Everywhere you turn there's headlines and programming to bring you down. Being in that space will not do you any good. In fact, it ups the wear and tear on your psyche and your spirit. Decisions made from an exhausted state tend to perpetuate more of the same. Here are five ways to bring a smile to your face and give a little stress.

I learned this from a friend who specializes in creating nurturing environments — Lighting lots of candles just before dusk creates a feeling of warmth in the home that truly soothes the soul.

Almost as good as having a fireplace, flannel sheets make winter worthwhile! You will love a rainy day when you get to linger in bed and feel embroidered by the thick nap of the softest material ever invented! If you want to really spoil yourself you can add a velvet or micro-fiber duvet cover. Then you can spend your weekend mornings pondering which really is softer.

Clear clutter even if you have to put it in boxes until spring-cleaning. Because you'll be spending more time indoors this is more important than ever. While clutter can feel comfortable on some levels it also adds a level of low-grade stress. Better to surround yourself with things that really do add to your joy factor.

If it brings you down put it down! Inspirational only. Put yourself on a media diet. The world will not end if you do not read all that today. If you really need to know what's going on ask a friend. Then notice how you feel talking about that. With so much fear being cultured these days it's all the more important to avoid those concrete thoughts.

Small inspirational books that do not feel overwhelming are the best. Focus on finding thoughts that are uplifting, then consistently absorb those and your heart will feel lighter.

The pleasures of the table — Whatever it takes to make this happen, make it happen — Sunday dinners. Invite a friend or an entire family to join you. When you cook together it will not feel like another chore on your to do list. Let the kids help. They actually enjoy it! Make an entrée plus a big pot of soup for the next day. You'll still only have to clean the kitchen once and Mondays will feel a little less like a Monday when you have some warm bread and home made soup to look forward to …

Source by Barbara Zagata