To say this year has been stressful is an understatement. Depending on your situation, you might be overdue for some R&R or self-care. But if you’re strapped for cash or worried about transmission, things like massages, yoga classes, or acupuncture sessions might be out of the question.
However, just because money’s tight or you don’t feel comfortable stretching out your stress in a studio doesn’t mean there’s no way around these problems. Taking time to care for yourself is important, especially during challenging moments. US News My Money offers a few ways you can safely and responsibly pamper yourself on a budget.
There’s a reason why people continue practicing meditation after thousands of years. Once you get the hang of it, you can meditate almost anywhere, provided you have a place to concentrate. Meditation may not make your problems disappear, but it can help you work through them or perhaps offer much-needed clarity to find new solutions.
There are hundreds of meditation apps available. Some are subscription-based, but there are plenty of free options, too. Oak and Meditation&Relaxation are two apps that offer a series of different guided meditations for beginners.
Licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Stephanie Wong told US News My Money, “You don’t have to pay for a yoga studio to practice yoga. A DVD or an app can also guide you through yoga practice.”
Sure, you won’t get feedback from an instructor, but YouTube videos and DVDs can allow you to create a workout centered on your goals, schedule, and budget. There are tons of free videos available online — and at your library — ranging from yoga, pilates, Zumba, and more.
Have A DIY Spa Day
Wong also recommended buying face masks and similar products and pampering yourself at home, but if you’re feeling crafty, you can find thousands of DIY recipes, too.
Get Some Fresh Air
Exercise isn’t only for getting in shape. It’s also a great way to stabilize your mood, especially if you’ve been cooped inside the last few months. Kate Dore, a professional freelancer who quit her job as a concert promoter to focus more on herself, said, “Making time for a daily 15-minute walk around the neighborhood and avoiding alcohol are a couple of tactics that don’t cost a penny.”
Wong also encourages her clients to take frequent walks or jogs outdoors. “Pick a safe, scenic route to jog. The beauty of running is that you can do it almost anywhere.”
De-clutter Your Home
A cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind, and that pile of belongings you’ve meant to sort through and donate months ago could be affecting your wellbeing more than you think.
Cleaning and de-cluttering your home can have a positive impact on your emotional and mental state. And best of all, it’s completely free. In fact, you could turn it into a way to make money by selling your stuff online.
You don’t have to have the writing skills of Ernest Hemingway or Maya Angelou to pick up the pen. You don’t even have to have a purpose when you write. Whether you want to write down what you ate for lunch that day or just jot down a short story idea you’ve had for a while, writing is a great way to clear your mind and feel better, especially during difficult times.
- McNair, Kamaron. “10 Affordable Ways to Relieve Stress and Unwind.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, 8 Oct. 2020, money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/articles/affordable-ways-to-relieve-stress-and-unwind.
- Tyler, Susan Johnston. “6 Ways to Treat Yourself on a Budget.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, 18 May 2016, money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/6-ways-to-treat-yourself-on-a-budget?slide=2.