Take care of yourself for a change!
These moves make it easy to make a mental health day for you
Light a scented candle. The aromas of vanilla, green apple, and cucumber, in particular, have been shown to ease anxiety, says Alan Hirsch, M.D., founder and neurological director of The Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. "The odors may act as a distraction, or they may evoke pleasant childhood memories." Either way, take a whiff and feel better.
Share happy news. Spreading the word can expand your mood and your sense of well-being, above and beyond the effect of the positive event itself, according to studies at the University of Rochester in New York and UCLA. So end the day on a high note and call or text an old friend -- making sure it's someone you know will be delighted for you, of course!
Have a slumber party for one. Go to bed early tonight, no matter what. Even if you're not a new mom, you're probably not getting enough sleep. So put Dad on duty, play some soft music -- whatever helps you rack up the shut-eye -- and watch your attitude and your energy level improve.
Make these moves part of your life, even in bits and pieces, and you'll be more relaxed, upbeat, and ready to take on the world (or at least your corner of it!).
Stacey Colino, a Maryland-based mom of two, writes about health and psychology.