Enjoy my article originally published here on Elevate Magazine.

Feeling stressed? Try these three easy and inexpensive stress buster ways to pamper yourself right now.

Work and dishes are piling up. Your eyes are burning, your pores seem to be growing with the stress, and you’re moments from tearing your hair out of your head. What you really need is a day at the spa, a soothing facial and, let’s be honest, an adult time-out. However, that may not be possible at least not on a daily basis.

You can still sneak some luxury into your everyday life, in the form of a mini, DIY retreat. Create a little getaway for yourself – without traveling anywhere – with these economical, and simple ways to shake off a little stress from your everyday routine.

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1. Tickle your tongue and improve cognitive function.

“For a quick and decadent late afternoon refresher, pour a glass of sparkling water or prosecco paired with organic dark chocolate with almonds and sea salt,” says Gwen Pratesi, author of the culinary adventure blog, BunkyCooks. “Find a cool, shady, and quiet spot with a comfortable chair and enjoy.”

Something about prosecco, a sparkling Italian wine, tastes like a special occasion. But its bubbly and fruity flavor is more lighthearted than champagne – a reminder to celebrate the small moments in life. Plus, studies show that champagne and prosecco, like red wine, are bursting with antioxidants that can knock out damaging free radicals, lower blood pressure, improve circulation and more.

Then there’s dark chocolate. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found this treat can lower blood pressure. Another University of Nottingham study found that dark chocolate can even increase blood flow to the brain. Yes, a nibble on dark chocolate can actually improve your brain’s functioning, so when you head back to work, you just might perform better.

2. Retreat to your home spa.

No appointment needed for this luxury spa treatment. Just head to the kitchen.

Hollybeth Anderson, with the Hollybeth Organics luxury skincare line, created this easy and inexpensive home spa facial mask. Combine two tablespoons of yogurt, two tablespoons of honey and two drops of lavender essential oil for a gentle, but luxurious facial treat.stressbusters wellness ava 2

The scent of lavender helps you to relax. A study by the University of Maryland Medical Center found that lavender oil slows nervous system activity and promotes relaxation. Another study in the International Journal of Neuroscience found the oil can reduce anxiety and even heighten concentration.


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3. Just get moving.

One feature you’ll often find at a luxury resort or wellness spa is top-notch fitness facilities, so you will not only leave with great memories, but also a new skill, like a better tennis swing, a certain yoga pose that feels amazing, or simply the motivation to be more active back at home, says Barbara Bertelle, fitness manager at the Resort at Longboat Key Club in Florida.

But you don’t need a resort to inspire you to move and appreciate your body. “Always take the steps, not the elevator,” Bertelle says. “Parking a few spots away at the grocery store will give you a few more steps toward your goal.”

Get up and stretch in the office, or take a quick walk around the block. Dance while you’re blow-drying your hair, Bertelle says. Do pushups and situps while watching the morning news.

“A lot of little things can add up to improved overall mental and physical health,” she says.