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Stress happens. That’s why it helps to know how to properly wind down. Forget wine and popcorn—it’s all about dark chocolate and bubble baths. Here’s your ultimate guide to finding instant relief from the day’s anxieties. Ready, set, breathe!

RELATED: All Your Friends Are Meditating—Here’s What You Need to Know

dark chocolate
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Have a little dark chocolate

Don’t mind if we do. Dark chocolate regulates levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Plus, it’s delicious and feels like a mini reward.

writing a to do list
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Stay Organized

You know what triggers unnecessary stressors? Not being able to find your keys. Or misplacing your glasses. Or forgetting your password…again. Start by keeping a tidy desk. You’d be surprised how quickly it clears your head, too.

woman riding aquatic bike
Water Biking Studio/Facebook

Sweat it out

While we love our reliable neighborhood yoga spot, sometimes we need an industrial-strength workout to give us a new feeling of inspired energy. From WaterBiking in Coral Gables to Barry’s Bootcamp in Midtown, find yourself a next-level studio where bad vibes don’t stand a chance.

legs in bubble bath
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Practice some good ol’ self-care

Self-care is an absolute must for the stress-free gal. Whether you love a weekly mani-pedi, Netflix binge session or indulgent brunch, give yourself permission to do something just because it makes you happy at least once a week. 

minimalist living room
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Tweak Your Living Space

Is your home on the messy, noisy or overly bright side of the lifestyle spectrum? It might be causing you to be on edge. Try a few easy tweaks—from adding some houseplants to ten-minute tidy sessions and dedicated charging stations. Because no one’s best life is spent dodging clutter and dirty dishes.

woman wearing sleeping eye mask
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Get some Zzz’s

This is huge. This is everything. How can you stave off stress when you’re running on less than six hours? Your body is telling you something when you start dozing off at 2 p.m. Now get some rest, OK?

woman drinking smoothie
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Load up on fruits and veggies

Science says that eating more fruits and veggies is the secret to reducing your stress level. An Australian Study published in BMJ Journals found that eating five to seven servings of produce daily can lower stress by 14 percent in middle-aged adults (45 and older)—and that percentage jumps to 23 percent for middle-aged women. (But don’t let the “middle-aged” part deter you. We’ll heed this good advice at any age.)

woman laughing on laptop
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LOL

Head to YouTube and find a video you know will make you double over laughing. When you laugh, you take in more oxygen-rich air, which increases the endorphins released by your brain.

meditation on a beach
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Dive into meditation

We get it: Meditation can be intimidating. So, when we heard some friends extolling the benefits of mindfulness meditation, we were hesitant to try it. But then we gave it a shot, and we loved it. It’s incredible for your health and just so damn calming. Like anything else, it requires practice. Here’s your ultimate guide to getting started.

beach yoga
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And, of course, remember to breathe

We often hold in our breath, or simply forget to breathe, when stress strikes. If you’re feeling frazzled before a presentation or PTA meeting, inhale deep into your diaphragm, hold for two seconds, and then release. Repeat at least ten times. Yoga (especially free classes) is a good place to start.

RELATED: 4 Workouts for When You Need to Get Rid of Bad Energy

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