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Secrets of Stress-Free Family Time

Here's how to downshift from a busy day so you can relax and reconnect with the ones you love.

Strike a (Yoga) Pose

"On days when the weather doesn't cooperate, I do yoga with my daughter in our basement. She chooses the poses, which are always animal-related. Our favorites are the Camel pose, the Dead Bug pose, and the Butterfly pose. She is infinitely more flexible than I am, but she has less patience, so we are a balanced team. The only problem we run into is when our dogs try to join in — our 'session' ends up erupting into silliness instead of calm!" —Mary Talalay, 43, Baltimore; mom to Miriam, 5

Change the Scenery

"A couple times each month, I pick up my son from school and head to Starbucks, where we meet my husband for a delicious drink, a treat, and a round of Uno, one of my favorite childhood games. Spending time in a different environment gets us out of our 'home routine' and always creates lots of interesting conversation and laughter, which always brings us closer. We usually stay for 45 minutes, and by the time we leave, I feel completely tuned in to both of them." —Dianne Sikel, 39, Phoenix; mom to Adam, 9

Share the Love

"During dinner we share one thing that we love about each other. Recently, my youngest daughter said to me, 'Mom, I love how you live in the moment and how you always take care of me and listen to me.' I said to her, 'I love how sensitive you are, how easily you talk about your feelings, and how you're so grateful for everything I do for you. You always say thank you and that makes me feel really good inside.' Everyone takes a turn, and by the end of all our affirmations, we each feel loved, appreciated, and connected." —Lauren Miller, 41, Highlands Ranch, CO; mom to Kaylin, 16, John, 13, and Kimberly, 10


Originally published on July 14, 2009


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