Tag Archives: reducing stress

Simple Indulgences for March

Here is a series of simple, quick, and affordable indulgences to help you slow down and enjoy this season of beauty and transition.

* Welcome spring. Whether or not the temperatures are beginning to warm in your part of the world, take a walk, paying particular attention to the little signs that a new season is on its way.

* Stop by your local cosmetics counter for a sample of a fresh floral perfume.

* Browse the library or online bookstores for a “beach book,” an absorbing story you can enjoy without a whole lot of thought.

* Buy a racy new bra.

* Light a scented candle in the room where you spend most of your time. Whenever you need a mini-break, allow the aroma to carry you to a more relaxing and peaceful place.

* Ask your best friends, “What is your all-time favorite movie?” Take their suggestions to the video rental store and plan a movie and popcorn night with the family.

* Are there people in your life who rob you of energy or make you feel bad about yourself? Many of us cling to relationships that we have outgrown or that are just no longer good for us. Give yourself permission to focus on those relationships that truly support and nourish you.

* For 15 minutes, go back to bed. It’s the ultimate indulgence during a hectic week. Burrow under the covers and enjoy the comfort of your sheets and blankets.

* Keep a running list of quotes from your kids that crack you up. (Keep it in the kitchen so it’s always available to add to–and to look back on.)

* Send flowers to someone. A colleague, a neighbor, your mother-in-law… or yourself.

* Create your own coffee bar. Purchase beans from your favorite coffee house. Splurge on a few syrups and whipped cream, if you like. Invite over a few friends.

* Pick up a glamorous pair of sunglasses. Put them on when you need a little lift. Just for a moment, pretend to be someone you’re not.

* Buy something small that makes you feel cherished: fresh blackberries, homemade oatmeal soap, a silk eye pillow.

* Make a soothing foot scrub. Combine equal parts Epsom salts, baking soda, table salt, and water. Don’t forget a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Rub into your feet, sloughing away the rough spots and preparing for this season’s sexy, strappy sandals.

* Create a running gratitude list for the area of your life that is the bumpiest. Whether it’s your kids, your spouse, or your career, make a point to add to the list daily and so keep mindful of your blessings.

* Enjoy the spring air by hopping on your bicycle and taking a ride all by yourself.

* This time of year, many of us feel stuck in a routine. When faced with a choice today, make a deliberate attempt to choose something different. Whether you eat something new for lunch or exercise on the bike instead of the Stairmaster, a habit of trying new things will help remind you that life presents a lot of options.

* Remind yourself that spring is on its way with aromatherapy. Choose a scented candle, essential oil or aromatherapy inhaler in an energizing spring scent: lemon, basil, bergamot, sweet orange, peppermint, eucalyptus, tangerine, or any floral blend.

* Think of your own small indulgences, and continue to enjoy one each day.

About the author: Susie Cortright is the editor of two “just for you” websites:bestselfhelp.com, which saves you time and money by cataloging only the best personal growth tools, and Momscape.com, devoted to helping busy parents find balance. Today, Momscape visitors receive Susie’s “6 Days to Less Stress” course free: http://www.momscape.com. And BestSelfHelp visitors receive a free self-help classic: http://www.bestselfhelp.com

5 tips to Reducing Stress

. Eat right

Nutrition is important to do your task efficiently. Without proper nutrition, you are more susceptible to stress, thus, keeping you from functioning effectively. Remember this: taking time to eat right keeps you active and healthy, thus, makes it easier for you to do your work faster and more efficient.

One reason why you work is to have money to finance your daily needs. However, if your work limits you from enjoying life itself, meaning you cannot even eat your breakfast and take a good meal during lunch time, then, you may be missing the whole point of working.

2. Get enough sleep

To maintain healthy physical and emotional well-being, sleep is very important. Lack of sleep on the other hand prevents you from maintaining focus on your work, handling stress, and functioning properly. Sadly, busy schedules and tons of deadlines prevent you to get enough sleep. If this is your case, try soft music, massage, meditation, bubble bath, and sex as means to invite sleep. Do not forget quick nap.

3. Maintain a spiritual Life

Research shows that maintaining spiritual life such as meditating and praying as well as joining spiritual gatherings can reduce stress. Spiritual activities attend to spiritual calmness which as well answers emotional and physical distress.

4. Having the right attitude pays off

Your emotional attitude towards situations and experiences in life determines your overall perception of things. When you think that certain situation negatively, your attitude will also become negative, thus, making that situation stressful for you. Becoming optimistic, meanwhile, will let you keep the stress away and attract positive energy.

5. Find diversions/hobbies

A diversion from stressful environment is important to decrease stress as well as tension. Find one hobby you can enjoy. A hobby can turn out not only a great solution for stress reduction, but might also provide a source of enjoyment and fun for many years.

Learn about how you can decrease the levels of stress in your life, enjoy better harmony and less anxiety and beat stress. Visit the Stress Relief Tips

12 Winter Blah Busters

Feeling stuck in a never-ending winter? Declare an early spring with these quick ideas.

1. Bust a friend’s blahs. Take her out for coffee or a glass of wine, or offer to take her kids while she enjoys an hour or two alone. Such a simple gesture will brighten your own day as well.

2. Indulge yourself by paying someone else to do one of those dreaded winter chores: Pay to have your car washed, for example. While you wait, relax with a cup of coffee or tea and your favorite section of the newspaper or a magazine you don’t receive at home.

3. Make a milk bath to rejuvenate tired, flaky winter skin. Simply add a cup of milk or a packet of powdered milk to running bath water. The milk’s lactic acid will help exfoliate dead skin cells and leave you feeling pampered and refreshed all day.

4. Brighten your home with a splash of color. Search your home (or your favorite discount store) for vivid accents that will add some energy to your home – and your outlook – this time of year. Try a new rug in the entry hall, a few bright new pillowcases on the bed, new bath towels, or a new tablecloth in the dining room. Overstock.com has a good selection of luxury linens at low prices: http://www.overstock.com

5. Make an appointment at your favorite cosmetics counter for a makeover, and watch your spirits lift.

6. A recent study indicates that a weekly talk with a friend can be as effective against moderate depression as counseling or antidepressants. Even if you’re not feeling blue, call a friend who may be having a tough time. Meet her for coffee or a jog through the park. Let her know how much she means to you.

7. Cold temperatures can wreak havoc on your hands. Give your cuticles a treat by soaking them in olive oil for five minutes. Then massage the oil into your hands and let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse and slather on your favorite scented lotion.

8. Reduce stress by working on your ability to stay in the present moment. For a few moments at a time, make an effort to become fully conscious of your life and the situation at hand. Concentrate on each of your five senses. Tune out distractions by focusing your awareness only on immediate stimuli. Such mindfulness is meditative and calming.

9. Write yourself a heartfelt Valentine. In it, record the traits you admire about yourself as well as a few promises for the year to come. Mail the letter. When it arrives, tuck it away until you need a boost.

10. Declare an early spring. Treat yourself to a reminder that sunny days are ahead with a new floral body spray, a scented candle, or a bouquet of fresh cut flowers for your dining room table.

11. Make a list of activities you enjoy solo. Rank them. Then make the time to do at least one item from your “top five” today.

12. Start the “Generosity Game” in your neighborhood. It all starts with a card inviting you to do a good turn for someone – anonymously. Then you pass on the card, which invites the kindness recipient to perform a random act of kindness for someone else. You can download and print the cards at the Generosity Game website: http://www.generosity.org. The site also provides more information on the game and fosters imagination on creative ways to make the world a little nicer.

Copyright 2004 Susie Cortright.

About the Author: Susie Cortright is the author of several books for women and the founder of Momscape.com, a website designed to help busy parents find balance. The site features special offers on affordable luxuries, uplifting essays and articles, even a mind-body-spirit fitness program and community. Visit today and receive Susie’s “6 Days to Less Stress” course-by-email free. http://www.momscape.com

How to Have an Abundant Holiday Season

There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions.” – Bill McKibben

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, not weakness.” – Henry David Thoreau

Thanksgiving has come and gone. Christmas is on the way. How many times has someone asked you “The Big Holiday Question?” If you are a woman, you have probably heard it several times already. You, yourself, might have asked others The Big Holiday Question. If you are a man, you probably have no idea what The Big Holiday Question is.

The Big Holiday Question is, “Are you ready for the holidays?” I first became aware of this question years ago. I noticed that women began to greet each other with The Big Holiday Question, starting sometime in late October, and kept asking the question into January.

I also noticed that almost every woman answered The Big Holiday Question with an exasperated, “No,” and then begin to recite the myriad of tasks she “had to do.” I have often heard women end their recitation with a fervent declaration, “I dread the holidays and wish they were already over.”

If you listen, you will hear the question everywhere you go. The Big Holiday Question is something like the private code of a secret society. By asking The Big Holiday Question, women instantly recognize themselves as members of a society of sisters overwhelmed with Too Much To Do. “Christmas is a season of such infinite labor, as well as expense in the shopping and present-making line, that almost every woman I know is good for nothing in purse and person for a month afterwards, done up physically, and broken down financially. ” – Fanny Kemble

More Is Not Abundance

Ironically, The Big Holiday Question is one of the most powerful and insidious enemies to living an “Abundantly Alive Now!” life. The reason is that the Big Holiday Question is propelled by the idea of doing more, and more, and more, and more. All around us, we are bombarded with messages of more.
Whether the reasons are innate or socially created, women seem to feel responsible for doing the lion’s share of the “have-tos” to get ready for the holidays. As far as I can tell, men do not drive themselves crazy asking each other The Big Holiday Question. Holiday overkill seems to be a female sport.

For many women, the holiday season is driven by the idea of shopping more, spending more, buying more, cooking more, baking more, simply doing more, and more, and more. And more is never enough.
I don’t intend to get into a war of the sexes game here by claiming that men “should” do more. My point is that The Big Holiday Question is an enemy of abundance. Anytime you are feeling overwhelmed with thoughts of all you “have to do” to prepare for the dreaded upcoming holidays, you are not living in abundance. Driving yourself crazy with a massive holiday do-to list is a demonstration of lack rather than abundance.

Another Question

As a replacement for The Big Holiday Question, I offer you one of my favorite questions, “What is enough?” In another issue, I will tell why that question is so important to me. Right now, I offer you the question to set you free from the relentless demands of The Big Holiday Question, which never knows when to quit.
For example, instead of telling yourself that you have to bake ten kinds of holiday cookies, you could ask yourself, “What is enough?” You might decide that “enough” means baking only two kinds of Christmas cookies instead of ten. Or you could decide to skip baking cookies entirely this year. The question, “What is Enough?” changes the equation. Instead of “trying” to do everything you think you “should,” you decide what enough means for you.

About the time I began to notice The Big Holiday Question, I also made my own decision about the holidays. I love the holiday season. I love Christmas trees and sparkling lights. I love to buy presents for the people I love. I decided that I would remain calm and peaceful in the season, even if everyone else was going crazy around me. My own criterion for the “What is enough?” question is, if I begin to feel even the slightest bit frantic, I decide I have passed the point of “Enough” into the terrain of “Too Much.”
“Don’t worry about anything. Worrying never solved anything. All it does is distort your mind.” – Milton Garland

Enough

The truth is, feeling Abundantly Alive Now! never results from the word “more.” This feeling results from the word “enough.” Abundance means having enough to live joyously, calmly, and lovingly in the present moment.

Ultimately, the greatest harm done by The Big Holiday Question is that it diverts your attention from living fully in this moment and focuses it upon a future time. It is one thing to plan and prepare. It is another matter entirely to sacrifice the only moment you have to live your life, which is this moment, to replace it with harried efforts to “Get ready for the holidays.”
Kalinda Rose Stevenson, Ph.D. and Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach is the author of “Debt or Alive: How To Get Out Of Debt and Feel Abundantly Alive” Get your free ezine, “Abundantly Alive Now!” at http://www.abundantlyalivenow.com/ Learn how to live joyously, calmly and lovingly in the present moment.