How are you doing so far this spring? We enjoyed a mild winter in the Yakima Valley and now summer is just ahead, but with the lingering stress of the past year, many people I talk to have found themselves to be stressed out! Quarantine, working from home, loss of a job, health challenges. all of these can contribute to someone feeling overwhelmed and unable to enjoy life to the fullest.

While there are things that we can't change or do much about, there are many things we can do to get the most enjoyment out of life and at the same time reduce our stress levels.


5 Things You Can Do To Reduce or Eliminate Stress

Spend Time With a Furry Family Member

Pets are amazing companions for the individual and for the entire family. Anyone who has shared their lives and homes with pets can tell you, there's nothing like coming home at the end of the workday and discovering that someone, whether canine or feline, is always glad to see you and loves you unconditionally. Dogs and Cats, of course, show this affection and devotion in different ways. Dogs come right out and say 'I LOVE YOU'! Cats, in contrast, often show they care by allowing you to come in and live in their home, provided that you feed them and clean out the litterbox once in a while.

Brian Stephenson

Take Time to Find Someone Who Needs Cheering UP

It might sound counter-intuitive to some, but focusing on somebody else's needs and doing whatever we can to cheer them up, in turn, has a positive effect on us! Visiting the sick, seasoned citizens, friends in need - all provide opportunities for us to charge our own batteries by doing something for someone else and changing their lives for the better. Take Bebe the Cat, for example, he may look grumpy and dissatisfied, but once we threw him a birthday bash he perked right up!

Emily Stephenson

Get Outside and Participate in a Sporting Event or Activity You Enjoy

It could be going for a walk, jogging, going to the beach, or playing golf. Fresh air and exercise could be and often is just what the Doctor ordered for getting healthier both mentally and physically. Find a buddy who wants to enjoy some of the same things and you'll encourage each other to make this a healthy habit. Ok, and now I'll say that I'm always looking for golf partners and on a good day I'm likely a 25 handicap so you've got a fantastic chance to beat me. Hit me up on the station app to arrange a tee time.

Brian Stephenson

Spend Some Quality Time with Children

If you're blessed to have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or other close relationships with a child, you're very rich indeed. Don't let opportunities pass you by and spend time with some of these amazing little humans before they've grown. Children, too, need attention and mentoring and the time you'll spend together should be mutually rewarding.

Brian Stephenson

Go Fly a Kite!

Yes, it's what my grandmother used to say to me when she really meant 'scram'! But I'm speaking actually about flying a kite here. So much fun, so relaxing, for kite flyers both young and old, experienced or neophyte. Watch for overhead powerlines and let 'er rip! A relaxing beach somewhere would be an ideal place to start! Check out some of these Kite Flyers:


LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.