6 Quick Ways to De-Stress Your Mind and Body

Squeezing that stress ball a little too much? In honor of Stress Awareness Month, we've got remedies for your mind and body.

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I may be taking Stress Awareness Month a little too seriously. But now's the time to get into a healthy "me first" mindset. I took my stress by the reins and booked a mini vacation to Las Vegas, a manicure and a massage. #treatyoself, am I right?

Stress Awareness Month is a "cooperative effort to inform people about the dangers of stress, successful coping strategies, and harmful misconceptions about stress that are prevalent in our society." Only you know what makes you feel better in times of high stress. Exercising? Crafting? Dancing? Writing?

I've gathered a few ways you can relieve stress at home and at the office. Give them a try, and feel the tension leave your body. (I recommend doing all the beauty DIYs while watching a marathon of Fixer Upper — double de-stresser!)

9 Desk-Friendly Yoga Stretches

Try these simple stretches and poses for a mini workout when sitting at your desk for long hours. Your body will thank you.

Dive Into Aromatherapy 101

Aromatherapy Display in Spa Bathroom

Aromatherapy Display in Spa Bathroom

Displayed on white quartz countertops, aromatherapy soaps and candles add to the spa-like atmosphere in the master bathroom of HGTV Smart Home 2014.

Photo by: Jason Kisner ©2014, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Jason Kisner, 2014, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Essential oils help change your mood, cure ailments and promote balance in your life. Find the scent(s) that speak to what you need at the moment. My scent of choice: lavender.

From Our Blog: Aromatherapy 101

Then, Make Your Own Essential Oils

Make Your Own Essential Oils

Make Your Own Essential Oils

Learn how to make your own essential oils with plants from your garden.

3 All-Natural Beauty DIYs

Treat yourself to an avocado face mask, strawberry scrub and a beet lip stain.

Honey + Cinnamon + Nutmeg Facial Mask Recipe

Honey-Cinnamon-Nutmeg Facial Mask

Honey-Cinnamon-Nutmeg Facial Mask

Made from the inner bark of Cinnamomum cassia, cinnamon has astringent properties. Used with honey and nutmeg in this facial mask, it helps make your skin glow.

Photo by: Courtesy of Storey Publishing / Photo by (c) Winnie Au

Courtesy of Storey Publishing / Photo by (c) Winnie Au

This mask recipe is just plain good for your skin. The honey is moisturizing, the nutmeg is exfoliating and the cinnamon draws blood to the surface of the skin, leaving you with a healthy, radiant complexion. Clear skin = one less thing to stress about!

Homemade Coffee Beauty Scrub

Coffee Beauty Scrub

Coffee Beauty Scrub

Perk up the rest of your body with this coffee-infused body scrub.

Make It: Coffee Scrub

BONUS: For Too-Stressed Pets

I came home an hour late the other night and I thought my cat was going to lose it. I messed up his schedule! His whole night and day were now thrown off. For pets who could use a little R&R, we've got the perfect cure.

A Yoga-Centric Studio Fit for Classes

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Dark Wooden Planks

When Ashley purchased her Atlanta bungalow in 2008, she intended to turn its dark, wood-paneled attic into a yoga studio. In order to update it correctly, she'd need to replace the wood paneling with drywall, tear out the damaged wood floors and add natural light by replacing tiny dormer windows with a large 3x4 foot window and a custom skylight.  

A Well-Balanced Space

In order utilize her attic space as a yoga studio, Ashley dedicated one side for instructing classes. To keep the top-floor area feeling serene and airy, she used a shade of blue for the walls, while yellow and turquoise add energy to the space through accents such as yoga mats.  

Photo By: Photographer: Christina Wedge

Clutter-Free Consciousness

Yoga-centric spaces must be clean and minimal so that students can remain focused and clear-headed. In order to keep her essential yoga supplies nearby, neat and uncluttered, Ashley designed a cubby system with an integrated refrigerator for keeping bottled water chilled, and mats and towels organized.  

Photo By: Photographer: Christina Wedge

Inspirational Accents

Graphic design is Ashley's main profession. To add her own designer touch to the space, she created a 2x4 foot piece of graphic art packed with inspirational words to encourage a feeling of calm and peacefulness, elements essential to a successful yoga workout.  

Photo By: Photographer: Christina Wedge

Overcoming Challenges

The dark wood floating floors presented the most challenges. In its original condition, the space underfoot was made up of damaged hardwoods installed above uneven floor boards. It wasn't until her contractor started installation that he noticed a major dip on one side. Before installing the new dark wood floating floor, he had to replace 50% of the floor boards, then add leveling compound.  

Photo By: Photographer: Christina Wedge

Whitewashed Walls

Ashley used most of the attic's wall space as an opportunity to add coastal-style architectural touches. To offset the darkness of her ebony floating wood floors, the contractor install 1x6 pine planks horizontally, and hired a painter to lighten them with a whitewashed effect.  

Photo By: Photographer: Christina Wedge

Staying Centered

Originally, the wood-paneled stairwell leading up to Ashley's attic was extremely dark and dingy. To lighten it up, she used the same whitewashed horizontal pine used throughout the studio. Now the stairwell wall serves as the central divider between the area designated for yoga sessions and the space meant for desk work.  

Photo By: Photographer: Christina Wedge

Love, Peace and Lighting

Ashley aimed to incorporate her love of coastal style into the yoga studio's design. To do this in a non-literal manner, she installed an industrial pendants made from galvanized metal indicative of lighting found on boardwalks and wharfs.  

Photo By: Photographer: Christina Wedge

A Welcoming Environment

As students enter the yoga studio, they're greeted by a half-wall packed with fresh hand towels. Once sessions are finished, Ashley gathers up the used towels, tosses them in the laundry, then replenishes the wall supply with new ones.  

Photo By: Photographer: Christina Wedge

A Place for Everyone

Since many of Ashley's students change into yoga attire at her house, she designated one side of the stairwell's half-wall to holding everything from purses to hats to gym bags.  

Photo By: Photographer: Christina Wedge

A Desk Area for Extra Organization

Ashley uses a desk area of the space to read up on trends and new techniques. She opted for a classic, traditional desk with bases made of filing cabinets to keep the space clean and clutter-free.  

Photo By: Photographer: Christina Wedge

Temperature Control

To keep the studio cool in the warmer Atlanta months, Ashley installed a modern, plug-in unit at the top of the new window. This alternative to central air conditioning was much more cost-effective, at $250.  

Photo By: Photographer: Christina Wedge

Reconsidering the Skylight

Natural light was one of the most important elements in the yoga studio. Although Ashley's thrilled with the great amount of sun peeking through her new skylight, the window presents several challenges for the homeowner. "The skylight is causing areas of the wood floor to fade and it makes the space warm at certain times of the day," says Ashley.  

Photo By: Photographer: Christina Wedge

A Passion for Yoga Poses

Thanks to a smart space plan, Ashley has plenty of room to instruct three to six students per session.  

Photo By: Photographer: Christina Wedge

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