10 Cheap Ways to Relieve Stress

[5/365] -- Strain
photo credit: mimiTEX

I don’t know if you have noticed, but the pace of life has changed. It seems we are all headed in numerous directions at the speed of light. Many of us find ourselves so busy taking care of our homes, our families, our careers, our social life, our bills, and everything else in between that we often forget to take care of ourselves. What happens? Well, with having so many expectations put on us on a regular basis without the time to rest, we get stressed and burn out. We eventually shut down. Sound familiar?

Well, fortunately for us, there are remedies for this. There are ways to prevent the full on burn out. For me, I find that by allowing time for myself to enjoy at least one of the following activities during my week, I am a lot less stressed and happier. I find that this “me time” is critical to getting from one week to the next in one piece.

Here are some low cost remedies to stress I have found work great:

  1. Live simply. Don’t take on additional activities that aren’t necessary or essential. Concentrate on the must do’s only.  I personally have a bad habit of this. I have so many diverse interests that I often end up signing up for things that I don’t have the time for. Sometimes we just need to tell ourselves that we need to wait to take on more until some others things are completed.
  2. Take a long walk. On days when I feel the most jittery or worn out, I find getting some fresh air to be the best remedy of all. I am not sure if it is the aspect of getting in touch with mother nature and breathing in the fresh air or if it is the fact that I have left my regular surroundings, but after a long walk, I usually feel unwound and relaxed.
  3. Put on your favourite tunes, turn them up loud, and groove out.  Those of you who don’t think they can dance will balk at this suggestion but I encourage you to give it a try. You don’t need to know how to dance to cut loose. No one sees you when you do it in your own home. And if your spouse or kids see you dancing away, instead of feeling embarrassed, ask them to join in the fun. Before you know it, smiles and giggles will be everywhere and those feelings of stress will have long since floated away. I usually end up engaging in this activity while I cook dinner.
  4. Light a scented candle. The aroma of a candle allows your senses to relax which in turn allows you to relax. You can get candles at dollar stores for cheap. Once you have lit the candle, curl up on the couch with a good book or magazine.
  5. Have a bath. Sink into the tub at the end of a long day for a recharging and unwinding soak. Turn off the lights, light a candle, and let the glow and scent of the candle relax your body and mind. Adding some [amazon asin=B0011WFOSO&text=epsom salts] to the water can help your muscles relax too.
  6. Splurge a little and go for a professional massage. The best place to go for these is to your local massage therapy school. You will pay a fraction of the regular rate for a massage. Where I live, I can pay $20 for a 1 hour massage.
  7. Watch your favourite movie. We all have a movie that we can watch 100 times without getting sick of it. Get that movie out and put it on to watch.
  8. Go to the library. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee at home and take it with you to your local library and browse around. If you find something that interests you, sit down and read a bit. The best part about this activity is libraries usually have a whisper policy so it is a nice quiet place to escape to.
  9. Phone a friend. If you have a close friend that you don’t normally get a chance to meet up with, pick up the phone and call them. This will be a great way for you to unwind and reconnect with them.
  10. Take a vacation. Even though this requires you to spend a bit of money, it may be the one thing that you really need; a full on escape for a few days. The one good thing is that there are a ton of discount travel sites out there where you can find some great deals. Remember, you don’t need a 5 star experience. You just need a place you can go to catch your breath and recoup. I happen to find [amazon asin=B002PAYHRU&text=camping] great for this. I drive a couple hours out of the city and pitch my tent and enjoy being one with nature for a few days.

So there you have it. Ten ways you can unwind and recoup without spending all of your cash. I encourage you to make an effort in your life to make time for “you.” By controlling your stress, you are better able to look after those people and facets in your life that are most important to you.

What do you do to control your stress? Any ideas to share?

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