Text sign showing Slow Down Relax De Stress. Conceptual photo Have a break reduce stress levels rest calm Paper lumps laid randomly around white notepad touch black pen on woody floor.

Times, they are a’ changing. Business is good here at Lake Martin. Every time I talk to another Realtor, contractor or plumber, we end up giving each other pep talks. Always a sanctuary, our area really has shown up during COVID-19, offering the great outdoors to those in need. Reminding people to slow down and enjoy life. Fresh air is free, y’all.

I have a lot of friends who have been in the area since March, working from home, and I think they secretly love it. One thing I know to be true is that we all have felt the stress of 2020. Whether schooling children, displaced from home or routines, out of work or covered up in work, we have all had our private struggles.

Below is a big list of 50 ways to de-stress and be kind to yourself.

We have to all stay strong and keep showing up for family, friends and clients. We didn’t come this far to only go this far. Onward! 

1. Take time for yourself

2. Listen to music

3. Watch a funny movie

4. Eat healthy 

5. Meditate

6. Go for a walk

7. Work out and sweat (or cry)

8. Read

9. Play with your pet

10. Go skinny-dipping in the lake

11. Face time a friend

12. Eat ice cream

13. Go for a drive with the windows down

14. Paint

15. Write

16. Stretch

17. Say ‘No’

18. Digital detox

19. Practice gratitude

20. Pray

21. Dance

22. Hug someone you live with

23. Chew a piece of gum

24. Hike

25. Make s’mores

26. Catch lightning bugs

27. Bird watch

28. Play cards

29. Jump on a trampoline

30. Have a picnic

31. Breathe

32. Organize your closet 

33. Bake

35. Shop local online

36. Ride a bike

37. Go barefoot

38. Sunbathe

39. Nap

40. Garden

41. Knit

42. Get a massage

43. Get a pedicure

44. Drink water

45. Brain dump

46. Listen to a podcast

47. Trust 

48. Clean something

49. Cut down on caffeine 

50. Cut off the news.

And if none of that works, pour yourself a big glass of wine. Be well my friends.

~ Lacey Howell is a recovering English major from Auburn who now lives on Lake Martin, sells real estate, rides horses and loves good wine. Follow her at Instagram@Lacey Howell and on her Facebook page.