corporation X,&quot; says Kevin Barrett, a Chicago-based psychotherapist. &quot;You know that friend who works from home or recently quit their day job to freelance? Encourage them to come meet you near your workplace for lunch. The time away from your desk spent with a friend will help remind you that your life belongs to you. Let that energy carry you all the way to 5:00 p.m.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Connect With Your Co-Workers on a More Personal Level</h2> <p>You see the people with whom you work on a daily basis, and you spend more time with them day in and day out than you do with your own friends and family. But that doesn't have to cramp your style. Turn this forced &quot;friendship&quot; into the real thing by getting to know your work mates better. You might have more things in common than you think.</p> <p>Jacel Egan is a media-relations coordinator for the startup <a href="http://technologyadvice.com/">TechnologyAdvice</a>, and this practice is commonplace at her office.</p> <p>&quot;What I find to be the most relaxing during lunch is learning more about what my teammates do outside of work,&quot; she says. &quot;We have an open office environment and are fortunate to get catered lunches four times week, so most of us eat in the break room. Finding out what others are interested in, what concerts they attended, or where they went hiking last weekend can spark conversations that provide a midday mental break. If the weather is nice, many of us will sit out on the patio and enjoy the sunshine as well.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Meditate and Focus on Muscle Relaxation Techniques</h2> <p>Sure, meditation at work is a little New Age-y (my old office hosted yoga at lunchtime, so it's not that farfetched), but the medical benefits of meditation have been proven time and again. Combine this quiet time with muscle relaxation techniques for a double whammy of mind, body, and soul exercises.</p> <p>Jennifer Erickson, a nationally certified counselor and owner of <a href="http://www.refocuscounselingllc.com/">ReFocus Counseling</a>, recommends some short relaxation techniques to her clients.</p> <p>&quot;There are many free [progressive muscle relaxation] videos on YouTube and they range from six minutes up to 30 minutes,&quot; she says. &quot;Progressive muscle relaxation is the process of tightening muscles and then relaxing them. This is an excellent way to wake up the body and loosen muscles that get tight from sitting in one position. People that either sit at a desk, behind a counter, or stand in the same stance for several hours can benefit. Not only does this loosen up the body, [but] it clears the mind of everything going on, allowing the individual to recharge and get ready for the second half of their day.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Exercise Outdoors With a Coworker or Friend</h2> <p>I used to walk around my office park with a few co-workers on nice days, so I can vouch for Scott Crabtree, &quot;chief happiness officer&quot; at <a href="http://www.happybrainscience.com/">Happy Brain Science</a>, when he suggests that we keep it movin' at lunchtime.</p> <p>&quot;According to the science of happiness, the best possible lunch break is to exercise outdoors with a friend,&quot; Crabtree says. &quot;This gives us three happiness and brain-function boosts.&quot;</p> <h3>Physical Activity</h3> <p>The data indicates this boosts brain function and mood. Exercise is as effective as antidepressants in treating depression in the long run. Even a walk at a relaxed pace counts.</p> <h3>Social Connection</h3> <p>The quality of our relationships is a key factor in our happiness. Happiness boosts productivity, creativity, resilience, health, and success.</p> <h3>A Real Break From Work</h3> <p>Studies show we need time away from screens, and in a new setting, and that time outdoors refreshes us in unique ways.</p> <p>&quot;The eating part of our lunch break can happen at the end of the workout, when we feel we've really earned it with the exercise,&quot; Crabtree adds.</p> <h2>5. Become One With Nature &mdash; If Only for Half an Hour</h2> <p>Turning our constantly connected lives on silent for a half hour a day during lunch isn't a bad idea. It can be quite soothing to free your mind of all that whirling technology and add something a little less demanding to your day.</p> <p>Marketing manager Christine Morales live nears the coast and she takes advantage of her good fortune on a regular basis.</p> <p>&quot;My all-time favorite way to relax and spend my lunch hour is sitting on a bench and watching the ocean, waves, and sometimes people,&quot; she says. Hearing the roar and crash of waves is exhilarating; the sparkle from the sunshine on the ocean is mesmerizing. Don't live near the coast? The next best thing would be a park with grassy area to sit and enjoy a quick meal either reading a book or just enjoying nature and listening to all wonderful sounds Mother Nature and urban areas provide.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Escape Into a Good Book</h2> <p>Fiction books provides a fantasy world to which you can travel for an hour or so, but if nonfiction is your personal preference that's okay too. The important thing is that you're calm, collected, and concentrating on relaxing during &quot;me time.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Everyone's tastes are different, but I personally prefer fiction &mdash; something that actually pulls me away from whatever story is developing about my own day in the office and into an entirely different world,&quot; says Jamie Netzer, content editor at <a href="https://www.thezebra.com">The Zebra</a>. &quot;It doesn't have to be much; even 20 minutes of story is enough to be a small emotional recharge for me. The distraction of my phone is not enough, because I want to be emotionally and mentally engaged in something that is ultimately without consequence in my real life. Fiction fits that bill perfectly.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Drop Everything You're Doing and Look at Photos of Baby Animals</h2> <p>You're probably like, &quot;Whaaaaat? That's silly!&quot; &mdash; and you're right, it is. But wouldn't you know, looking at photos of baby animals is a scientifically proven method of helping you relax during lunch so you can be more productive later in the day.</p> <p>According to research by Hiroshima University, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/01/looking-at-cute-animal-pictures-at-work-can-make-you-more-productive_n_1930135.html">looking at cute animal photos</a> can increase fine motor coordination and attention to detail. During the course of the study, subjects were shown photos of baby animals, adult animals, and delicious looking food before being given a test. Only the group shown photos of baby animals recorded a marked increase in coordination and response time.</p> <p>If you want to get in on this action, check out <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cute-contest-kittens-puppies/id961404463">The Cute Contest app</a>, which will probably keep you occupied longer than it probably should. But, hey, at least you'll be relaxed and ready to attack the rest of the day.</p> <p><em>How do you relax and recharge at lunch? Take a break and let us know in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-relaxing-ways-to-spend-your-lunch-hour">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">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="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-ways-to-de-stress-and-enjoy-life-more">6 Little Ways to De-Stress (and Enjoy Life More)</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="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-for-lunch-for-a-more-productive-afternoon">What to Eat for Lunch for a More Productive Afternoon</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="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-take-a-break-at-work-and-still-look-busy">8 Ways to Take a Break at Work (and Still Look Busy)</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="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-productive-ways-to-spend-your-lunch-hour">The 10 Most Productive Ways to Spend Your Lunch Hour</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="http://www.wisebread.com/109-random-acts-of-kindness-you-can-start-doing-today">109 Random Acts of Kindness You Can Start Doing Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips lunch lunch break relax Tue, 24 Feb 2015 12:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1302598 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Little Stressors You Can Easily Eliminate Today http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stressed-woman-traffic-Dollarphotoclub_53811864.jpg" alt="stressed woman traffic" title="stressed woman traffic" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Stress is how we respond to life's challenges. And since life always throws us curveballs (especially if you're a Baltimore Oriole gunning for a World Series title&hellip; I'll get over the shutout eventually), a completely stress-free life might never happen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress?ref=seealso">20 Free (or Cheap) Ways to Reduce Stress</a>)</p> <p>But while you can't snap your fingers and wish away big stresses, you can eliminate little stressors that impact your everyday life. Expunging minor annoyances that increase blood pressure and anxiety level may not provide complete peace of mind, but it's a good starting point. Here are six to set you on the right path.</p> <h2>1. Toxic Relationships</h2> <p>Whether it's a so-called friend, a co-worker, neighbor, or miserable relative (you know who you are, <em>Aunt Silvie</em>), some people may drain the life out of you and increase your stress level. You may put up with the abuse because of your history, but the last thing you need is a toxic relationship adding stress to your life.</p> <p>It's a common type of relationship. In fact, &quot;84% of women &mdash; and 75% of men &mdash; said they'd <a href="http://www.today.com/id/44205822/ns/today-today_health/t/toxic-friends-people-endure-poisonous-pals/#.VH4pgofPbzI">had a toxic friend</a> at some point,&quot; acccording to a study conducted by Today.com and Self Magazine. You don't have to banish these people from your life, but to enjoy less stress and more happiness, you have to acknowledge a toxic relationship sooner than later and <a href="http://www.webmd.com/women/features/toxic-friends-less-friend-more-foe?page=3">deal with the toxicity</a>, such as &quot;taking some degree of responsibility for the situation&quot; and setting boundaries.</p> <h2>2. Traffic Jams During the Morning Commute</h2> <p>Nobody wants to deal with bumper-to-bumper traffic (especially if you are not a morning person), and research proves that traffic and your commute can be bad for your health. &quot;It is very stressful &mdash; you have little control over it,&quot; says Dr. David Frid of the Cleveland Clinic. &quot;And it is something, like most stressful situations, that can have an impact on your heart. It can increase your heart rate and increase your blood pressure, both which are very bad for your system in the short term as well as the long term.&quot;</p> <p>Researchers believe that honking and the sound of traffic can trigger elevated stress levels. But if you work outside the home and live in a heavily populated area, major slowdowns are inevitable and a bad start to your day. There's nothing you can do about traffic, but you can minimize its effect.</p> <p>&quot;Leave with enough time so that if a traffic jam occurs&hellip; you're not going to be bothered by it,&quot; Frid says. &quot;If you get caught in a traffic jam, it is what it is. Don't get upset about it. Listen to your (audio) book, listen to the radio.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Long Lines</h2> <p>Whether it's at the grocery store or the bank &mdash; you can't escape long lines. And if you're tired, hungry, and stuck standing in a long line after finishing an eight-hour shift, this might be the thing that pushes you over the edge.</p> <p>Unfortunately, as long as there are people, there will be lines. But this doesn't mean you have to waste time standing in them. Take advantage of time-saving tools created to make your life less stressful. Just about every bank and credit union has a mobile app that lets customers deposit checks from a mobile device (this is one of the best technological advances so far this century, in my opinion). And I recently learned that Walmart (and many other grocery stores) now offers a feature that lets customers grocery shop online. Visit the grocery store's website, select items to purchase, choose a pick-up time (or delivery, in some cases), pay online, and pick up your items from the store's designated area. No lines.</p> <h2>4. Too Much News</h2> <p>After work you may turn on the TV to catch up on the latest headlines. But given how most news isn't good news, after a few programs you may notice your anxiety level rising. This feeling isn't all in your head.</p> <p>A national survey of more than 2,500 Americans conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health found that 1 in 4 participants experienced &quot;a great deal of stress in the previous month,&quot; and the biggest contributing factor was reading, watching, or listening to the news. Additionally, a study conducted after the Boston Marathon bombing found that &quot;people who exposed themselves to six or more hours of media daily actually reported more acute stress symptoms than did people who were directly exposed &mdash; meaning they were at the site of the bombings,&quot; says professor Alison Holman of the University of California.</p> <p>We should stay up-to-date on national and world events, sure. But try limiting yourself to only 10 or 20 minutes of news coverage a day.</p> <h2>5. Perfectionism</h2> <p>We can be our own worst enemy and our own stress trigger. Some people have to do everything perfectly, and mistakes are unacceptable. However, nobody is perfect, and if you're reaching for perfection, you're only going to succeed at stressing yourself out (which is why Xanax is my best friend). Do your best, but know your limits (and I'll try to practice what I preach as well).</p> <h2>6. Too Much Technology</h2> <p>Between smartphones, tablets, and unlimited data plans, you can be connected to the outside world 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But there's a <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3042390/">connection between stress and overuse of technology</a>. And if you can't go 30 minutes without checking your email or text messages, you may experience higher stress levels than someone who completely unplugs.</p> <p>Sure, you may need your smartphone or tablet, but it's okay to set boundaries. Maybe shut down all devices two or three hours before bed to allow your mind time to unwind. This means no playing games, texting, reading blogs, and definitely no paying bills online. It'll be hard to break this habit, but people have put more difficult addictions to rest. You got this if you want this.</p> <p><em>What are some other stressors that are commonplace that we can feasibly avoid? Let me know your suggestions and tips in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">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-8"> <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="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-you-can-go-easier-on-yourself">12 Ways You Can Go Easier on Yourself</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="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress">20 Free (or Really Cheap) Ways to Relieve Stress</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="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-reduce-workplace-stress">10 Frugal Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress</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="http://www.wisebread.com/6-nervous-tics-you-need-to-stop-right-now">6 Nervous Tics You Need to Stop Right Now</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="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-slow-down-your-fast-paced-life">How to Slow Down Your Fast-Paced Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Personal Development relax stress stress relief tension Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1270104 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Little Ways to De-Stress (and Enjoy Life More) http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-ways-to-de-stress-and-enjoy-life-more <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-little-ways-to-de-stress-and-enjoy-life-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/nature-meditation-488241947-small.jpg" alt="meditation nature" title="meditation nature" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Money, work, the economy, family responsibilities, personal relationships, and health are today's top triggers of stress, according to research by the American Psychological Association. No one is immune, but luckily we all have the power to reduce the amount of stress we experience in day-to-day life. Yet research shows only 37% of Americans feel they are doing an <a href="http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2012/impact.aspx#">adequate job of managing their stress</a>.</p> <p>Believe it or not, stress relief doesn't have to be so hard. There are lots of little tools and tricks you can use as you go about your day to help release those tightly wound tensions in the body and mind. No hypnotists or expensive yoga retreats required. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress?ref=seealso">20 Free or Really Cheap Ways to Reduce Stress</a>)</p> <p>Read on for a roundup of our six favorite de-stressors that are simple, effective, and guaranteed to make you feel a little bit lighter on your feet.</p> <h2>1. Breathe Deeply</h2> <p>Stop what you're doing and take a couple slow, deep breaths. Now take a few more. This easy, ancient practice of deep breathing slows the heartbeat, relieves anxiety, lowers blood pressure, and <a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2009/May/Take-a-deep-breath">induces a sense of peace and calm</a>. It's the body's built-in stress regulator. Yet in our fast-paced society, conscious breathing often takes a back seat.</p> <p>Here's a quick refresher based on pranayama, a method of <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3415184/">breathwork used in yoga that's proven to enhance relaxation</a>: To start, sit in a comfortable seated position on the ground. Close your eyes and inhale deeply, filling the lungs with oxygen. As you breathe the air in, allow your stomach, back, sides, and rib cage to expand. When you're ready, exhale slowly until you've completely emptied the lungs, as if you were wringing out the air like water from a wet towel.</p> <h2>2. Keep a Tennis Ball Handy</h2> <p>You won't need a racket for this muscle relaxing trick. To start, lie flat your back with your gaze toward the ceiling and tuck a tennis ball under your low back, just to the left of your spine. Close your eyes, breathe, allow gravity to sink your body down, and let the ball press in to your muscle tissue. After a few moments, roll the ball an inch higher on your back, slightly to the left of your spine. Repeat this process until you've reached your shoulder area, then repeat on the right side of the body. Experts say this routine will rejuvenate muscle tissue, loosen knots, and help the body and mind relax.</p> <p>Here's another tennis ball trick. Poke a hole in the ball and you've made yourself a stress relief ball. Simply grip the the ball and squeeze it tight when you feel tension and anxiety building. This little hand pulsation exercise can also help <a href="http://www.berkeleywellness.com/self-care/preventive-care/article/get-grip-blood-pressure">lower your blood pressure</a>. It's the perfect stress relief solution when you're on-the-go.</p> <h2>3. Power Down Your Gadgets</h2> <p>Sure, technology has its benefits, but it's also making us sick. Literally. <a href="http://www.aoa.org/Documents/optometrists/effects-of-computer-use.pdf">Stress, depression, and vision impairment</a> are just a few of the negative consequences of spending too much time on our phones, tablets, and computers. Luckily, there's a simple fix: unplug. After work, on weekends &mdash; whenever you can. By disconnecting from email, text messaging, and social media, you can actually increase your connectivity to the people around you. And you'll feel a heck of a lot better while you're at it.</p> <h2>4. Make Time to Meditate</h2> <p>It only takes <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306453014000584">25 minutes of meditation for three consecutive days</a> to reduce stress. It may seem daunting at first, but meditation is a practice anyone can do. The goal is to give the mind a break from its constant hustle.</p> <p>Here's a short how-to guide for first-timers: Concentrate on a single focus, be it your breath, a one-word mantra, or the flicker of a lit candle. <a href="http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/141">Empty your mind of all other thoughts</a>; if outside thoughts arrive, simply acknowledge them and let them go. Start with two or three minute intervals, eventually working your way up to a full 25-minute practice.</p> <h2>5. Spend Quiet Time in Nature</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2872309/">sounds of birds chirping, rain falling, and bees buzzing</a> are proven to lower stress and evoke a feeling of calm. If you can't get outside, find a source of water indoors. The sound of running water &mdash; be it from a rolling brook, waterfall, or kitchen faucet &mdash; is scientifically proven to boost happiness and relieve tension.</p> <h2>6. Walk for 30 Minutes</h2> <p>A brisk walk is one of the best exercises for you. And it only takes 20 minutes for your brain to start releasing endorphins and dopamine &mdash; those <a href="http://www.adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety">feel-good hormones</a> that make you happy. Not only is walking good for the heart and lungs, it reduces fatigue and improves alertness. This is particularly beneficial for those among us who are stressed out, since stress can deplete the body's energy and the brain's ability to concentrate.</p> <p><em>How do you de-stress? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-ways-to-de-stress-and-enjoy-life-more">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">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="http://www.wisebread.com/banish-stress-easy-ways-to-get-calm-now-and-forever">Banish Stress: Easy Ways to Get Calm Now and Forever</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="http://www.wisebread.com/the-happiness-habits-7-ways-to-feel-better-now">The Happiness Habits: 7 Ways to Feel Better Now</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="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today">6 Little Stressors You Can Easily Eliminate Today</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="http://www.wisebread.com/15-productive-ways-to-reduce-stress">15 Productive Ways to Reduce Stress</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="http://www.wisebread.com/6-nervous-tics-you-need-to-stop-right-now">6 Nervous Tics You Need to Stop Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Personal Development de-stress relax stress Thu, 11 Sep 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1207216 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Slow Down Your Fast-Paced Life http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-slow-down-your-fast-paced-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-slow-down-your-fast-paced-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/relax-5112051-small.jpg" alt="relax" title="relax" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes, stress can be a good thing, but when healthy, everyday pressure turns into can't-slow-down anxiety, it's time to reevaluate. If you're struggling to keep up with your action-packed schedule and can't seem to calm down, don't worry. With a few quick changes, you can shift your priorities and learn to relax. Try these six slowdown strategies for a simple, smoother way of life.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Surprising-Things-Cause-Stress-31010213">7 Surprising Things You Didn't Know Were Stressing You Out</a></p> <h3>1. Take Some Time to Assess Your Stressors</h3> <p>For a few days, step back and see what overwhelms you most. Is it a time issue? Your work? Relationships? Find out what triggers your hectic lifestyle so that you can pinpoint some slow-down solutions.</p> <h3>2. Lower the Information Influx</h3> <p>Turn off the push notifications for your cell phone's email, social media, news, and game applications. Check your apps only when you have the time. Otherwise, that constant flood of data will distract from the things you really need to get done, and unfinished tasks will only leave you more stressed.</p> <h3>3. Tuck Away Your Tech</h3> <p>Out of sight, out of mind &mdash; at least, as much as it can be. Keep your phone and tablet in a drawer or in your purse so that you're not tempted to browse, especially as it gets closer to bedtime. Without your smart phone in sight, your thoughts will be more focused and you'll be more mindful in the moment.</p> <h3>4. Pencil in &quot;Me Time&quot; &mdash; and Stick to It</h3> <p>Truth is, you can't keep up with that go, go, go routine if you don't allow yourself to wind down every once in a while. For every few must-attend events, pencil in a date with yourself: a massage, a workout, or even just a couple hours to sit back and read.</p> <h3>5. Be Realistic About Your Workload</h3> <p>Is all that overtime necessary? Evaluate your productivity to be sure you're making the most of your 9-to-5 hours, then look for any opportunities to scale back. Also, don't be afraid to delegate tasks; asking for help shows that you're willing to collaborate.</p> <h3>6. Embrace the Ability to Say &quot;No&quot;</h3> <p>You don't need to be everybody's go-to helper, so let yourself say &quot;no&quot; sometimes. Being a &quot;yes&quot; person can be great, but if it's leaving you overwhelmed or resentful, it's time to be a bit more selfish with your time.</p> <p><em>Do you have any tips for reducing stress? Share them in the comments below!</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don&#039;t let stress overwhelm you — instead, follow these steps to slow down your life. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img width="300" height="95" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Worry-Exchange-Battle-Stress-30976989">A New (and Effective!) Way to Battle Stress</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Ways-Relieve-Stress-31075809">Gimme a Break: 101 Frugal Ways to Relax</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Tips-De-Stress-Work-22310420">13 Ways to De-Stress During the Workday</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-slow-down-your-fast-paced-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">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-2"> <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="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today">6 Little Stressors You Can Easily Eliminate Today</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="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-ways-to-de-stress-and-enjoy-life-more">6 Little Ways to De-Stress (and Enjoy Life More)</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="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-say-no-to-friends-and-family">5 Ways to Say &quot;No&quot; to Friends and Family</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="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress">20 Free (or Really Cheap) Ways to Relieve Stress</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="http://www.wisebread.com/banish-stress-easy-ways-to-get-calm-now-and-forever">Banish Stress: Easy Ways to Get Calm Now and Forever</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development relax saying no stress Fri, 23 Aug 2013 10:24:31 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 981433 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What Do You Do to Relax? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-do-you-do-to-relax <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-what-do-you-do-to-relax" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/relax-5090348-small.jpg" alt="relax" title="relax" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-do-you-do-to-relax#comment-660728">Laura</a>, Christie, and Linda for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Everyone needs some time to get away from the stresses of our daily lives, but how we spend that time differs from person to person.</p> <p><b>What do you do to relax?</b> How long does it take before you feel recharged? Do you need to schedule time to make sure you unwind?</p> <p>Tell us about what you do to relax and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> <a id="rc-79857d39" class="rafl" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857d39/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><script src="//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js"></script> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, July 8th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after July 8th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us about what you do to relax and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-do-you-do-to-relax">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">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-3"> <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="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-whats-the-biggest-item-in-your-budget">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s the Biggest Item in Your Budget?</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="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to You?</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="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</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="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</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="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-dream-job-0">Ask the Readers: What is Your Dream Job?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers relax Tue, 02 Jul 2013 10:45:03 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 980273 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Free Ways to Relax http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-free-ways-to-relax <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-free-ways-to-relax" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3894464740_d8a1392dde_z.jpg" alt="Free Ways To Relax" title="Free Ways To Relax" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money TIps</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on totally free ways to relax, creating lasting financial resolutions, and the keys to winning with money.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Free-Ways-Relax-26337597">Super Savvy! 10 Totally Free Ways To Relax</a> &mdash; Watching the sunset or sunrise is a great way to relax for free! [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/motivation/7-steps-to-creating-lasting-financial-resolutions/">7 Steps to Creating Lasting Financial Resolutions</a> &mdash; To create lasting financial resolutions, set time limits for your resolutions. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://www.robertjacobs.org/2012/12/26/the-6-keys-to-winning-with-money/">The 6 Keys to Winning with Money</a> &mdash; Discipline is one of the keys to winning with money. [From the Desk of Robert Jacobs]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2012/12/23/a-few-things-to-consider-before-becoming-an-expatriate/">A few things to consider before becoming an expatriate</a> &mdash; Before becoming an expatriate, take some time to consider currency, taxes, and investments. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2012/12/27/pay-if-forward-by-re-gifting/">Pay it Forward by Re-Gifting</a> &mdash; If you ever receive a gift that could be useful to someone in need, regifting it may be a good idea. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/2012/12/3-ways-to-save-on-car-insurance-that-you-havent-thought-of?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ThePennyHoarder+%28The+Penny+Hoarder%29">3 Ways to Save on Car Insurance That You Haven't Thought Of</a> &mdash; Maintaining a good credit score can help you save on car insurance. [The Penny Hoarder]</p> <p><a href="http://canadianfinanceblog.com/comparison-shopping-buy-in-the-store-check-online/">Comparison Shopping: Before You Buy in the Store, Check Online</a> &mdash; Did you know you can save up to 50% when you comparison shop online? [Canadian Finance Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://dqydj.net/actually-good-2012-year-end-tax-tips/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DQYDJ+%28Don%27t+Quit+Your+Day+Job%29">(Actually Good) 2012 Year End Tax Tips</a> &mdash; Push as many tax deductions as you can out until next year. This may be a gamble, but it could also pay off for you too. [Don't Quit Your Day Job]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2012/12/do-you-pay-your-kids-for-good-grades.html">Do You Pay Your Kids for Good Grades?</a> &mdash; Would you pay your kids or offer them an incentive for getting good grades? [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-include-kids-in-your-new-years-eve-party">Tips for Including Kids in Your New Year's Eve Celebration</a> &mdash; Finger foods are a great idea when including kids in your new year's eve celebration. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-free-ways-to-relax">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">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-4"> <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="http://www.wisebread.com/watch-all-the-documentary-movies-you-can-handle-free-online-and-yes-its-legal">Watch All The Documentary Movies You Can Handle, Free Online - And Yes, It&#039;s Legal.</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="http://www.wisebread.com/duh-libraries">Duh..Libraries</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="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-things-in-life-are-more-or-less-free">The best things in life are (more or less) free</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="http://www.wisebread.com/sit-in-on-a-class-at-mit-for-free">Sit in on a Class at MIT for Free!</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="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-poor-things-i-forget-about-that-dont-cost-a-thing">Feeling Poor?: Things I Forget About that Don&#039;t Cost a Thing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle best money tips free relax Fri, 28 Dec 2012 11:00:32 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 961722 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Do Less — and Why You Should http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-less-and-why-you-should <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-do-less-and-why-you-should" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2601365946_90e1409be5_z.jpg" alt="relaxed man with dogs" title="relaxed man with dogs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What are you doing right now? Yeah, like right now. What are actually <em>doing</em>? If you&rsquo;re at work or running on the treadmill or doing laundry, you probably feel pretty smug about how busy and productive you are, don&rsquo;t you? But what about if you&rsquo;re just, well, layin&rsquo; around? Checking out the texture of the ceiling; settling into the couch. Does that question make you feel defensive? Maybe even a little guilty?</p> <p>I&rsquo;d say for most people that&rsquo;s pretty typical. I know it is for me. After all, there&rsquo;s a certain amount of shame that comes with leaving the dishes in sink, turning off the computer, and just vegging out. But if getting things done is so important, why oh why does doing nothing feel sooo good? I have a theory &mdash; because in doing nothing, you&rsquo;re accomplishing a lot more than you think. In that respect, I think actually managing to do less is mostly a mindset. Here are some thoughts on how to do less &mdash; and why you may get more out of it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fallacy-of-multitasking">The Fallacy of Multitasking</a>)</p> <h3>You're Busy...but Are You&nbsp;Productive?</h3> <p>I&rsquo;d bet that most people fall into the trap of doing too much from time to time, and a few even get hooked on it. It&rsquo;s a bit like running a marathon &mdash; there&rsquo;s suffering involved, but also a bit of the high that comes from pushing yourself to the limit. It&rsquo;s that high that keeps you going when sleep, downtime, and even fun are in short supply. The problem is, whether you're in a marathon or just living day-to-day, there are only so many miles you can cover at top speed&nbsp;before you hit the wall, break down, or even work yourself to death.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve definitely run myself into the red zone. It has its rewards in the moment, but I&rsquo;m pretty sure at least some of that sense of productivity is an illusion. In reality, I&rsquo;m struggling to stay awake and engaged at work, dragging myself through social engagements, struggling through a workout, chores, hobbies &mdash; and doing a shoddy job at each and every one. I won&rsquo;t deny that some people are better at spreading themselves thin than others, but it still comes at a cost.</p> <h3>Work: The Bottomless Pit</h3> <p>I&rsquo;m always amazed at how quickly household chores pile up. I don&rsquo;t have children yet, so I&rsquo;m probably in for a serious wake-up call in this department in the next few years. Even so, the laundry soon piles up again, dust and dirt find their way into those once clean corners, and I&rsquo;m left wondering why even I bother to chase it out in the first place. It seems a bit pointless, but then, most things are like that. No matter how much work you put behind you, there&rsquo;s always more up ahead. This isn&rsquo;t necessarily a bad thing; I think people are naturally inclined to be busy. The problem comes in when you don&rsquo;t know when to stop. Sometimes I don&rsquo;t know, quite honestly. Here&rsquo;s the reality though &mdash; the only way you&rsquo;ll get to kick back is if you accept that you can&rsquo;t do everything. Decide when you&rsquo;ll cut yourself off, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-frugal-ways-to-reward-yourself-right-now">find some time to relax</a>. Really. It&rsquo;s OK.</p> <h3>Understand the Power of Empty Space</h3> <p>Oscar Wilde once said that doing nothing was one of the hardest things in the world &mdash; the hardest and the most intellectual. A.A. Milne, author of <em>Winnie the Pooh</em>, explains doing nothing through one of his characters, Piglet, who describes it as &ldquo;just going along, listening to all the things you can&rsquo;t hear, and not bothering.&rdquo; Authors and other artists in particular seem to be big proponents of empty time, and in fact, many of them work in cycles that swing between highly productive and what you might call &quot;regenerative.&quot; It seems that just because you aren&rsquo;t <em>doing </em>something doesn&rsquo;t mean nothing is happening. Ideas, inspiration, and even motivation often spring from their opposite &mdash; nothing.</p> <h3>Here&rsquo;s to Accomplishing Less</h3> <p>One final thought on doing nothing (and why you should embrace it more often) &mdash; there&rsquo;s something to be said for accomplishing less, especially if it allows you to enjoy it more. It&rsquo;s usually the things that come with no professional designations, rewards, or external validation that turn out to be the most important in life. (In other words, no one on their deathbed ever says, &ldquo;Gee, I wish I&rsquo;d spent more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-the-planet-work-at-home">time at the office</a>.&rdquo;) Let your actions reflect your priorities. When you have something better to do &mdash; or better still, nothing to do at all &mdash; let some of the other stuff slide and see where that unscheduled time takes you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-less-and-why-you-should">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">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-2"> <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="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wake-up-fast-and-attack-the-day">How to Wake Up Fast and Attack the Day</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="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-slow-down-your-fast-paced-life">How to Slow Down Your Fast-Paced Life</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="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-ways-to-de-stress-and-enjoy-life-more">6 Little Ways to De-Stress (and Enjoy Life More)</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="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today">6 Little Stressors You Can Easily Eliminate Today</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="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-spending-3-on-you-will-advance-your-career">Here&#039;s How Spending 3% On You Will Advance Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development do less get things done relax simplify Tue, 17 Apr 2012 10:00:12 +0000 Tara Struyk 920604 at http://www.wisebread.com Relax... It's Only $2 http://www.wisebread.com/relax-its-only-2 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/relax-its-only-2" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tea.jpg" alt="" title="tea" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="349" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">I have been feeling more stressed out than usual.<span> </span>My first instinct is to call up my massage therapist and schedule a one-hour Swedish massage and order some take-out peanut butter chicken from my local Chinese place.<span> </span>After doing the math, however, I figure that between the $80 massage, $18 tip, $10 takeout, and $8 in gas, I will have a spent a whopping $116 in unjustified indulgences.<span> </span>It would take an entire day of hard-earned freelance work to get all of that money back, and I would probably end up MORE stressed out and guilty than before my very expensive TLC.<span> </span>So what’s a girl to do?<span> </span>Here are 7 of my favorite ways to relax, and they all cost less than a $2 bill!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>1. Take a shower</strong> – This seems cheesy, but it really works for me.<span> </span>While some people swear by a bubble bath, I am a clean, running water freak.<span> </span>The right shower head and a $1.45 bottle of Suave Exhale body wash (cheap but sooo luxurious) gives me a nice escape from the hectic world.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>2. Tea and a movie</strong> – I won’t name-drop on my tea of choice, but any natural variety with a little chamomile or a nice oolong can put you into instant relax mode.<span> </span>Sipping a cup or two while watching <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005IB9D?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread03-20&amp;link_code=as3&amp;camp=211189&amp;creative=373489&amp;creativeASIN=B00005IB9D">Adrenaline Drive</a> (think campy comedy – not action flick), can put me in the right frame of mind again.<span> </span>And before you wonder how you can do the movie thing for less than $1.50, my favorites are always in the bargain bin.<span> </span>Always.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>3. Run</strong> – As far and as fast as you can.<span> </span>This one should be free, as long as you own a pair of running shoes.<span> </span>Just get going long enough for your heart to work overtime and then slither home for a repeat of tip #1.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>4. Sing</strong> – If you can’t stand the sound of your own voice, throw on a pair of headphones.<span> </span>You can pick up a cheap pair to plug into your PC or stereo for less than a buck at the local dollar store.<span> </span>Sing something soulful but not depressing (Amy Winehouse, Fiona Apple, Etta James, or Alvin and the Chipmunks will do fine.)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>5. Bake Bread</strong> – Between the kneading and the rolling, you will have worked your hand and arm muscles into a state of forced relaxation.<span> </span>The carbs contained in a loaf of your <a href="http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06064/663810.stm">very own bread</a> will help to feed both your body and your self-esteem!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>6. Paint</strong> – Art is a great way to express your self and let the bad out.<span> </span>Give yourself an excuse to be crazy, and DON’T use paint.<span> </span>Instead, grab a sheet of wax paper and go crazy finger painting with ketchup, salad dressing, or pudding.<span> </span>You’ll feel like a kid again in no time.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>7. Nap Outside</strong> – Just 20 minutes on a blanket in the yard, suspended in a hammock, or even in a lounge chair on your apartment deck will allow you to totally unwind.<span> </span>Don’t set the alarm and be sure to wear sun protection in case you conk out for longer than planned.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Feeling better?<span> </span>Good.<span> </span>Now think of all the money you saved by being great to yourself and your wallet.<span> </span></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/relax-its-only-2">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">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="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today">6 Little Stressors You Can Easily Eliminate Today</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="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-cheap-food">The High Cost of Cheap Food</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="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-body-scrubs">The 5 Best Body Scrubs</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="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-science-says-travel-is-good-for-your-health">5 Ways Science Says Travel Is Good for Your Health</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="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty relax stress-relief TLC Mon, 20 Aug 2007 20:00:13 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1023 at http://www.wisebread.com Financial Change: How to find peace in the midst of it all http://www.wisebread.com/financial-change-how-to-find-peace-in-the-midst-of-it-all <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/winter_tranquility.jpg" alt="Tranquility" title="Tranquility" width="240" height="360" /> </p> <p>Your finances are up! Your finances are down! Your finances are shaking their booty at you while giving the finger to your debtors and creditors alike, and then stalking out the door when you try to sit them down to have a calm conversation about what is realistic! What are you ever going to do?</p> <p>Seriously, your financial situation can change (more often for the worse!) at the drop of a hat. How do you keep your equilibrium when everything is going crazy? How do you remain calm when the money you thought you had seems to have sprouted legs and run away?</p> <p><strong>1. Remember that you are not your financial situation. </strong> In our culture, we&#39;re tempted to think that how much money a person has (or how much stuff he can buy at any given time) indicates the kind of person he is. If he has money, he&#39;s worth getting to know. If he doesn&#39;t, then he might not be such a good friend. When we flesh it out like that, it&#39;s clear that it doesn&#39;t make sense when we&#39;re dealing with other people. So remember the same thing when it comes to yourself. Just because you had to spend the money you&#39;ve been saving for your Hawaiian cruise on fixing the pipes because you learned the hard way that they leak doesn&#39;t mean you&#39;re irresponsible or unreliable, or that nothing good will ever happen in your life. It means that life sucks right now, and someday it will be better.</p> <p><strong>2. Get away.</strong> When things change rapidly, a human being is automatically under a good deal of stress, even if the change is good. So before you make any important decisions or act on anything that could possibly have an effect on your finances, get away. It doesn&#39;t have to be far. Maybe you have an office or a studio where you can close the door and focus on something else for awhile. Maybe you can get in the car and drive for an hour or so, or go to the park or walk the dog or go for a run or disappear into your favorite book. It doesn&#39;t matter what you do, as long a you give yourself some time to calm down before making decisions. While this doesn&#39;t guarantee that your decisions will be good, it does make it less likely that you&#39;ll do something rash that you&#39;ll later regret.</p> <p><strong>3. It&#39;s ok to talk about it.</strong> It&#39;s ok to talk about your financial situation with safe people. Talking with people we can trust helps us human beings process, helps us grieve our losses and celebrate our victories. It helps us find out where we really are, particularly if we&#39;re likely to be in denial or make things into a wost-case scenario in our own minds. We talk about other difficult things, like illness, death, and disappointment, and it&#39;s ok to talk about money, too. In fact, talking about it often helps us feel less alone and more like the situation is something we can handle.</p> <p><strong>4. It&#39;s ok to feel.</strong> Losing money rapidly makes us angry, hurt, scared, and host of other emotions usually seen as negative. Gaining it rapidly makes us excited, happy, and hopeful. Feeling these emotions and not cramming them down into an inside pocket helps mitigate some of the stress. It&#39;s ok to cry, scream, weep, jump for joy, whatever. We want to be healthy in this, to not take out our anger at being fired on our family or friends, and feeling the emotions will actually help us do that. When we feel emotions in the context in which they really exist (being fired), we are less likely to have them burst out of us in other places (family, friends).</p> <p><strong>5. Remember to breathe.</strong> The simple act of focusing on our breath helps us feel relaxed and empowered. Take deep breaths. Watch your diaphragm move in and out while keeping your shoulders level. Count your breaths, or sing in your head to the slow beat they create. In addition to helping with relaxation, focus, and letting go, feeling our bodies and how they are still intact and strong even though externally things are wretched gives us perspective on those things. They could, truly, be much, much worse.</p> <p><strong>6. Accept the truth. </strong> Financial situations change. They just do. Things break and cost money to fix. A child is injured and hospital bills are expensive. These things happen. They are true and real and, while they truly, really suck, accepting them as our current reality helps us move on. This is hard, much harder than many of the things we do, but it is necessary. Even if we can only accept it part of the time or under certain circumstances, accepting it at all will help us relax and deal with what is at hand, rather than have to deal with feeling gypped and cheated on top of everything else. Accepting truth frees us to act in that truth. </p> <p><strong>7. Let it go.</strong> Eventually, we must move on. We must not allow our whole selves and our lives to revolve around our financial situation in a particular minute. Once we&#39;ve accepted that this, whatever it is, is true and real and what is happening at the moment, we can also see that life is more than this. There are other things equally true and real, and those things are good. We must let it be enough that those exist. From this perspective, we can deal with the financial situation when we have to but not let it overwhelm us or the rest of our lives. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Astonishingly gorgeous picture by <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/janthemanson/" title="Jan the Manson">Jan the Manson</a>. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-change-how-to-find-peace-in-the-midst-of-it-all">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">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="http://www.wisebread.com/why-opportunity-funds-are-the-new-emergency-funds">Why &quot;Opportunity&quot; Funds Are the New Emergency Funds</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="http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-moves-you-will-always-regret">9 Financial Moves You Will Always Regret</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="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-writing-a-will">What You Need to Know About Writing a Will</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="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-probably-owed-almost-200-heres-where-to-claim-it">You&#039;re Probably Owed Almost $200: Here&#039;s Where to Claim It</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="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-fast">5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Fast</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance find peace get away let it go peace relax Thu, 07 Jun 2007 17:23:48 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 710 at http://www.wisebread.com