Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

When stress, work, and worry build up, don't rely on expensive spa treatments for relief. There are many inexpensive, even free, ways to relieve daily tensions and add an extra bounce to your step. Try a few and put a smile on your face.



A fresh bouquet of cut flowers on the kitchen table does more than make the room look sunnier. After a long day, it's a welcoming perk to a home, and the sight and smell of the bouquet are calming. However, don't run to the florist for an expensive array of blooms; opt for a cheaper bunch that will have the same effect. You may even smile a little more knowing you didn't pay a bundle for them.

The bunches of flowers at the grocery store will bring smiles to any room for much less than floral shops; it only depends on the presentation. Try standing them in a Mason jar with a bow or raffia tied around the mouth. Another option is to use a tall drinking glass for simple elegance. Trim the bottoms of the stems at least every other day and change the water at the same time; this will prolong the life of the flowers. When the stems get short or some blooms die out, cut the stems down to one inch. Then, find an attractive bowl and fill it with water, leaving the blooms float in the water. They won't last long in the bowl, but it will extend their life an extra day or two.


Pamper Your Feet

Feet are important to overall energy. When your feet are tired, you feel tired. Throughout the day, care for your feet. The first step is to buy shoes that are properly fitted and well-made. You probably won't find a great pair of shoes for $10, but you certainly don't need to pay $100. Many well-made and stylish shoes, including high heels, can be found for $30-$40 at brand name discount shoe stores. It's worth the investment for them.

Another investment worth its weight in gold are gel shoe inserts. They can be removed from summer shoes and placed in winter shoes, giving them versatility, but what they do for the support and comfort of the foot makes their $10 price tag worth it. Opt for the full shoe insert rather than the ball of foot or heel insert, and bring them with you when trying on shoes. You may need to go up half a size in your shoes if you prefer a pillowed pad.


After the shoes come off, revitalize your feet from a long day's work. Ignore the touted foot massagers and foot spas; instead, make your own foot soak. Add bath salts or epsom salts to warm water in a plastic sink basin. Then, relax yourself with a book or watch the daily news while soaking your feet for twenty minutes. Once you remove them, wrap them in a towel that you warmed in the dryer. Your feet will feel refreshed and rejuvenated for almost nothing. Before going to bed, rub them thoroughly with petroleum jelly to wake up to moist, smooth heels.

Keep Fit

Taking care of yourself is a priority. Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, and exercise. Exercising can give you a boost of energy and make stress levels fall. It's amazing how things fall into place after a workout. A hectic schedule becomes orderly, and a stressful situation offers a solution after a mental break during a physical workout.

Then, take time for yourself after a long day. Budget a half hour of quiet time into the end of your day. Watch a favorite television program, read in bed, or sit down with someone to talk before heading to bed. You'll sleep better and feel your tensions disappear, ready for another day.

About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines and has written a history book for middle readers. Visit her website for writing help, lesson plans, history fun, or work for hire at


January 1, 20100 found this helpful

Soaking feet is a great relaxing experience but watching the news offsets the rewards. Everything on the news is negative and stressful. I find even the daytime talk shows to be negative. I play my favorite CD's, read or thumb thru a magazine or call up a close friend.

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