6 summer stress busters

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by Egyptian Doctor, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

    Mar 21, 2011
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    Don't let a few inconveniences prevent you from fully enjoying the year's best weather. Here's how to punch through the stress so you can spend more time with your feet up by the pool.

    Long work hours are killing your fun
    The solution: Tap into your vacation time by scheduling half-day Fridays. Americans left an average of 9.2 paid days unused last year, a Hotwire.com survey found. But 2 months of half-day Fridays costs you only 4 days. Your boss probably won't even notice; according to CEB research, the average boss toils 8 hours a week less in summer.

    Your yard is becoming a jungle of weeds
    The solution: Fire up the blowtorch. Seriously: It's a quick way to take out weeds, says Matt Blashaw, host of DIY Network's Yard Crashers. Plus, flaming is nontoxic and a whole lot of fun. Just avoid dry areas or anything right next to your house, and keep a hose nearby just in case. Blashaw likes the Bernzomatic TS8000 kit ($50, homedepot.com).

    The neighbor's party sounds like a rave
    The solution: Join the crowd—briefly. Drop by with a six-pack, drink one beer, and then quietly ask the host to turn the music down as you leave. "That works better than calling," says Edwin Riley, the author of Stress Rx. If he ignores you, wear earplugs and negotiate the next day. And avoid calling the cops if possible; you'll poison future relations.

    Brown patches are overtaking your lawn
    The solution: Don't mow so short. "Taller grass holds more moisture," says David Mellor, Fenway Park's grounds director. If you live in the South, raise your mower deck to 1.5 inches; in the North, make it 3. (Regional grasses thrive at different lengths.) And don't water after work; the best time of day for moisture retention is 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. Set a timer.

    Pests are gobbling your garden

    The solution: Try Bacillus thuringiensis, or BT. This naturally occurring bacterium attacks bugs like hornworms and cabbage loopers from the inside so only the plant eaters suffer, says Blashaw. Another option: Spray diluted neem oil. It doesn't harm mammals or birds but is toxic to scores of pests, such as aphids, mites, beetles, and white-flies. "It kills them and their larvae, but it doesn't harm your yard," he says.

    Your AC bill is cutting into your beer money
    The solution: Ask your utility company about a "demand-response" program to limit energy use during peak hours. Con Edison, for example, will install a free smart thermostat that cycles the compressor (but leaves the fan running) in half-hour bursts during times of highest energy use. The company offers a $25 incentive to enroll, and the device can save you roughly 10 percent on your annual energy bill.



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