The Top 5 (OK, 6) Ways I'm De-Stressing This Summer

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Summertime is here, and my kiddo and I have been spending more and more of our time outside.

So much so, in fact, that my husband has fitted the backyard for me to be able to work comfortably while she goes wild. I work from home, and my Tasmanian devil of a sweet 20-month-old girl is here with me, usually solo, and that makes relaxing all the more stressful...which sort of defeats the purpose.

I know, I know...I should dry my tears with my four-leaf clovers, but it's true. When I worked in an office every day, just walking into my house lifted about 10,000 pounds off of my shoulders. Now, it's like everywhere I look there's a reminder of something that has to be done, or an email I never finished sending.

So...how do I unwind in that mess?

1.  I use different cups during work hours and relaxation hours to help my brain differentiate when a drink is to be enjoyed slowly and when it should be chugged. No seriously, I do that.

2.  Hammock (or on an easy day, the park.) My 20-month-old and I both have a thing for swings.

Morgan Shanahan hammock

3.  I keep healthy, easy snack and things on hand for Dee and me. I've been caught too many times with a screaming baby and nothing in the pantry I can stomach feeding her, so now I make sure we've got plenty on hand that's going to give us energy...not be a science experiment in 25 years.

4.  This is weird, but organizing always helps me clear my head. When I can't think, I pay bills and file stuff. Works like a charm. Plus there's something really satisfying about shredding stuff.

5.  If I really want need to take a break, I steer clear of the couch. That's a recipe for a nap and a disaster of a day. I usually grab a drink *ahem, Crystal Light Pure Lemonade...I may be addicted* and sit outside for a minute or two. My own little time out.

Bonus tip: When I really need to get the girl to wind down, I'll pile pillows all over the living room floor and throw a blanket over them. We listen to jazz and play flashcards on the TV screen saver. Nine times out of ten she's out like a light and being transferred to her crib in no time.

At least it's not whiskey.

What do you do when you need to grab a few minutes to yourself?

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