Guest Author - Debbie Striker
Letís face it, stress can not only make your days harder to get through, it can also negatively affect your health. While it would be nice if we could take an exotic vacation and leave our daily responsibilities behind us, weíd still have to come home sometime. How can we keep our stress levels under control while still living up to our commitments? Here are a few ideas that work wonders and are inexpensive as well as easy to do:
Bubbles are a really inexpensive way to have some fun. You can buy the little bubble containers from your local store and then refill it with a bit of dish washing liquid and water. If you get the type of container that screws shut securely, then you can keep it in your purse or car without the worry of spilling.
Get yourself a good old fashion piece of bubble wrap and pop away! If thereís a particular problem thatís bothering you, pretend all the issues surrounding the problem are held within each bubble and as you swish and pop them, the problem begins to dissipate.
Put away the bread machine, the frozen loaves and quickie recipes. Dust off your recipe books or go online to find a recipe that requires you to physically knead the bread. The act of physically pounding on the dough can be a good release. The soft feel of the dough between your fingers can take you to a more serene place. Did you know that when selling a house, they often recommend you bake bread because it relaxes people and put them at easy in your home?
Make your own play dough!
If youíre not up for the time it takes to make bread, another easy idea is to make you own play dough. Once itís finished you can use it to make whatever shapes youíd like with cookie cutters or sculpt your own creations. Donít forget to keep it in an airtight container so it wonít dry out. My daughter loves to help make this recipe as much as she enjoys playing with the finished product. My recipe is a tattered and torn hand written copy thatís been handed down from my mother. Personally, this is my favorite because itís much less oily than the commercial brand. The ingredients are simple and inexpensive and itís very easy to create.
1 Cup all purpose flour
Ĺ Cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 Cup of water
2 Tablespoons of oil
Mix all of the ingredients together, then cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until a ball forms. Turn out on to a flat, heat proof surface. Wait a few minutes until it has cooled and then knead the dough until smooth.
Feeling better already? Sometimes the easiest way to relieve stress is to simply do something different. Giving your mind and body something new to focus on can help alleviate the immediate stress and give you time to find other ways of handling your situations.