Easy Ways to Stress Less

Easy Ways to Stress Less

Learn expert tricks on how to make your life less crazy.

Just Breathe
"Don't forget to breathe," says Valorie Kolovos, a family nurse practitioner at the Portland-based practice Hands on Medicine. "In the words of Swami Sivananda, 'The breath makes the body stronger, and we can deal much easier with the demands of modern life.' ... It's such a simple remedy, yet so easily forgotten!"

Take Care of Yourself
"As a therapist I would normally encourage my clients to explore the stress," says Los Angeles-based marriage and family therapy intern Shlomit Yelin-Arber. "But from one mom to another, it might help to remember that we take better care of our kids when our needs are met. So whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed – a day away, working out, massage – do it without guilt. It will only be better for the kids to see you refreshed, and it sets a good example for self-care."

Spend Quality Time
"I have a big family, and oftentimes things are so hectic that we don't have time to talk about the little things that make or break our days," says Brandy Black, editor-in-chief of website The Next Family. "My resolution is to spend a minimum of 15 quality minutes daily with each member of my family talking about their day. I will encourage them to talk about the good, the bad, the challenges and the celebrations."

Wake up before the Kids
"The absolute best remedy for de-stressing is waking up early – about 45 minutes before the kids – and before the phone starts ringing," says midwife Bonne Dunham of Vermont-based Birth Into Being. "The quiet calm of the house allows me to turn within and hear my intentions. Mostly, I make a cup of hot chai tea, and take 10 to 15 minutes to stretch."


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Let the Kids do it
Pittsburgh-based mom Ilene Tobias says if your kids can do it, let them. Her resolution? "To make sure that my kids are completing tasks themselves that I know they can do, but I often do for them because it's faster (zipping coats, taking dishes to the sink, cleaning up). I think teaching kids to be independent makes them feel good about themselves and gives us a few extra minutes for ourselves."

MORE: How Stress Hurts Your Skin – and How to Help

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