We all get stressed sometimes. Whether you’re in the middle of exams, having relationship troubles or going through a tricky period financially it’s easy to feel a bit anxious. The trick is to find healthy ways to deal with your anxiety and distress effectively.

Art has long been used as a calming and happy alternative to more destructive forms of self-help, and these days art therapy is very common. Go into any hospital, prison, school or nursing home and you’re likely to find an art therapist supporting people there. Luckily it’s also easy to do art therapy yourself at home.

Why not try some simple, creative activities to help you deal with life’s stresses and strains? Here are three easy activities to get you going.

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We spend more than 90% of our time indoors, yet how often do we consider the air quality of our homes? Polluted air is often linked to traffic filled streets and coal burning factories, but pollutants released outside will disperse easily. Our homes lock in dirty air and contribute to the onset of asthma and even lung cancer. You can improve wellbeing by spending time in nature, but for when you are home, here are some steps you can take to clean up the air.

Remove Toxic Chemicals

The list of products that pollute the air in your home is endless: cookers, cleaning products, moisturisers and air fresheners all mean that the air indoors is dirtier than outdoors. Luckily, there are natural alternatives for most of these things.

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We live in a society in which we connect with technology hourly, but sadly don’t have much time or inclination to connect with nature. We’re missing out! Being in nature is good for the mind, body, and spirit, with research showing how it can make us happier and boost physical recovery from illness. Best of all, reaping the benefits of nature doesn’t require a weekend getaway in the mountains. You can achieve them with some light gardening. Here’s how gardening can help you reconnect with nature, which will make you a better person.

Have you ever experienced being in nature and feeling better about life and yourself? Perhaps feeling the sun on your shoulders and watching the beauty of the sun filtering through the trees made you feel more alive? It’s not your imagination to experience these things. Here’s how gardening benefits you.

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Let’s face it, we’re all facing more chronic stress and anxiety these days than we did in years passed. That’s because competitive workplaces, long office hours, and countless personal commitments are all contributing to a higher amount of emotional strain. The good news is that you can treat these problems just like you would any other health condition – with the right healthy habits.

While things like meditation, therapy, and exercise can all contribute to giving you a more positive mindset, juicing could also have a part to play when it comes to minimizing cortisol levels, and giving you the emotional strength you need to thrive. It turns out that juice is great for a lot more than just reducing the excess fat around your stomach. With the right ingredients, and a little creativity, you can banish sources of depression, eliminate anxiety, and take control of your mood.

To help get you started, here are five incredible juices that will help you to say sayonara to chronic stress!

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Some teens have experimented with prescription and recreational drugs without becoming addicted or suffering other negative consequences. But, they aren’t the norm. For numerous others, the addiction kicks in after the very first time they use. For these teens, drug use leads to problems with home, school, work, relationships, shame, helplessness and isolation.

As a parent, you’re always worried about teen peer pressure that could lead to using drugs. And, if you find that your teen is using, it’s your parental responsibility to get him the help he needs fast. The best way to help your teen is to become educated about the warning signs and steps to take to guide your teen into living a drug free lifestyle.

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Man eating watermelon

It’s quite easy to become lax when it comes to taking care of ourselves as adults. Normally, we don’t have that nagging voice in the ear telling us when to sleep or how to eat as our mother’s once did. This sad realization comes to many of us as we stand in front of the mirror after stepping out of the shower. The phrase, “What happened?” usually crosses our minds. Right there is when we make a crucial decision. Do we commit to taking better care of ourselves, or do we put it off until tomorrow? You must fight the urge to procrastinate decisions affecting your physical needs. What do you do when it comes time to take action?

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Dandelion in the wind

I never thought I was a sensitive person. Practical, yes. Reasonable. Down to earth. But sensitive was not how I would classify myself. It is only recently that I have begun to realize that I am sensitive. If you are really honest with yourself we are all sensitive. What happens to us, what people say, what environment we are in does affect us. It is only when you become aware of this effect that you can gain some control over it.

At one point in my life I strove to be a robot. Emotionless, without hurt on anxiety or fear or even joy. I felt that this was a better way to live. Less painful. For a long time I succeeded to an extent. I felt nothing. I remembered nothing. You see, emotions are what make memories and without them there is nothing to anchor memories to. I have entire years of my life missing. A bad way to cope, to be sure, but one that I think many of us do unconsciously or consciously.

After finally having enough time in this manner of living a series of events in my life made me wake up. A new job with new people helped me to understand that my way of life was not normal or particularly healthy. Although I was not quite sure how to change my life I started trying to become more ‘alive’.

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Woman in Yoga pose in a green field

As a kid, I was never interested in sports or exercise. I did dabble in ballet as a very young girl and enjoyed riding my bike in primary school, but other than that, regular exercise was not a part of my daily regimen.

In fact, I had no real reason to exercise until a few years into college. I had gained about 20 pounds and wasn’t feeling as energetic as I once had. My sister (who is 11 years older than me) knew exactly what I was going through and suggested that I start working out a few days a week.

I have to admit, I wasn’t too worried about losing the 20 pounds I had gained, because I didn’t feel uncomfortable with the way I looked. Plus, my Body Mass Index (BMI) was still in the healthy weight range, which meant I didn’t need to lose weight. As a stranger to physical activity, I always believed that regular exercise was only for people who wanted to lose weight, but my sister helped me see the other side of exercise; the side that’s about how exercise makes you feel not how it makes you look.

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Farmers' market stall with fruits and vegetables

Sometimes, the things we expect the least – both good and bad – can teach us the best lessons in life. Last month, I said to a group of 26 child leaders that in many things of our life, the important thing is not what others give us, but what we choose to take. When I said that, I did not consider the possibility of taking a lesson from others without any intention on their part.

Two weeks ago, we learned a very valuable lesson from a good friend of ours. Tom, our friend, had never planned on giving us this lesson. In fact, if it was up to him, I think he would gladly not teach us this lesson at all because of the heavy price he had to pay for it.

I hope that when you read this story, you will choose to take as much as possible from it. Remember, it is not about what I write, but what you choose to receive.

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