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Five Cheap Stress-Busters

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caughtdancing2007In an Oct. 2009 issue of Health Magazine, Rashida Jones, daughter of Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton, shared that her favorite cheap stress buster was “a long drive with the windows down, like a happy dog. ”

There was a time when this would have been one of my favorite stress-busters too. But since the roads around me are more stress-creators than stress-busters, I began to think about other things that now fit the bill. Although stress relievers can cost lots of money, I’ve just listed the cheap ones.

1. Go for a brisk walk.

It doesn’t have to be a long walk, but getting out of the house and into the air gives me a lift. Besides, since I started walking regularly I’m getting to know my neighbors better. This isn’t an issue in some towns, but in our area where we spend a disproportionate about of time in our cars, it’s a sad fact that we don’t know our neighbors as well as we should.

2. Do some people-watching.

When I need a break I enjoy going to the local bookstore, mall or coffee shop and just observing the people walking by. Sometimes small snatches of their conversations spark blog ideas; other times I am just amazed at human behavior in action.

3. Read a fiction book

I read mostly nonfiction, but fiction takes me away and relieves stress. Right now I’m reading the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. This series was an HBO special but I was into the fifth book before I ever saw the TV version.

4. Go to a movie.

The $5-before-noon admission at my local movie theater enables me to see the movies that appeal to me, like Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey, Jr. that opened on Christmas Day. Even though movies are available for home viewing pretty fast after they are released, there is no experience like watching a movie on the big screen with booming surround sound.

5. Dance around the house.

When I put on a CD or turn on the radio to hear an upbeat tune, dancing around the house to the music gets my heart pumping, relieves my stress and lifts my mood. [My son caught me dancing in the pic above]

How about you? What are your favorite cheap stress-busters?

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