3 Simple tips for a stress-free summer

May 22, 2012 at 3:31 p.m. ET

Summer is just around the corner which means barbecues, long days at the beach, a party every weekend and, hopefully, a break from all the chaos. Sounds like a blast, right? Maybe not. Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you need to run yourself ragged with your plans. Yes, a vacation is necessary, but it’s the planning part that can get you down. Many people stress themselves out with travel plans, expenses and the delays and traffic that come with it all. Not to mention cramming in all of your work before you head out. To help you get through the summer stress, check out these three simple tension-taming tips.

Woman reading a book outside

Slow down and say no to stress

Most of us feel the need to say yes to every invitation that comes our way, and crossing off as many to-dos from our list becomes the priority during summer. Some words of advice: Don't make the goal to pack in as much as you possibly can during the summer. Summer actually gives us a chance to relax and take a breather. Take advantage by slowing down and learning to say no. Schedule some down time so you aren’t going 100 miles per hour at all times. Choose which activities you want to attend and be sure to take some time every week to relax. Go for a long walk, have a date night or take the kids for some ice cream. No need to be all things to all people.

Have a stay-cation to de-stress

Are you stressed out about spending too much money this summer on a vacation? Why not save a few bucks by taking advantage of what your local area has to offer? More and more people are realizing that a stay-cation can be just as fun and beneficial as going away. Besides, planning a vacation can add more stress and work to your already busy schedule. Sometimes you just need a break from the daily grind. Take a few days off to explore your town and its surroundings -- try a new restaurant, go for a hike, see a movie or just put your feet up and read a good book.

Self-care to stress less

Try adding some healing rituals to your weekly routine to help you relax and de-stress. Take a warm bath, get that massage and pedicure you’ve been putting off, take a nap without feeling guilty or find a yoga or Pilates class to try out. Do whatever your heart desires! Most of us place our needs at the bottom of our priority list, but the truth of the matter is, if you don’t take care of yourself, who will? Choosing self-care is a wise decision, otherwise, you might get caught up in the busyness of the summer, which could leave you feeling burnt out by the sunny season's end. Instead, let it be a time to relax and recharge.

Don’t forget the most important part of summer -- have fun!

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