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7 Things to Do When You’re Stressed

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Or lemon cake. Or lemony blueberry muffins.
The last week has yielded, for me, a metaphorical 5-gallon bucket of lemons. In order to maintain a level of relative calm in this sour hurricane of a storm, I have adapted a few practices that have made it bearable; things I do when I’m stressed that I really thought I should share.

#1 Find an ink pen and doodle all over a pad of paper while you spill all your guts to your mom (or your sister, or your best friend, or all of the above) on the phone. Acceptable doodles include all manner of hearts and swirlies, the names of all your loved ones, including your cats and dogs, and polka dots.

#2 Clean something. I know that this does not sound nearly as fun as drawing swirlies with a hot pink pen, but mindlessly scrubbing things lets you focus on a simple task while exerting an unreasonable amount of force on inanimate objects like bath tubs or ceiling fans. Plus the results are totally satisfying. Tip: avoid cleaning products that boast “Scrub Free!!!” or “Works like Magic!!!” labels. These are not going to help you.

#3 Bake bread. I find baking to be waaaay theraputic anyway, but baking bread is simple and it can go on for awhile. Slapping dough down on your floured table and kneading your little heart out is a super duper stress reliever. And when the baking is done you have big thick slices of warm bread to slather with blueberry butter. THAT is comfort.

#4 Find the Kenpo X video from the P-90X work out series, put on your sweats, get a big bottle of water, and then pretend to punch the daylights out of the source of your stress. It’s like pillow punching, except you can work on your fitness. And you’ll feel like a badass. Oh! And if you keep it up you’ll look like a badass, too. Perks.

#5 Give yourself a pedicure. Soak your feet in warm water, epsom salts, and a little milk. Make a scrub with some kosker salt and a few glugs of olive oil. Pick the happiest nail polish… your favorite summery pink or red, a girly soft pinky white, a juicy melon color, or go crazy with stripes of green and blue. Whatever you do, stay away from navy or brown or deep dark purple. Save those for November. Right now you need pretty colors and peep toe shoes. Yes yes yes.

#6 Go to your favorite coffee shop. Order your favorite drink. The full fat version. Indulge in baked goods. Curl up in one of those huge fluffy arm chairs with your beverage, tuck your feet under you, and just BE.

#7 Hug the ones you love the most. Hug them tight. Don’t let go.

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