Feeling the tension rise and your mood plummet? We all have such days, caregivers especially. Here are some speedy, easy ways to give yourself a lift:
1. Give a friend a hug. Yes, you read that right. It may sound odd because, after all, you're the one who could use a hug. But that simple act is a proven de-stressor, and even if the effects are brief, they're real. Even if you're not the huggy type -- or maybe especially if you're not the huggy type -- you'll notice the power of this primal physical contact. Asking for a hug never hurts, either. Most people are happy to oblige.
2. Fantasy shop. Go online or flip through some catalogs (with your credit card nowhere in reach!). Imagine you have all the money in the world. What would you buy in the next 15 minutes? The brain is stimulated by novelty, which is part of the allure (and stress-release) of shopping in a real store. But this way, there's no hangover when the bills come due.
3. Plan a getaway. Research shows that simply thinking about an escape triggers much of the same kind of relaxation as the real thing! It doesn't matter if you don't yet have the tickets, much less a blank spot on your calendar and the means to get away from your responsibilities. Seems that it's the anticipation and the thought process of planning that brings on its own mini-vacation.