Take a Staycation! Stress Relievers for the Whole Family

Overwhelmed and annoyed? Tired of the daily routine? Need a vacation but don’t have the time, funds or energy to make a big plan? The key is to slow down, relax and do something a little different. Take a break from stress with these family-friendly “staycation” ideas:

  • Be a Tourist in Your Own Town. Gain perspective and take a break from your regular life by taking a day to be a tourist in L.A. County. Have you ever been curious about L.A. County landmarks such as the Watts Towers, El Pueblo de Los Ángeles Historical Monument, or the Descanso Gardens? Or thought it would be fun to stroll the Hollywood Walk of Fame or visit the Griffith Observatory, but have never gotten around to it? Plan a day trip, just as if you were on vacation in another city. Ask family and friends for tourist-day tips — they may have some fun, new places to discover.
  • Nature Appreciation Day. The fresh sights of a beautiful ocean or mountains, the sounds of birds singing, and smells of pines or flowers can all help us feel more calm and positive. Throughout L.A. County, there are many places to hike, ride bikes, take walks or just relax as a family. Pack a picnic lunch and head out to a different environment — from the mountains to the beach — to enjoy nature. Not sure where to start? The L.A. County Parks and Recreation department offers an easy-to-search database of parks and other places. Learn more at http://parks.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/dpr/parkslocator/.
  • Unplug and Unwind. While phones, laptops, tablets and other digital devices often improve our lives, they also may cause “techno stress” and anxious feelings. Detach from the phone and other digital devices to reconnect with your family by taking a deliberately device-free day. How? Stow the phone and do a project at home, such as doing a scavenger hunt, creating a family time capsule, or making a sweet treat or craft project. Go even more low tech and do an overnight backyard campout!
  • Destination Potluck. A trip to Hawaii may not be in your family’s plans at the moment, but you can still have fun and try something new with a Destination Potluck. Invite other families to contribute a dish — and a fun fact — from a place in another part of the world that they would like to visit. You and your family and friends will share food and facts from around the globe — a change from the usual!

Instant Relaxation Is in Your Hands! Massage your hands to relieve stress, starting by wiggling and shaking all of your fingers and rotating your wrists. Rub the “web” between the thumb and index finger, which can help relieve tension headaches. Gently massage each finger, from the base up to the nail. Rotate your thumb on your palm. Repeat with the other hand.

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