37 Simple Ways to De-Stress

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Unwind with one of these spirit-lifting ideas from Stephanie McClellan, M.D., and Beth Hamilton, M.D., authors of The Ultimate Stress-Relief Plan for Women: Heal the Destructive Effects of Stress on Your Body.

  • Take a bath with scented oils
  • Get lost in a good book
  • Try a new recipe
  • Take a nap
  • Watch a chick flick
  • Take your dog for a long walk
  • Find water — a beach, lake, river, pond, or stream
  • Pick fruit
  • Talk to a stranger
  • Plant a windowsill herb garden
  • Dance
  • Clean and organize
  • Look at puppies and kittens in a pet store
  • Go to a country fair or street fair
  • Spend time in a bookstore or library
  • Go window-shopping
  • Go to a wine-tasting
  • Plan a minivacation
  • Go to bed early
  • Explore classes you could take
  • Do a crossword puzzle
  • Volunteer
  • Buy fresh flowers
  • Go bird watching
  • Flip through a magazine
  • Organize your photos
  • Catch up with an old friend
  • Go antiquing
  • Have a cup of tea
  • Listen to great music
  • Call a friend
  • Visit a botanical garden
  • Exercise
  • Give yourself a facial
  • Go to the zoo
  • Help someone
  • Look at art in a book, gallery, or museum



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Tracy Alloway, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the University of North Florida. Formerly, she was the Director of the Center for Memory and Learning in the Lifespan. She is an expert on working memory and education, and developed the internationally recognized Alloway Working Memory Assessment. She writes a blog for Psychology Today. Together with Ross Alloway, Tracy edited an academic book on working memory (Psychology Press) and has published research on working memory in a variety of contexts, from education to aging, from happiness to lying, from barefoot running to Facebook. Their research has been featured on the BBC, ABC News, Huffington Post, Salon, The Washington Post, and Newsweek. They have lived in El Salvador, Scotland, and currently live in Jacksonville, Florida.


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David B. Agus, MD, author of the New York Times and international bestsellers The End of Illness and A Short Guide to a Long Life, is a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California and heads USC’s Westside Cancer Center and the Center for Applied Molecular Medicine. He is one of the world’s leading cancer doctors and pioneering biomedical researchers, and is a CBS News contributor. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.

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