Gretchen Rubin

This Wednesday: Nine extremely simple and easy tips to take stress out of your day.

Every Wednesday is Tip Day.
This Wednesday: Nine extremely simple and easy tips to take a lot of stress out of your day.

When I was little, I was always puzzled by the maxim, "A stitch in time saves nine." I couldn't figure out what that meant. Finally, light dawned: a single stitch, made in good time, saves the trouble of making nine stitches later. In other words, a little effort now saves a lot of effort later.

That notion underlies several of the tips below. The other notion: when you have a reasonable amount of energy, life feels a lot less stressful.

1. Keep some cash in the house.
2. Never let your car’s gas level fall into the “empty” zone.
3. Have Advil (or whatever) at hand at all times.
4. Put your keys away in the same place every day.
5. Turn out the light as soon as you’re sleepy.
6. Walk around the block.
7. Take ten minutes before bed to tidy up.
8. If you have to pack a lunch for anyone, get it ready the night before.
9. Have at least one good friend who lives in the neighborhood.

Samuel Johnson pointed out that "To live in perpetual want of little things is a state, not indeed of torture, but of constant vexation." By making the effort to stay on top of the little things, you can keep the vexation to a minimum.

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