Just 12 times a year can make a big impact on your well-being.
30. Start a Healthy Dinner Swap
Wouldn't it be great if low-cal meals magically appeared in your fridge? They can—sort of. Recruit four other families in your neighborhood for a food swap: Each family cooks a big batch of a particular meal (enough to feed five families), packs it up in Tupperware and trades it with the others. Make it a Sunday activity. You'll each prepare dinner just once but eat five different homemade dishes that week. For good-for-you recipes, go to familycircle.com/dinnerswap.
31. Refresh Your Relationship
Next date night, get creative. Breaking your routine can keep the fire burning strong between you and your partner because new activities—such as bowling, star-gazing, a golf lesson or a ride in an exotic car—rekindle romantic feelings.
32. Book a Massage
Allow us to twist your arm: Massages boost immunity, decrease aggression and lower cortisol levels, all while treating ailments like headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome and diabetes. For best results, ask for moderate pressure, suggests Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
33. Schedule a Meet-Up
Book clubs, wine tastings and the PTA provide enough social connection and inclusion to make you happier and more resilient. The more groups, the better. Casual social sets, such as the crew at your friendly yoga studio, count too.
34. Plan a Double Date
What's even better than a night alone with your hubby? Dinner with him and another couple. When partners develop close friendships with other couples—even ones they've just met—they tend to feel more sparks in their own relationship, say researchers.
If you're pressed for time, stressed or feeling a bit blah about things, helping others can reverse those negatives while making life more meaningful. Whether you're ready for a single charitable act or a monthly gig, find deserving organizations at volunteermatch.org.
Originally published in the January 2013 issue of Family Circle magazine.
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