We get it. Life is busy. There are obligations -- lots of them. And stress. SO much stress. And some days we crave a reset button where we can just get away and come back with a fresh perspective. Well, you can. And it's easier than you think to find ways to relieve stress. It doesn't need to cost a fortune and require a complete rearrangement of your schedule, but you do need to do it. And while it might not be a week on an exotic beach (although we're all for those if you can do it), you'll feel refreshed and renewed from even these small changes in perspective:
1) Go to a movie ... by yourself: Get over feeling like this is a sad thing to do. It's not. Once you try it you'll realize it's amazing and the height of self-indulgent luxury. Bonus: all the popcorn is yours, no sharing required.
2) Get your learn on: Take a class on something you've always wanted to try. It doesn't need to be a 6-week seminar. Check out a local art store or stationery shop for a line up of crafts-nights. Have you always wanted to learn to code? Do it! Check out a local adult education center or university for a listing and book it.
3) Schedule "you" time: When you imagine a day (or even just an hour!) alone, what does it look like? Do you curl up with your DVR? Do you aimlessly peruse the aisles at Target? Whatever you're envisioning, do that. It's amazing what an hour or two of "you" time can do for you.
4) Tech detox: If the thought of being away from your smartphone for more than a few minutes is anxiety-inducing, you're overdue for this one. "But what if my kids need me or something goes wrong?" Ask yourself this: "Am I currently the President of the United States?" If the answer is "no,"you're fine. Leave the phone at home for a few hours and reap the restorative benefits.
5) Book your workout: Whatever you're craving fitness-wise, just stop thinking about it and book it! Booking the class in advance makes it less likely that you'll bail because life got in the way or that it'll be sold out once you get there.
6) Run a kitchen test: Our days and our meals are often pre-planned, maybe even prepared ahead of time. Throw caution to the wind and give yourself permission to experiment. It might come out inedible, it might come out amazing. You'll never know until you try. (Plus, pizza delivery is a fine back up plan should it be an experiment that goes horribly wrong.)
7) Explore your hometown: Isn't it funny how we don't go see the things that are right outside our door until we have friends or family visiting? Be a tourist in your own town and explore that enormous rubber band ball or quirky museum right in your very own city.
8) Get a change of scenery: What if we told you that the simple act of sleeping outside (yes, your backyard, patio or porch totally count!) could completely change your perspective. It can. And it even has a cool name: microadventures.
9) Treat yo' self: We're not talking a full on shopping spree (although that would be nice), but the simple act of doing something nice for yourself can truly be like a breath of fresh air for your soul. So go ahead, order that Almond Joy Latte or pick up a new nail polish, just 'cause.
10) Take a trip down memory lane: If you're feeling overwhelmed with your current situation spend some time thinking back on good memories. Whether it's perusing old photos or re-reading your old happy moments, nostalgia is a seriously powerful positive emotion. Just remember that those carefree days you're fondling recalling probably had their ups and downs at the time, too. Memory is the ultimate optimist. And that's a good thing.
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