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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.