Garden soothers

Your garden can provide you with health benefits

Setting aside 15 to 20 minutes a day to sit quietly and breathe deeply can reduce stress, helping to stabilize your heart rate and blood pressure. A simple setting among plants—indoors or out—is the perfect place to do this.

You can use the following building blocks to create a soothing getaway. After a long day, your corner of nature will be a wonderful place to recharge.

• Quiet. Choose a spot away from the phone, TV, and computer.

• Escape. Set off your area with a screen, canopy, or tall plants in pots or in the ground. If you have room, mark a path to your retreat. It will create a sense of departure and invite you to slow down.

• Comfort. Be sure to include a soft place to sit or lie down, like a hammock, some cushions, or a comfy bench or chair.

• Beauty. Fill your space with sensory delights: grasses that sway in the breeze, a pot of flowers in your favorite color, the sound of water, a fragrant plant. Consider candles, chimes, and feeders to invite birds and other wildlife.

Making time in a busy world

Here are some ways to save precious minutes for doing important things—including just relaxing.

• Work hard...and know when to go home. The reality is that your in-box will never be completely empty, so reclaim some overtime minutes for yourself. You're likely to find that you get more done during regular work hours.

• Don’t treat every chore as a high priority. Tend to mail two or three times a week instead of every day. Get a tiered in-box to separate essential and nonessential items.

• Be choosy. Attend events that are meaningful for you, and skip the rest. Keep a calendar in your bag to avoid overscheduling.

• Streamline your morning. Each weekday evening, lay out (and iron, if necessary) what you plan to wear the next day.

• Combine relaxing and socializing. Grab a buddy to prepare a meal or work on a hobby together. You’ll benefit from two stress busters at once.

DownComment IconEmail IconFacebook IconGoogle Plus IconGrid IconInstagram IconLinkedin IconList IconMenu IconMinus IconPinterest IconPlus IconRss IconSave IconSearch IconShare IconShopping Cart IconSpeech BubbleSnapchat IconTumblr IconTwitter IconWhatsapp IconYoutube Icon