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HealthNotes

Give Your Valentine Heart-Healthy Stress Relief

Romantic, stress-reducing gift ideas
Take Care of Your Sweetheart’s Heart: Main Image
Spending time with family and friends may reduce stress

Increasing evidence points to a relationship between heart health and stress, according to the American Heart Association. So why not go ahead and help your loved one relax, wind down, and take some “me” time—or rather, “us” time? Here are some easy do-it-yourself ideas to give the gift of stress reduction. Buy a basket or bag and line with tissue paper—try two layered colors for extra fun—and accent with a coordinating ribbon tied around the handle or a flower tucked in between the goods.

Dinner-for-two basket

Regular nutritious meals assist in restoring energy, help the brain to function properly, and keep a body in good health—all beneficial to reduce stress and help the heart. Set the mood by presenting your loved one with an invitation to a special homemade meal. Spend a leisurely evening together, leaving time for conversation.

  • Sparkling juices—Try apple-cranberry or apple-grape
  • Two drink holders—Find either glass goblets or fancy plastic cups
  • Dark chocolate bar—Dress it up with wrapping paper and maybe tie with a ribbon
  • Special invitation—Hand write an invitation to your dinner for two

Fun-and-family-night basket

Spending time with family and friends may reduce stress, provide emotional support, and help you forget about your worries. Fun choices for this basket might include:

  • Hot cocoa—Try a low-calorie version
  • Mugs—Find the perfect cup for everyone
  • DVD movie—Pick a family favorite
  • A mini-scrapbook—Fill a small album with your favorite holiday photos
  • A card for the occasion—Hand write a special note

Sleepytime-love-you basket

Since rest can lower stress levels, try some of the following tricks to help your honey wind down in the evening and fall asleep faster:

  • Bath oils or salts—Find those labeled as relaxing, and avoid citrus scents, as they tend to energize rather than soothe
  • Herbal teas—Look for caffeine-free blends labeled as relaxing and comforting, such as those with chamomile
  • A card for the occasion—Include a special hand-written note
Terra Wellington is a wellness lifestyle television personality, writer, and actor. She loves shopping for family members on special occasions.

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