*You need to make sure you are as comfortable in your new environment as possible. Instead of reaching for that bottle of headache medicine, consider aromatherapy, treating yourself to a massage, or meditation.

Leaving your old home can be depressing, and a common reaction to depression is the loss of appetite. Not eating properly will lower your immune system, so make sure you maintain a nutritional diet (a little exercise never hurt anyone either) or none of the following aides will make any difference.

Stress Reliever #1: Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the natural use of plants and essential oils in order to help establish physical and emotional well being. Although perfume oils may smell great, they will not provide the therapeutic benefits that essential oils will. Only essential oils are derived from the true plant. Perfume oils are artificially created. Shampoos, bath oil, perfumes, and body oils are just a few of the many forms oils can be used in for aromatheraputic purposes.

AromaWeb is the most extensive web site I've found providing everything from the history of aromatherapy, to a list of 26 common oils and their benefits. This site also provides nearly 30 detailed, easy to follow recipes including cures for high stress.

You can usually find the essential oils required for aromatherapy at your local health/vitamin store, but if you're having trouble getting what you need, visit Whole Foods on-line at: http://www.wholefoods.com/market/2.9/index.html

If making your own remedies doesn't sound appealing, you can also find pre-mixed aromatherapy solutions from Whole Foods, too.

Solution #2: Massage

Getting a massage from the right person can help ease tension. There are countless people trained in massage whose prices will range anywhere from $15 to $115. For a less expensive massage, consider calling up a local massage school. Usually the students are still learning, and will offer discounted sessions. Just be careful, you don't want to end up in a massage parlor that offers the "Special Full Body Massage." Make sure you are comfortable with your massage therapist and know about their qualifications. If you aren't comfortable with the therapist, then you'll get tense, and that would certainly be a waste of money, now wouldn't it? Some people can't stand the thought of having someone else touch them, or can't bring themselves to get partially undressed in front of a near stranger. This doesn't mean you cannot enjoy massage! Amazon.com offers countless books about the art of self massage.

Solution #3: Meditation

I know that when some people hear the word "meditation" they immediately envision some emaciated little old man wrapped in a sheet sitting Indian style on a mountain top humming "OHMMMM." Try to be open minded. It's so much more than that! While meditation can be used as a way to recognize and correct your inner strengths and weaknesses, it can also be used to simply relax by focusing on your breathing rather than your problems. Here's something that's easy to do, and that works beautifully:

Lie flat on your back on top of the covers in your bed, or on the floor.

Clear your mind. You've been stressed out all day, and you can let yourself be stressed out later, but allow the next few minutes only for pure, calm thoughts.

You are going to do "isolations." This is where you select one section of your body, isolate it in your mind, and help it relax starting with your feet.

Focus on all the tension in this body part. Give it a color. Now start taking in deep breaths in through your nose. Let them out slowly and smoothly through your mouth. When you breathe out, visualize the tension (whatever color you've made it to be) leaving your body through your breath. When you breathe in, choose another color to represent serenity and relaxation, and visualize it replacing the tension color.

A superb site to visit to help you with this is:


Once you've filled your feet with this color, move up. Repeat steps 5 through 8 until you've reached your head, making sure to visualize the unstressed body parts in the color you chose.

When you've finished... if you've really concentrated and kept the energy focused, you should feel a relaxing buzz. Enjoy this feeling, and keep it as long as you like. As you get more experienced, you'll be able to maintain the feeling of relaxation while you visualize your "happy place."

Stop laughing, cynics. It will work only if you allow it to. Anyway, your "happy place" can be a place only you know about. Mine is usually in a butterfly garden. Imagine yourself in this place, and let your mind go free. Just make sure you keep the concentration and you don't start thinking about anything that will ruin the relaxation. For example, don't let your ex-boyfriend creep into your virtual butterfly garden, or a mean boss, or whatever else was bothering you that day. Give yourself this moment to feel good. You deserve it.

Too "hippie new-age" for you? Well, you can also relax quickly and calmly through a simple deep breathing exercise. Think about smokers when they're stressed out. They take long, deep drags off of the cigarette or hot box it. You know why? Because part of the reason they feel like they need to smoke when they're stressed is because their bodies are craving not only the nicotine, but the long deep breaths. (Realizing that alone really helped me quit!) So, if you feel overwhelmed, just pick a focal point and do some deep breathing. Try pyramid breathing. It's simple, quick, and it works:

1. Breathe in and count to one second.

2. Breathe out and count to one second.

3. Breathe in and count to two seconds.

4. Breathe out and count to two seconds...

You get the idea. Do this all the way up to thirteen. It slows down your heart rate, and gives you a minute to think about nothing more than your breathing.

These are simple, affordable solutions to alleviate the stress that comes along with a move to a new home. Visit http://www.leonard-wherley.com for even more great tips on dealing with stress. You need to be comfortable with your environment, so do what you can to avoid unhappiness.

Written by Kate Kemp