A Dozen Ways to De-Stress

Photo: One in a Million
Photo: One in a Million

My boys have summer journals, and they’re writing every few days to keep their skills sharp for the 2nd and 4th grades. I’ve been writing along with them, because I want to show them I’m not afraid of a little summer work, and well, because, writing makes me happy, and it helps me process all of life’s twists and turns. And that’s sort of what I wrote about today in my black and white composition book — getting through the ups and downs, and cutting down on stress.

My essay turned out to be a list, and here are 12 of my ideas for finding peace. Might want to try a few if you’re searching for a little calm.

  • Do you have a front porch? Sit on it, especially if there’s a nice evening breeze blowing by.
  • Read old letters of recommendation (make sure they’re good ones!).
  • Steal a hug from someone you love. Hold on for minutes, not seconds.
  • Make a wish list, and don’t worry about the price of anything.
  • Find a few quotes that move you, and write them down.
  • Read a story about someone less fortunate than you, and count your blessings.
  • Remember your own less-fortunate moments, and appreciate where you are now.
  • Visualize memorable days, like the days your babies were born.
  • Look at old photos.
  • Look at old yearbooks.
  • Burn a yummy candle.
  • Consider everything that happens (good and bad) an adventure that you’ll look back on as a memory — maybe a funny one, maybe not, but a memory nonetheless.
  • Reader Lauren says: Looking at yearbooks is always fun! I personally love taking a walk around a nearby pond or driving around aimlessly.
  • Reader Tracey says: turn on the music loud and dance with your kids.

Gosh, it’s hard to stop at just 12.

Would love to hear your ideas — if you share, I’ll add them to my list.

When You Need to Smile


Photo: One in a Million / [ tumblr ]

I’ve always loved inspirational quotes and uplifting passages. Once while in grad school, I wrote down all my favorites and looked at them whenever my spirits dipped. I even have a folder in a filing cabinet with motivational bits and pieces (those grad school quotes are tucked inside). So when 22-year-old Sara shared in a comment that she crafted a blog especially for herself and her mom — who has an extremely rare type of cancer that can’t be cured — I was instantly intrigued. In one swift click, I was on her site, called One in a Million.  It’s “a place to come when you really need to smile,” writes Sara. And she’s right. Pay her a visit, and you will smile. But you also might feel emotional, and a tear or two might stream down your face, but not in a sad way, just in a touch-your-heart kinda way. For sure. I promise.