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BellaOnline's Mental Health Editor

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50 Quick Stress Relievers

Guest Author - Erin Kelley-Soderholm, M.Ed.

Money concerns, job stress, responsibilities, and cramped schedules leave little time to think about self-care. But it only takes 10 minutes to cultivate a more balanced state of mind. I've provided 50 suggestions to get you started… and most take only 10 minutes.

First, determine which of your needs aren’t being met (if you’re not sure, use the Balance Assessment link that follows this article). Then, choose an activity that will help restore balance to that part of your self and your life. Whether that means crossing an item off your to-do list or indulging in a special treat, devote a few minutes each day to your mental health and you will begin to feel more peaceful and fulfilled.

Consider these 50 quick and easy ways to reduce stress:

Restore and Replenish

• Walk, do sit-ups, or jump rope
• Eat a snack
• Take a nap
• Breathe deeply
• Cook or find a new recipe to try
• Drink a cup of tea
• Put your feet up
• Stretch
• Do a few yoga poses
• Find a cause and sign up to volunteer

Repair and Resolve

• Hire a babysitter
• Ask someone else to cook
• Make an appointment to see a therapist
• Do the dishes
• Ask for help with a project
• Balance your checkbook
• Plan a day off
• Organize your work area
• Call about an overdue doctor/dentist/service appointment
• Catch up on email

Nurture and Connect

• Talk or write to a friend
• Lie in a hammock
• Meditate or pray
• Pay a compliment
• Watch the sunrise/sunset
• Get and give hugs
• Sit in a park
• Give thanks verbally or in writing
• Plant something
• Inhale your favorite scent

Comfort and Indulge

• Change into sweats, pajamas, or slippers
• Dry off with towels warmed in the dryer
• Buy fresh flowers for your home
• Take a warm bubble bath
• Get lost in a magazine or book
• Buy a present—for you or someone else
• Hug a stuffed animal
• Listen to a comedy CD or mp3
• Kiss or make love (what “quickie” list would be complete without this?)
• Fantasize or daydream

Create and Play

• Write in a journal
• Shoot some hoops
• Dance or sing to a favorite song
• Color in a coloring book
• Work on a jigsaw puzzle, crossword, or Sudoku
• Play an instrument
• Work in the garden
• Swing on a swing
• Play with your children or pets
• Tell a joke

Print and try these "mental health quickies" when you need more balance in your life. Commit to spending just ten or fifteen minutes a day to care for your self. You deserve it!
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These are only a few ways that ten minutes a day can bring balance and better mental health. What can you add to the list? Visit the Mental Health forum to share how you replenish your mental health and well-being.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Erin Kelley-Soderholm, M.Ed.. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Erin Kelley-Soderholm, M.Ed.. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Dr. Jonice Webb for details.

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