13 Cheap Ways to Beat Stress


Whether you're dealing with work, school, or family drama, stress can drain your energy and kill your motivation. Everyone deals with stressful situations, and we all have our own way of getting through these hard times. Unsurprisingly, some people rely on retail therapy to calm their nerves and relieve stress. But while shopping might provide a temporary emotional high, spending money you don't have can add to your problem. Instead of pulling out your wallet and going on a shopping spree, here are 13 cheap ways to beat stress.

1. Go for a Walk

Any type of physical activity is a stress reliever. Exercise might be the last thing on your mind, but moving around releases endorphins that can boost your mood and improve your attitude. If you feel better, it'll be easier to cope with stressful situations.

2. Declutter Your House

Take your mind off the situation with a much-needed chore around the house. Immerse yourself in a project, such as decluttering your closet, a room, or the garage. Our brains can only focus on one thing at a time, and if you're heavily involved in a project, it might be enough to take your mind off a stressful situation.

3. Meditate

Meditation produces a state of deep relaxation, bringing inner peace and calmness. It doesn't take long and you can meditate anywhere — while sitting in a chair, lying in bed, or taking a walk. Imagine something that brings you peace and focus all your attention on this image. Some research suggests meditation makes us more resilient to stress.

4. Write in a Journal

Getting your thoughts out on paper is another cheap stress buster. Keeping your feelings bottled up inside can heighten your level of tension. But if you get everything off your chest and write it down, you can uncover the root of stressful situations. You can also record potential solutions to your problems. You might feel less stress once you have a plan of attack.

5. Listen to Music and Reminisce

Put on your earphones and listen to music. Preferably music that brings to mind happy memories, or slow classical music, which helps decrease stress hormones.

6. Sit Outdoors

A change of scenery might do you good. If you're cooped up in the house and feeling stress, going outside and getting some vitamin D and fresh air can improve your mood and anxiety level. Sunlight can raise serotonin levels, which helps regulate stress, anxiety, and depression.

7. Color or Paint

Exploring your creative side with art is not only fun but also therapeutic. You don't have to be a master artist or own a lot of art supplies to improve your stress level. A coloring book and some crayons are all you need. This activity takes your mind off your problems, plus coloring takes us back to childhood, a time when most of us were generally stress-free.

8. Let it Out

Whether you have to punch a pillow or scream at the top of your lungs, getting out your emotions and frustrations can provide stress relief. Your stress level can worsen if you keep intense feelings inside, but you might feel better or stronger once you vent your frustrations.

9. Take a Hot Bath

A warm, relaxing bath can calm your mind and relax tense muscles. Add some lavender oil to your bathwater, light a scented candle, and play relaxing music in the background.

10. Take a Nap

It's hard to cope with stress when you're physically and mentally exhausted. Go to bed early or take a nap, and then deal with a stressful situation when you're in a better frame of mind.

11. Watch a Funny Movie

Find the most hilarious movie on Netflix or Hulu and laugh away your stress. Laughing and smiling is more powerful than you think. Both activities can stimulate the production of feel-good brain hormones. And when you're feeling good, stress won't get the best of you.

12. Spend an Evening Alone

Maybe you're overwhelmed with everything on your plate at work and at home. If you're getting pulled in different directions and you need time to clear your head, send everyone away and spend a day at home by yourself. Use this time to focus on activities you enjoy. Watch movies all day in your bathrobe, exercise, sleep, or just sit in a quiet house with no interruptions.

13. Get a Massage

Even if it's only for 30 or 45 minutes, a massage session eases tension in your muscles and can release dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins — improving your state of mind and lowering your stress level.

Do you have other cheap ways to beat stress that you'd like to share? Let me know in the comments below.

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Guest's picture

great article, I've also sometimes rode my motorbike without any particular destination, just riding around. the feeling of balance that keeps my mind aware and - at the same time - moving (aboard two wheels, of course), and the warmness of tropical atmosphere (yes, I live in Indonesia) are two great remedy for me.