18 Easy, Inexpensive Ways to Take a Break


In our busy, fast-paced lives, it’s hard for women to find even a few minutes to claim as their own. If your day is jam-packed with meetings, errands and grocery shopping, consider these quick, inexpensive and easy ways to sneak in a break. You can recharge your battery and get ready to face your next deadline, hurdle or load of laundry.

1. Close your eyes and take a deep breath (feel your tummy pooch out). Hold it for a couple of seconds and release. Make sure your hands are open, not clenched into fists. Do it again and this time stay in the moment.

2. Walk instead of driving somewhere nearby. Notice the sights, sounds and scents you encounter along the way.

3. Take off your wristwatch for a couple of hours. What the heck, take it off for an entire day.

4. Whistle, hum or sing. You sound great.

5. Try a new flavor of tea or enjoy an old favorite. Hot or cold, it doesn’t matter.

6. Instead of listening to the radio, pop in a CD of ocean sounds or waterfalls. Imagine yourself being on the beach or in a rainforest.

7. Smile for no apparent reason. Do it again — someone might just smile back.

8. Telephone a friend you haven’t chatted with recently. Catch up on what’s new in her life.

9. Splash on a new fragrance at the cosmetics counter.

10. Read a poem or a sonnet or really listen to the lyrics of a favorite song.

11. Laugh. When was the last time you told a knock-knock joke?

12. Share a hug or two. This is great for the hugee as well as the hugger.

13. Plant sunflowers. Or daffodils. Or sweet peas. Or basil. Or spearmint.

14. Slow your day down and watch the sun set. If you’re up early, watch the sun rise.

15. Soak in a bubble bath. Play soft music and light a few candles for atmosphere. Leave your cell phone in your purse.

16. Be a kid again. Play jacks. Fly a kite. Pick up a jump rope and start skipping. See if your game of hopscotch has changed over the years.

17. Put in a classic video or DVD. Some of my favorites: “An Affair to Remember,” “Lilies of the Field,” “Casablanca” and “The Sound of Music.” (Eat lots of popcorn and don’t fold laundry while you’re watching.)

18. Look through a photo album and be amazed at how quickly your children are growing up.