Beauty, she wrote

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

From Real Simple

Feeling flustered? Studies show that some simple strategies can help ease the tension. Try this one-week relaxation plan.

DAY 1: Take the scenic route.

To ease communing woes, get off crowded streets and busy highways and drive down a tree-lined road instead.

DAY 2: Sip tea.

Regularly drinking black tea can lower levels of stress hormones and induce feelings of relaxation.

DAY 3: Play on the web.

New research has found that doing online puzzles, like sodoku, can decrease stress and improve mood.

DAY 4: Watch a comedy.

Feel-good endorphins start cranking and their mood-boosting benefits kick in as soon as people start to anticipate having a chuckle. Plus, a good belly laugh can relax your whole body.

DAY 5: Lend a hand.

Reaching out to someone else gets you away from your own worries and puts things in perspective.

DAY 6: Bless yourself.

Focusing on what you're grateful for flips a switch in your brain. When you let good thoughts take center stage, the stressful ones can recede.

DAY 7: Get a chair massage.

These short massages now offered in salons, malls, and airports can work wonders to chip away at accumulated stress. Even a 15-minute massage can calm your nerves.