5 Ways to De-Stress

Life has many moments or long stretches of stress and chaos. Our lives sometimes feel filled with never ending to-do lists and problems to be solved. As a therapist, I always encourage my clients and colleagues to take care of themselves. It is sometimes harder, though, to practice what I preach to others. With the additional – exciting! – adventure of wedding planning this year, I know that I will need to be extra conscious of taking moments for “me time.” Here are my favorite ways to de-stress. I hope they inspire you to think about yours!

Mani/Pedi:
Manicures and pedicures are my go-to for a bit of pampering. I enjoy the warm soak, the grooming of my nails and the fresh coats of polish! This one-hour at the nail salon is a special indulgence that is time-friendly and leaves me feeling relaxed. Looking for a more budget friendly pampering experience? Try a do-it-yourself home spa…light a fragrant candle for ambiance, soak your fingers and toes in warm water, and pick your favorite polish!

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Baking:
Sure, there is a bit of extra cleanup in the kitchen after baking, but I almost forget that when that sweet smell of goodness starts to permeate through the oven door. I enjoy the routine of mixing ingredients and tasting the batter—I find comfort in the joy of baking. With my wedding on the horizon, I have been trying to eat a bit healthier. So, rather than leave all the cookies on the counter, I leave only a few in my kitchen and I pack the rest to share at work with my colleagues!

Couch Time:
I’ve shared before that I’m a believer in menu planning, but it is sometimes a struggle to come up with new and tasty meals on the fly. When I have some time, I like to curl up on my couch and flip through the various Cooking Light and Bon Appetite magazines that have piled up over the weeks. As I am browsing through the pages, I’m not only enjoying the peaceful and relaxing moment, but I am also being productive! Couch time can also be used to catch up on television shows…I’m a believer that a bit of mindless TV is good for the soul and the mind!

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Walk in my Neighborhood:
I live in a neighborhood with hills so it’s perfect for a quick endurance-filled walk. An afternoon or evening walk is the perfect way for me to get a bit of exercise, breathe in fresh air and clear my head. I sometimes tell myself that I don’t have time to work out, but when I push myself to go for a walk (even if only for 20 minutes), I end up being thankful that I did.

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Gratitude Meditation:
In the beginning of this year, I promised myself that I would make a more conscious effort to be aware of good things that happen each day. Unfortunately, I feel that negative occurrences often overshadow positive ones (even though the negative may be much smaller or less impactful than the positive). Each night before I go to sleep, I think about what I am grateful for that day. Recognizing even one moment, interaction or event reminds me that I have much to be grateful for. This routine also puts my mind at ease, which I think promotes a better nights sleep.

Life is about balance. It is important to find ways to take care of yourself in order to continue to be the best version of yourself and to prevent from crashing and burning. What are your favorite ways to de-stress? We look forward to hearing them!

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