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Grown-up girls' stress-bustin' slumber party

Kate D'Imperio lives and writes in Pennsylvania.

Remember when your biggest problem was choosing a prom gown or letting the boy you liked know how you felt? Ahh, those were the days. Problems seemed so great, yet in the grand scheme of things, you really only needed a chocolate milkshake or a pint of Ben & Jerry's to assuage your every concern.

Now, with faster-paced lives, more personal and familial responsibilities and even greater problems, sometimes it takes more than a chocolate milkshake or even a gallon of Chunky Monkey® could tackle.

For an easier take on life, women truly need to make time for their families, their friends, and essentially, themselves. The key to a successful balance is making time for these entities separately, resulting in a happier life with reduced stressors and a more relaxed outlook.

Family time and personal time can be arranged on a day-to-day basis, with special family meals and movie time, game time or special trips and outings together on the weekends. Bubble baths, naps, scrap-booking, baking and shopping provide nice options for alone time, while activities like yoga, Pilates and general exercise routines can be as good for the soul as they are for the body.

To complete the balance, women should keep in touch with friends and plan get-togethers at least once a year, but preferably more often. As people grow up and move on with their lives, it is common that many friends may find themselves miles and miles, and even states apart. This may call for an old-school approach to the common problems of womanhood.

So who says you're too old for sleepovers once you're married, anyway? Toss your cares to the wind and call up all your old friends and all your new ones in an effort to get the gang together for a night of relaxation, reminiscence and rejuvenation. Send the kids to your parents' or your husband's parents' house (or failing that, to their friend's house for a sleepover). Dash out to the supermarket to pick up a few key snacks and ask each friend to bring a goodie to eat and a goodie for the soul.

Acceptable edible goodies may include:

  • Baked goods -- especially cookies, cupcakes, candy, pastries, etc.
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Veggie tray
  • Shrimp cocktail or other hors d'oeuvres
  • Wine or other beverage of choice
  • Pizza
  • Tea and hot cocoa
  • Other delicious foods
  • While it is nice to eat healthy and practice a diet all the time, sometimes a little snack here or there might not hurt. Be sure to offer both junk food and healthy food options in case your guests have just begun a new diet. Faithful standbys like ice cream and frozen treats may best be provided by the hostess.

    Goodies for the soul may include:

    • Photos and scrapbooks from your earlier days
    • Home videos and especially videos showing each other
    • Favorite movies, especially chick flicks
    • Craft projects like knitting and crocheting
    • Pedicure kits
    • Manicure kits and plenty of nail polish
    • Facials
    • Aromatherapy
    • Music
    • Girly magazines
    • Board games and other fun activities
    During your girls-only grown-up slumber party, relax and revisit your past. Spend time with your girlfriends -- the women who got you through all those tough times and influenced you enough to have even a slight impact on who you are today. Take the time to go through photographs from years gone by. Enjoy every moment and take new photographs so you have more memories to hold dear. Watch an old favorite movie and reminisce about the days in college when the flick was your soul's medicine during every bad day or every break-up. Indulge in sweet temptations, even if this is the last time before you start your diet.
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