Category Archives: stress

I Need a Vacation

Twelve Apostles

I don’t know where this is, but I want to be there.

It looks so peaceful and clean and calm and like it smells like salt air and sea breezes.

I think it is Australia. So golden and serene.

I could meditate and swim and unwind.

Take me away.

Forgotten How To Relax

face's woman

Has this ever happened to you? You work and work and work and when you finally take a day off, you don’t know what to do with yourself.

My office closed Monday, so I took off Friday to make a 4-day weekend. But now that Friday is here, I find myself stressing about how best to use my time. It’s not often I get the house to myself.

Do I take a nap on the couch? Or will I feel guilty if I waste my day bumming around?

Do I run errands? Or will I feel like I misused my time off if I do something productive?

Do I watch TV? Read a book? Exercise? Write? Get a pedicure? Walk on the beach? Sit in my yard and have a glass of wine?

I’ve forgotten how to relax.

My Safe Place

Secret Garden

Do you have a safe place?

It doesn’t have to be a real place. It’s a mental place that your mind can go when it needs to take a break. It’s a meditation place.

I remember an episode of BBC’s Coupling when Sally needed to go to her safe place. Her place was a white room with a string quartet; she was wearing a pretty dress and holding a cocktail.

My place is a garden. It is a very old garden in the shape of a circle and walled in with ancient stones. Only I have the key to its thick wooden door. In the center is a stone bench where I can sit and think. It’s The Secret Garden from the children’s book of the same name by Frances Hodgeson Burnett. That was my mother’s favorite book when she was a child and that’s the way I imagined it to look. For some reason in my mind, the garden is in Italy and the wall is ancient and perhaps a ruin from the Roman Empire.

What’s your safe place?

My Sanctuary

woman taking a nap

I’m sitting in my living room waiting for my new bed to arrive.

I’ve been slowly redecorating my bedroom to be my peaceful sanctuary. When I moved into this house two years ago, I only had a metal bed frame for my mattress and box spring. My other bedroom furniture was an antique vanity from the 1930s, which sounds nice but was really more like a piece of junk. I never really liked it so I never used it, just piled stuff on top of it.

I replaced it several months ago with a combination vanity/desk that is much nicer and takes up less space. I bought new curtains which I have yet to hang. And now I am finally getting a pretty wooden bed frame with a headboard. I bought new pillows and new sheets, too.

I am going to put away my CD case, which is only taking up space. I use my iPod all the time. My CDs are really only backup copies now.

I need a few more items. I would like to get a pretty new table lamp. I need a nicer chair for my desk/vanity. It came with a little leather stool, but I would like some more back support.

I have a rule against televisions in the bedroom. I can’t stand the din and the constant brainwashing.

So, here I sit waiting for my new bed for my sanctuary.

What does your bedroom look like?

Quick Stress Fix

beautiful young woman lying on isolated white background

When I get home from work, the muscles around my neck are shoulders are usually tight after sitting at a desk all day. This only gets compounded by driving in traffic.

Here is a quick and pleasant way to relieve tension. You’ll need a bowl of warm water, a wash cloth and your favorite calming essential oil. Lavender and camomile are best.

Fill a medium-sized bowl with warm water. Add a few drops of essential oil and swish around with your hands. Put in a wash cloth and soak for a minute. Then ring out and apply to face and neck. Breathe deeply. The warmth and soothing scent will help relax your muscles. The cloth will cool off quickly, so reapply a few times.

These little moments alone can really help. Try adding some relaxing music.

Turn Off the TV


Ever feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day?

Reduce your television viewing by one hour a day and you will gain 365 hours a year. Use that time to read, write, play with your kids, cook something healthy, dance, listen to music, relax, take a bath. The possibilities are endless.

So, turn off the tele. You won’t be missing anything.

Review: Alba Jasmine & Vitamin E Moisture Cream

Alba Jasmine & Vitamin E Moisture Cream

Alba Jasmine & Vitamin E Moisture Cream

Signature ingredient: With antioxidants from vitamin E, extract of jasmine, and a slew of mineral and moisture-rich emollients, this cream provides deep penetating protection for dry skin.

This is a slightly heavier cream that is perfect as a nighttime moiturizer. Some may find it too heavy for day. Lightly scented with lovely, calming jasmine, it’s the best-smelling facial cream I’ve ever used. But have no fear, the fragrance is not overpowering. I smooth it on my face before bed and it makes me smile. It’s a little dose of aromatherapy for my stressed-out skin and it feels wonderful.

$16.95 for a 3-oz jar.

Financial Crisis: Is Your Money Safe?

Read this Q&A article from Yahoo Finance and Kiplinger about the banking crisis.

It will give you some answers.

I know the FDIC insures your personal money in the bank up to $100,000.
But my question is: Who insures the insurer?

Meditation Music


Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
~Berthold Auerbach

I’m always looking for ways to relax. Music calms my soul and allows my mind to be open to creativity.

Lately, I’ve been listening to music specifically designed for meditation. Here are a few of my current favorites:

Cry Of The River - Nature Meditation

Cry Of The River – Nature Meditation – Ma Jana
I find the sound of running water to be a comfort. This disc is a combination of tinkling soft music and the beauty of nature.

Meditation Music of Ancient Egypt

Meditation Music of Ancient Egypt – Gerald Jay Markoe
I’ve long had a fascination with ancient Egypt. This music conjures images of sacred ceremonies in exotic temples.

Classical Healing

Classical Healing – Tom Barabas
Melody, harmony, familiarity. This CD is a collection of well-known classical pieces played intimately on a piano.

What is your favorite relaxation music?

Serenity Gift Set by LUSH

Serenity Gift Set by LUSH

Because of my love for all things beauty related and my penchant for mixing up my own soaps and lotions, friends are always letting me know of new products they’ve tried and giving me samples of things they’ve picked up.

A friend discovered LUSH while travelling on business. She was looking for ways to pamper herself while she had a prolonged stay in a hotel.

The Serenity Set by Lush – $35.45

A beautiful collection for calming, inspirational baths
Some people go an entire lifetime without experiencing a waking moment of serenity. Some of us have got to the point where we think that five minutes a day is pretty wonderful, but wouldn’t ten be better? Up your friends’ serenity quotient by giving them our Serenity box with five soothing treats, including A Ring of Roses buttercream for soft skin and Bathos bubble bar for a lovely, peaceful bath time.

Set includes:
Alkmaar Handmade Soap, Ring of Roses Conditioning Buttercream, Bathos Bubble Bar, Butterball Bath Bomb, Ceridwen’s Cauldron Luxury Bath Melt

Available at LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

Price: $35.45