cheer up http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/15945/all en-US 30 Free Ways to Cheer Yourself Up http://www.wisebread.com/30-free-ways-to-cheer-yourself-up <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/30-free-ways-to-cheer-yourself-up" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2967604762_4e8caa7eff_z.jpg" alt="Young boy jumping for joy outside with mountains in the background." title="jumping for joy outside " class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="189" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having a genuinely sunny disposition isn't my default mode. For much of my adult life, I have had an overly analytic bent and a tendency to consider worst-case scenarios, which may have engendered thoughtfulness and responsibility but not lively exuberance.&nbsp;</p> <p>I have had to learn and practice optimism, lightheartedness, and, well, cheerfulness. As a result, I have gotten better at being positive and enjoying curves in the road. There are several techniques that have benefited me (and my friends) when circumstances or mindsets threaten inner contentment and outward joyfulness.</p> <p>When things have got you down, try one, two, or more of these ways to feel better about yourself and your life. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-things-to-be-happy-about">Big List of Things to Be Happy&nbsp;About</a>)</p> <h2>1. Confide in a Friend</h2> <p>Talking to a trusted friend about your troubles can be therapeutic. A friend can often give you better perspective on either what is happening to you or how you are responding, urging specific actions to remedy the cause of your sadness or offering much-needed reassurance.</p> <h2>2. Ponder Past Accomplishments</h2> <p>You might feel down if you have had recent setbacks or believe that you are not achieving your goals at a quick enough pace. Ease self-induced pressure by taking your focus off the future for a moment. Ponder the past to get a cheerful boost that moves you forward.</p> <h2>3. Do Something That Scares You</h2> <p>Step outside of your comfort zone. Try something that you want to do but scares you because it's unfamiliar. You might deliver a presentation at a professional gathering, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/sound-more-confident-in-one-easy-step">take a class in public speaking</a>, participate in a community book discussion, or <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-keys-to-great-management-learned-from-an-inner-city-mission-worker">volunteer at an inner-city ministry</a>.</p> <p>Facing a fear can energize you. Even if there are glitches, learn from your experiences and be glad that you are pursuing your dreams.</p> <h2>4. Think About How You Emerged From Bad Times</h2> <p>The twittersphere inspired this approach to <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/bobgoff/status/238989780250132481">reclaiming hope</a> &mdash; think about how you emerged from difficult circumstances in the past. Remember how you dealt with setbacks, sadness, and frustration. Putting these tactics into action can help you feel less dejected.</p> <h2>5. Exercise Intensely</h2> <p>Intense exercise, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise-and-stress/SR00036">the kind that raises your heart rate and produces endorphins</a>, can make you feel wonderful.</p> <p>I am amazed at how much a short but fast run eases anxiety, and even makes me oblivious to new difficulties that would otherwise cause anguish.</p> <h2>6. Read a Book</h2> <p>Getting absorbed in a page turner is an excellent way to forget about yourself and your distress. You may not feel cheery at the very moment (think disturbing scenes from &quot;<a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kite_Runner">The Kite Runner</a>&quot; or heart-tugging conversations in &quot;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.nicholassparks.com/books/dear-john">Dear John</a>&quot;). But, most likely, you&rsquo;ll distance yourself from your problems and feel better and happier about your life.</p> <p>Ask friends for book recommendations, focusing on the ones that deeply engage readers. Borrow from a friend, the library, or <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_pg_1?rh=n%3A133140011%2Cn%3A%21133143011%2Cn%3A2245146011&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1358266700">download a classic for free</a>.</p> <h2>7. Plan a Trip</h2> <p>Anticipating a fun trip &mdash; whether it's a day hike in the mountains or a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-sightseeing-on-the-cheap">weeklong trek to visit museums in Washington, DC</a> &mdash; can make you happy. Although you don&rsquo;t want to spend tons of your time simply planning an escape from daily life, creating plans to enjoy yourself can help increase your enthusiasm for the future.</p> <h2>8. Catch a Movie</h2> <p>Lighthearted movies with an intriguing but not overly complicated plot can take your mind off difficulties, plus make you laugh.</p> <p>To keep this suggestion as a free option, catch a movie on television, watch via a streaming subscription (such as Netflix or Amazon Prime), check out a DVD from the library, or <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">find a free screening</a>. Ask friends about their favorite comedies or choose from a list, such as this compilation of the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2012/06/the-25-best-comedy-movies-streaming-on-netflix-right-now/griff-the-invisible">25 best comedies streaming on Netflix</a> that includes &quot;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-secrets-about-life-and-career-from-office-space">Office Space</a>.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Hang Out With Your Kids</h2> <p>Children seem to possess an endless well of bliss, which they are nearly always ready to share. They can show you how to act spontaneously, make friends effortlessly, and, most importantly, live happily in the moment.</p> <p>Spend a couple of hours with your children at the local playground (if you have small children of your own); accompany friends with children on an outing; or offer to babysit for a harried parent to bring cheer to yourself and others.</p> <h2>10. Volunteer</h2> <p>Volunteering can relieve stress and improve your outlook in many ways. It can:</p> <ul> <li>Give you a reason to interact with other people including fellow volunteers and non-profit clients</li> <li>Enable you to meet those who may have desperate needs yet remain cheerful in trying circumstances</li> <li>Make you feel appreciated</li> <li>Teach you a new skill</li> </ul> <p>In my experience, some non-profit agencies are more adept than others at fulfilling their missions, serving their clients, and making their volunteers feel like a valued part of the team. So, if an assignment isn't everything you imagined, delight in the opportunity to meet new people and being brave enough to try something new.</p> <h2>11. Watch a Funny Television Show</h2> <p>Watching a comedy show on television may seem like a frivolous waste of time, but if you need cheering up, it can be a great way to re-energize in 20-30 minutes.</p> <p>Although I often <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">do productive tasks while watching TV</a>, the best way to catch comedic nuances that make a show laughable is to give your full, relaxed attention. And, sometimes, you have to see several episodes (or watch the first season via Amazon Prime or Netflix) to understand the characters and plotlines. Similar to the approach for books and movies, ask friends for recommendations or check out <a target="_blank" href="http://www.imdb.com/list/MvZIMHjK8eI/">entertainment industry lists</a>.</p> <h2>12. Pinpoint What&rsquo;s Making You Listless</h2> <p>Figure out what is causing your listlessness. You may avoid trying to pinpoint a problem because you feel dissatisfied in all areas of your life. But this approach may reveal that there is just one thing that&rsquo;s wrong and that it can be easily addressed.</p> <h2>13. Hang Out With Teenagers</h2> <p>Teens can be a blast and impart hopefulness for the future. The ones I know (especially my sons and their friends) are insightful about the sometimes ridiculousness of accepted, grown-up behavior and can not only make you pause and think about your own pretensions, but more importantly, make you laugh at your own seriousness.</p> <h2>14. Do Something Nice for Someone Else</h2> <p>Being kind can lift low spirits, letting you to realize that your ill feelings don't have to control you even when you are having a lousy day. Plus, you may learn that horrific things are occurring in other people&rsquo;s lives; the recipient of kindness may tell you how your action helped them in a particularly black moment.</p> <p>For more than <a target="_blank" href="http://andthenwesaved.com/random-acts-of-kindness-ideas/">100 ideas on random acts of kindness</a>, check out this blog post from Anna Newell Jones.</p> <h2>15. Get Some Sunshine</h2> <p>You can&rsquo;t control the weather but you can get outside when the sun is shining. Spend 10-15 minutes outdoors on sunny (or even partly cloudy) days to lift your mood.</p> <h2>16. Take a Break From Social Media</h2> <p>Keeping up with friends on Facebook can be fun but may cause you to feel that you fall short in terms of a social life, cute-kid stories, and vacation travels. Step away from the computer in your leisure time and enjoy some real-world activities.</p> <h2>17. Forget About Worries for a While</h2> <p>Set aside a few hours each day <a target="_blank" href="http://boardofwisdom.com/togo/Quotes/ShowQuote/?msgid=220041">not to worry</a>, even if you have difficulty controlling fretfulness and anxiety. Free yourself to be happy by not letting worry dominate your thoughts.</p> <h2>18. Look at Old Pictures</h2> <p>Dig out photo collections, either in hard-copy or digital form. Let memories of past adventures and fun times make you smile.</p> <h2>19. Finish a Project</h2> <p>Muster the energy to complete an unfinished project to restore peace of mind. Having lots of partially-finished projects may be weighing you down more than you realize. Choose one that involves mindless activity rather than complicated tasks. Not only will you momentarily forget about whatever&rsquo;s bothering you, you'll get something done.</p> <h2>20. Take a Walk</h2> <p>Stroll through public spaces such as a city garden, beach, or a trail along a lake or river. Beautiful natural surroundings, along with movement, can lighten your mood. If you are short on time, hit the streets in your neighborhood or downtown area as a way of taking a brief break.</p> <h2>21. Invite Friends Over</h2> <p>Spending time with friends can help you to relax, enjoy yourself, and hopefully laugh and become cheerier. You'll celebrate friendships rather than focus on what you don&rsquo;t have or what you haven&rsquo;t accomplished yet.</p> <h2>22. Get Professional Help</h2> <p>Pursue professional help if lack of cheer is an ongoing and debilitating problem, or if you have an issue that you can't resolve on your own. Your health insurance may cover mental health services. Alternatively, you may be able to locate free resources through your local mental health center (which may offer support groups) and counseling centers associated with your community, place of worship, school, or workplace.</p> <h2>23. Play a Board Game</h2> <p>Whenever my sons, husband, and I play a board game, we always end up laughing breathlessly, either at silly responses elicited by personal questions embedded in the game or the raw competitiveness of each family member.</p> <p>Unlike many personal finance bloggers who consider board games a consistent source of cheap entertainment, I don't play very often. Still, this activity provides a pleasant distraction that can dispel the blahs.</p> <h2>24. Get Some Rest</h2> <p>You are more likely to be cheerful if you sleep well. Take a nap or resolve to get to bed earlier or sleep later. If you are having trouble sleeping, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-starting-or-jumpstarting-your-exercise-regimen">get more exercise</a>, consider <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight">resetting your sleep cycle</a>, or cut out the electronic noise a few hours close to bedtime.</p> <h2>25. Learn From &quot;The Happiness Project&quot;</h2> <p>Stumbling blocks to happiness are often shared by others, even <a target="_blank" href="http://www.happiness-project.com/">happiness expert Gretchen Rubin</a>. You may find solace in seeing that you are not alone in your struggles. And, more to the point, you can discover tools for cultivating happiness and becoming more cheerful.</p> <h2>26. Plot Steps to Reach a Goal</h2> <p>Whether you made New Year&rsquo;s resolutions, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/trade-goals-for-values">took stock of your values</a>, set specific targets, or did none of the above at the start of the year, you likely have a dream that is yet to be realized. Put together a road map with the steps needed to achieve your desires. Through this process, notice your goals are well within reach, OR discover that getting there will be long and arduous. Either way, knowing that you have a plan can be encouraging.</p> <h2>27. List 50 Things for Which You Are Thankful</h2> <p>Gratitude can ease gloominess. Making a long list of things for which you are thankful can stir a deeper-than-usual awareness of what is going well in your life.</p> <h2>28. Clear Clutter</h2> <p>The process of clearing out clutter isn't fun, but the results can make you cheerier. With clutter gone, you can more readily release angst associated with past events, find the items that you need in your house, and entertain friends more often.</p> <h2>29. Learn Something New</h2> <p>Quiet your discontent by applying your brainpower to learning a new concept or gaining a practical skill.</p> <p>Look for free classes in the community offered by the library, chamber of commerce, or recreation department; listen to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/sit-in-on-a-class-at-mit-for-free">free university lectures</a>; ask a friend to share her expertise with you; pick up some <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/give-your-career-a-boost-with-one-skill">programming skills at Code Academy</a>, or take part in some of the free classes offered through <a target="_blank" href="http://www.skillshare.com/">Skillshare</a>.</p> <h2>30. Take Time Off</h2> <p>Daily routines &mdash; working much of the day or night, fixing meals, volunteering at school, doing laundry, etc. &mdash; can be overwhelming. Give yourself a break by using vacation days to relax. If you can't take time off, cancel outside obligations for a few days or weeks while you recharge.</p> <p>You can be contented without being perpetually perky. But, if you'd like to feel and act more upbeat, make the effort to nurture authentic cheerfulness.</p> <p><em>What do you do to pick yourself up when you&rsquo;re feeling down?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-free-ways-to-cheer-yourself-up" class="sharethis-link" title="30 Free Ways to Cheer Yourself Up" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living Personal Development being happy cheer up free things to do Mon, 28 Jan 2013 11:15:00 +0000 Julie Rains 965706 at http://www.wisebread.com Fight the Post-Holiday Blues: 20 Cheap Ways to Make January Special http://www.wisebread.com/fight-the-post-holiday-blues-20-cheap-ways-to-make-january-special <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/fight-the-post-holiday-blues-20-cheap-ways-to-make-january-special" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5326400672_50b7ba2f35_z.jpg" alt="paper snowflakes" title="paper snowflakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>January can be a tough month &mdash; the post-holiday blues and dreary weather can be enough to make anyone feel a little down. Combine this with failed New Year's resolutions and a long month, and you've got a case of the winter doldrums. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-for-making-resolutions-stick-in-the-new-year">4 Tips for Making Resolutions Stick in the New Year</a>)</p> <p>But don't give in to the Holiday Hangover. Here are 20 ways to make January feel a bit more special.</p> <h2>1. Change Your Diet</h2> <p>Always felt that eating animal products wasn't right but weren't sure if you had what it took to become a vegetarian? Or maybe you've been keen on the Atkins diet but didn't think you could make a long-term commitment. You don't have to &mdash; just set aside the month of January to try a new diet. It doesn't have to be drastic. You can try a quick and easy detox. It's only a month, after all.</p> <h2>2. Volunteer</h2> <p>Find a cause and volunteer for one month. You might find that you like it so much that you don't want to stop when January's up.&nbsp;</p> <h2>3. Decorate for January</h2> <p>It can be kind of depressing, taking down all of the lights and chipping the Christmas tree. Well, why not decorate the house for January? Create paper snowflakes and string them around the living room. Or get a headstart on Valentines Day, and start decking out your home in hearts.</p> <h2>4. Start a Journal</h2> <p>Keeping a diary is a good way to jog your memory, but it can be tough to keep up every single day. Try doing it for the month of January &mdash; knowing that you have a quitting date can make the task seem easier.</p> <h2>5. Spring Clean (a Few Months Early)</h2> <p>Get started on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-one-month-guide-to-spring-cleaning">spring cleaning</a> before spring is here &mdash; and make a big donation to Goodwill, The Salvation Army, or your favorite secondhand store, or sell excess stuff online. If you really pare down your belongings, you can start out the year fresh and uncluttered.</p> <h2>6. Get a Makeover</h2> <p>Not a big one &mdash; but little changes to your appearance can make you feel better. Get a fresh haircut, try a new hair color, or test out some new drugstore cosmetics.</p> <h2>7. Go on a Date Once a Week</h2> <p>Whether you're single or not, date nights are great. Going out every night is pricey, so pick one night per week to go out for some frugal fun. Whether you grab a burger or just go stare at the stars, spending time with your partner, spouse, or a new love interest is a good way to build a solid relationship.</p> <h2>8. Get in Touch With Long-Lost Friend</h2> <p>You've always wondered what happened to Becky from first grade &mdash; so try to find her.</p> <h2>9. Write Letters</h2> <p>When was the last time your wrote a proper letter to your grandmother? Some grannies are on email, but others don't know how to operate a computer. Regardless, real letters aren't often sent anymore and are appreciated. Take some photos, write about your life, and ask lots of questions. Write one letter per week, and take your time.</p> <h2>10. Chronicle Your Past Year</h2> <p>How did the last year go for you? Sit down for five minutes every morning and look back on emails that you sent over the past year. Note major achievements and mistakes. Don't dwell on problems, but think of ways to avoid them in the future.</p> <h2>11. Stay in and Watch a Movie Every Night</h2> <p>Dig into your movie collection or hit your local library and check out movies that you've always wanted to watch but never got around to seeing. Going out is fun, but staying in is affordable (and if you live in a cold climate like I do, it's preferable). If you're not a big movie buff, you can do the same with books (although perhaps at a slower pace).</p> <h2>12. Start a Workout (That You Enjoy)</h2> <p>Exercising can sometimes be a drag, which is why it's better to find a workout routine that you can look forward to. If you played basketball or tennis in high school, look into joining a local league or playing at your gym. Try kayaking or rock climbing, or take tai chi at a community center.</p> <h2>13. Get Your Taxes Done Early</h2> <p>OK, this might not be FUN <em>per se</em>, but it's a real load off of your chest if you have all of your taxes in order before January is done. Set all of the appropriate paperwork in one central location so you won't lose sight of it, and once you have everything, either prepare your taxes online or have them done by a professional. You'll feel awfully smug in April when everyone else is scrambling to get their taxes finished and filed.</p> <h2>14. Audit Your Finances</h2> <p>Performing a financial audit of your expenses is a good way to face up to holiday spending, as well as set your financial behavior for the year. Find out how much you owe (if anything) or how much money you should be saving, and make the requisite changes to pay down credit cards or set aside part of your salary for retirement. While the idea of taking a hard look at your financial habits can be daunting, it's also a relief once you finally know what kind of monetary challenges you face.</p> <h2>15. Thank Someone for Something Every Day</h2> <p>There's a Facebook tradition in November in which people post a daily status that indicates thankfulness for something &mdash; friends, family, coworkers, and more. Do the same in January &mdash; if you're not on Facebook, email or write to people who you are thankful for and let them know why. This little exercise reminds us of all that we have to be thankful for, and it reminds other people why they are important.</p> <h2>16. Perform Random Acts of Kindness</h2> <p>I have a weekly habit of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-ways-to-pay-it-forward">paying for the person behind me</a> at the Starbucks drive-thru. The first time someone paid for my coffee, I nearly cried with gratitude (I was having a really bad day). It's a fun way to be anonymously kind, and doesn't cost much more than what I normally spend (usually less than $3 extra per week).</p> <h2>17. Start Growing Things</h2> <p>From window herb gardens to paperwhites, growing stuff indoors is easy and brightens up a room. Or start ordering your seeds for your outdoor garden.</p> <h2>18. Indulge Yourself a Little</h2> <p>You don't have to sacrifice something in order to start off the year. Go ahead and indulge in something &mdash; a piece of chocolate with your morning coffee, a glass of (not terribly expensive) wine with dinner every night. Take a long hot bath with bubbles.</p> <h2>19. Take a Break From the Internet</h2> <p>Sometimes, a vacation from our plugged in lives can be good. Take a break from Facebook and the Internet (except where it is absolutely necessary), and even email, if you can handle it. Just be sure to let people know that you will be unavailable on social media, and enjoy a vacation from your screen.</p> <h2>20. Organize Some Parties</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-potluck-parties-that-help-you-share-the-wealth">Potlucks and soup swaps</a> are popular these days, and why not enjoy the same kind of familial camaraderie that you had during the holidays? Get friends an family together a few times during January for some home-cooked meals and conversation.</p> <p><em>How are you working through the post-holiday blues? Do you have traditions in your house to make January feel less boring?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fight-the-post-holiday-blues-20-cheap-ways-to-make-january-special" class="sharethis-link" title="Fight the Post-Holiday Blues: 20 Cheap Ways to Make January Special" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living cheer up frugal fun january new year's resolutions Tue, 08 Jan 2013 11:00:31 +0000 Andrea Karim 961759 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Free Ways to Show You Care http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-ways-to-show-you-care <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-free-ways-to-show-you-care" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/111041246_6113f20e22_z_0.jpg" alt="hug" title="hug" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I would be lying if I said I didn&rsquo;t like a shiny, expensive gift from my husband every now and then (because I do; I really, really do), but at the end of the day I can live without those things. There&rsquo;s sentiment and good intention &mdash; and even love &mdash; behind the price tag of those gifts, but the gesture somehow doesn&rsquo;t seem as genuine as when it comes straight from the heart and doesn&rsquo;t cost a dime.</p> <p>My husband and I exchange gifts around the holidays and on special occasions, but it&rsquo;s the other days of the year that matter more &mdash; when we&rsquo;re not obligated to head to the mall to show how much we love each other in the form of material possessions. Surprisingly, it&rsquo;s more meaningful (and more fun) to concentrate on the everyday, even mundane small things that show how much we care for one another without reaching into our wallets. Here are a few of my favorites. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-say-thanks">25 Ways to Say Thanks</a>)</p> <h3>1. Cook a Favorite Meal</h3> <p>My husband isn&rsquo;t fussy with his food, so it&rsquo;s easy for me to whip up one of his favorite meals when I want to show him that he&rsquo;s on my mind and that what he wants matters to me. Luckily, some of his fave dinners are some of mine too, so it&rsquo;s never a bad compromise.</p> <h3>2. Run a Bath</h3> <p>After a long day of work, when you know your significant other could use a break, run a bath, fill it with bubbles, and invite your honey to soak his or her cares away.</p> <h3>3. Clean the House</h3> <p>If one of you takes on the brunt of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-your-house-in-one-day">house-cleaning</a> responsibilities, it&rsquo;s a nice surprise for the other person to take initiative every now and then to let the primary cleaner know that his or her work is acknowledged and appreciated.</p> <h3>4. Wash the Car</h3> <p>Surprise your sweetie with a clean car the next time you want to show how much your care. Wash and wax the exterior and clean the interior for a full-blown vehicular makeover.</p> <h3>5. Give a Hug</h3> <p>My husband is big on hugs. Me, not so much. Because I&rsquo;m not big on hugs, however, my husband knows that I&rsquo;m in serious love mode when I reach out to squeeze him unexpectedly.</p> <h3>6. Make a Romantic Playlist</h3> <p>You can make a mix CD I suppose, but does anyone listen to those anymore? Whatever you use to create the mix, choose songs that your partner enjoys mixed in with a few romantic songs that you share.</p> <h3>7. Make a Card</h3> <p>I once made my mom a card for Mother&rsquo;s Day, and it was probably the single-most cherished card she ever received from me. She still has it tucked away somewhere. It may not look at sleek as a Hallmark, but there&rsquo;s something about a handmade card that embodies the genuine affection you have for its recipient.</p> <h3>8. Send a Sexy Text</h3> <p>It takes less than 10 seconds to send a text that says something sexy or sweet to let the person on the other end know that they&rsquo;re on your mind.</p> <h3>9. Post a Sweet Nothing on Facebook</h3> <p>Let all your friends on Facebook know just how much you care about someone by posting a few nice words about that person. Make sure you tag that person in the post so you can be sure they see it.</p> <h3>10. Hold Their Hand</h3> <p>It can be a bit scary for my husband and I to hold hands in public &mdash; you never know what could happen &mdash; so when he grabs my hand while we&rsquo;re out somewhere, there&rsquo;s an immediate feeling of warmth that washes over me&hellip;despite what anyone else may think.</p> <h3>11. Plan a Date</h3> <p>Most dates aren&rsquo;t cheap, but you can definitely plan a fun, free date if you employ a little creativity. One of my favorites when it&rsquo;s warm out is to pack a picnic and head to a free outdoor movie screening nearby. When it&rsquo;s cold out, grab the sleds and a thermos of hot chocolate on a snow day and spend an afternoon sliding, gliding, and laughing all the way.</p> <h3>12. Frame a Picture</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-display-your-art">No need to buy a new frame</a>. Just remove an old photo from an existing frame and pop in a new one of you and the person for whom the framed photo is intended.</p> <h3>13. Ask About Their Day</h3> <p>This is one of the simplest ways to show you care, yet we often overlook it. Take a few minutes to show you care about someone by asking about their day and actually listening to what they have to say.</p> <h3>14. Dedicate a Song on the Radio</h3> <p>An oldie, but a goodie &mdash; call the radio station your honey listens to and dedicate a song to him or her. It&rsquo;s always a cool, unexpected surprise when you hear your name on the radio.</p> <h3>15. Say &quot;I Love You&quot;</h3> <p>These three powerful words never go out of style. Say them to someone you care about today.</p> <h3>16. Give a Massage</h3> <p>I love a good massage, but they can be hard work, which is why I really appreciate it when my husband does this. It makes me feel like he really cares when he&rsquo;s totally immersed in making me feel good.</p> <h3>17. Run an Errand</h3> <p>Give your partner a break by running an errand or two on their list so they can have more time to relax.</p> <h3>18. Prepare Lunch for Work</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">Pack a lunch</a> for your partner for him or her to take to the office. Be sure to put in a quick love note for them to find later. Those are always good for a smile.</p> <h3>19. Make Love Coupons</h3> <p>You can make love coupons naughty or nice, but either way they let the recipient know that you care about making sure they feel appreciated.&nbsp;</p> <h3>20. Give a Compliment</h3> <p>Giving a compliment hardly takes any time at all &mdash; so why do many of us fail to do this on a regular basis? Put an end to that today. Go home and give your sweetie a compliment on something (anything!), whether it&rsquo;s the tasty dinner he or she prepared, a fresh haircut, new clothes, or a pat on the back for an accomplishment at work.</p> <p><em>Have other ideas on free ways to show someone you care? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-ways-to-show-you-care" class="sharethis-link" title="20 Free Ways to Show You Care" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Lifestyle cheer up free gifts friendship Tue, 25 Sep 2012 10:24:40 +0000 Mikey Rox 954698 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Frugal Ways to Brighten Your Spouse's Day http://www.wisebread.com/20-frugal-ways-to-brighten-your-spouses-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-frugal-ways-to-brighten-your-spouses-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fountain_couple.jpg" alt="Couple in front of a fountain" title="Couple in front of a fountain" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With everything that my husband and I have going on in our lives, it&rsquo;s often easy to forget about each other.</p> <p>I don&rsquo;t mean that we forget that the other person exists, but it&rsquo;s not uncommon to get so wrapped up in our work and other responsibilities that we neglect our relationship at times.</p> <p>I know we&rsquo;re not alone in this. There are lots of other couples out there in similar situations. The good news is, letting your spouse know that they&rsquo;re on your mind isn&rsquo;t hard (and it doesn&rsquo;t have to cost much either).</p> <p>To help you show your sweetie that he or she is still the one for you, here are 20 frugal ways to bring a smile to their face today. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-frugal-ways-to-reward-yourself-right-now">21 Frugal Ways to Reward&nbsp;Yourself Right Now</a>)</p> <h3>1. Write a Love Note</h3> <p>Tell your sweetie how much you love them in a quick note that you put in their lunch, briefcase, or bag. If you prefer the tech route, tweet the love note in 140 characters or less for all your followers to see.</p> <h3>2. Draw a Heart on the Bathroom Mirror</h3> <p>Express yourself when your partner isn&rsquo;t looking, drawing a heart when the glass is all fogged up from the steam.</p> <h3>3. Take on a Chore</h3> <p>Do something that your partner normally does, like take out the trash, walk the dogs, wash the dishes, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-%E2%80%9Cyuck%E2%80%9D-to-yes">clean the bathroom</a>. I sincerely hope my husband reads this entry.</p> <h3>4. Serve Breakfast in Bed</h3> <p>Who doesn&rsquo;t like breakfast in bed? Eating in your undies is the best! To make the breakfast even more special, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to mold pancakes or cut a heart shape out of toast.</p> <h3>5. Give a Massage</h3> <p>Tell your partner take a load off while you rub their back, neck, and shoulders for at least five minutes.</p> <h3>6. Make a Special Playlist</h3> <p>A special playlist doesn&rsquo;t have the same appeal as a tangible mix tape, but the sentiment is still there. Steal your partner&rsquo;s iPod and upload a few songs that let him or her how you feel.</p> <h3>7. Stop by the Office for Lunch</h3> <p>Pop into your partner&rsquo;s office at lunchtime and surprise them with a quick bite to eat at a nearby restaurant.</p> <h3>8. Give a Compliment on a Physical Attribute</h3> <p>Guys are notorious for never noticing that their partner got their hair did. Make up for it by letting your partner know how great they look in a new outfit or that their diet/exercise routine is working well.</p> <h3>9. Wash the Car</h3> <p>Break out the bucket and soap, and make your partner&rsquo;s car shine.</p> <h3>10. Dedicate a Love Song</h3> <p>Call the radio station that you partner listens to and dedicate a song.</p> <h3>11. Declare Your Love on Facebook</h3> <p>You probably post a lot of nonsense on Facebook. Make at least one status update count by letting all your friends know just how special your man or lady friend is.</p> <h3>12. Make a YouTube Video</h3> <p>Record a video letting your partner know those things about them that make your heart flutter and post it for the world to see.</p> <h3>13. Run a Bubble Bath</h3> <p>Did you partner have a long day at work? Run a bubble bath and set up the tub with a glass of wine and a magazine.</p> <h3>14. Slow Dance in the Living Room</h3> <p>Turn on a slow jam and ask your partner to dance. Yes, right inside your house.</p> <h3>15. Pick Up the Phone to Say &quot;I Love You&quot;</h3> <p>Do you talk on the phone anymore? I don&rsquo;t. I prefer texting. Which is why sometimes it&rsquo;s nice &mdash; nostalgic even &mdash; to pick up the phone and call your lover just to say that you love &rsquo;em.</p> <h3>16. Turn Off the TV</h3> <p>Don&rsquo;t pretend like your TV isn&rsquo;t on when you&rsquo;re having adult time. Turn it off so you can give each other the undivided attention you want and need.</p> <h3>17. Plan a Picnic</h3> <p>Make a few sandwiches, grab a blanket and a couple of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-five-economy-based-board-games-that-make-you-think">board games</a>, and head to the park for a relaxing afternoon filled with quality time.</p> <h3>18. Pitch a Tent</h3> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to go anywhere. Pitch the tent in your backyard so you have the romance of camping but the convenience of home.</p> <h3>19. Cook Your Partner's Favorite Dinner</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-mostly-frugal-valentine-s-day-recipes">Make that special meal</a> that makes your partner melt. The key to a person's heart is through their stomach, after all.</p> <h3>20. Leave Your Partner Alone for a Few Hours</h3> <p>I love spending time with my husband, but sometimes I just need a few hours to myself. Give your partner the space they deserve by exiting the house on a Saturday or Sunday so you honey can relax however they want to.</p> <p><em>Have even more ways to brighten your partner&rsquo;s day in a low-cost way? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-frugal-ways-to-brighten-your-spouses-day" class="sharethis-link" title="20 Frugal Ways to Brighten Your Spouse&#039;s Day" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Lifestyle cheer up love spouses things to do Mon, 21 May 2012 10:36:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 929212 at http://www.wisebread.com