Hello, my dear readers! It is stressful times nowadays. Reducing stress is of paramount importance when you are facing obstacles. At the end of the day, a calm mind can go far. As a money-conscious individual, I thought it would be interesting to share with you some great ways to reduce stress, without adding extra financial stress on your shoulders. Let’s check out the following 10 tips to reduce stress without having to spend any money.
1. Take advantage of your employer’s benefit plan
Does your employer offer a benefit plan that includes counselling services? If you are feeling stressed and in need of professional help, make sure that you take advantage of the benefit plan that you have. You will normally only need to pay a fraction of the fees out-of-pocket, or even nothing at all.
If you don’t feel like you are so stressed to the point of needing counselling services, you can still take advantage of the benefit plan by booking yourself a registered massage therapy session to relax. Again, depending on the plan, you will pay a reduced price.
2. Pop bubble wraps
This is a little something that I personally find therapeutic, though others may find it strange. There is something about the force you apply and the loud and clear sound when the bubbles are popped. With the ubiquity of online shopping, we won’t run out of these bubble wraps anytime soon.
3. Complete a nice workout
You may not feel like starting a workout session when you are stressed, but trust me, once you get over that first 5-7 minutes, it will become much easier. Rejuvenating your body is an effective way to manage stress, not to mention that it can be completely free.
Run outside, or follow a YouTube fitness instructor. You may be tired physically at the end of the session, but your mind will gain clarity.
4. Play with sand
This may be another weird little trick, but it works for me. It may have to do with the fact that I grew up near the ocean, and playing with sand was a regular fun activity that I thoroughly enjoyed as a child.
Get a small pot, a spare mug, or any container, and fill it with sand. Squeeze the sand tightly when you feel stressed. It works just as well as a stress ball!
5. Watch funny videos on YouTube
You may consider this a waste of time if you are a super diligent person, but keep in mind, being productive all the time could potentially backfire. When you are feeling stressed out, sometimes there is nothing better than watching some funny videos on YouTube and having a great laugh. Laughter has the power to heal. According to Helpguide.org, laughter is the best medicine, because it relaxes the whole body, triggers the release of endorphins, and lightens anger’s heavy load.
Try watching some funny videos. It is completely free (other than some ads…), and the videos may bring you some laughter that can reduce your stress.
6. Talk to a trusted friend or family member
Sometimes, simply talking to a friend or a family member and sharing your worries can help reduce your stress. It may also bring clarity while you are trying to describe the situation to the other person.
If there is someone in your life that you feel comfortable sharing your woes, turn to this person for mental support. Keep it mind though that you should also share the happy moments in your life with that person. You don’t want to turn into a negative person who always only complains: it can push the other person away.
7. Say “No”
Saying “No” not only is a powerful method to manage time, it is also a power way to help you reduce stress. And you don’t have to spend a penny!
Saying “No” offers some key benefits when it comes to managing stress:
- You lighten your workload by not taking on unnecessary tasks
- You can feel like you are in control because you refuse to accept things you do not consider important
Saying “No” may be difficult at the beginning, but once you practice enough times, you may become good at it. You don’t have to go to the party that you consider boring, and you don’t have to spend money on things you don’t enjoy.
8. Use your imagination
Using your imagination can also help you relax. Sometimes, when I feel stressed, I force myself to imagine that my feet are firmly placed on the ground, and that I have roots growing from my soles and going deep down to the centre of the earth. It could come across as a strange way of dealing with stress, but for me, it makes me feel stable and grounded. It makes me feel as if I am strong and ready to tackle any challenge.
9. Reassess the to-do list
The to-do list can often be a source of stress, especially when the items added to the to-do list greatly outnumber the items you are able to cross off. When I feel that my to-do list is out of control, I will force myself to step back and reprioritize all the items on the list.
Google calendar is a great tool to plan all the tasks. For the items that are not urgent, I will move them out to a future week. This way, I don’t have to keep them on my immediate to-do list, but I also have a note for the future me so I don’t forget the items that still need to be completed.
10. Leave the stressful situation, even if temporarily
Sometimes, temporarily leaving the stressful situation is actually the responsible thing to do. When you are stressed, chances are you aren’t in a stable emotional state to solve the problem well any way. Try shift your attention and do something else you like, whether it is aromatherapy, taking a shower, etc. Once you have sufficiently calmed yourself down, come back, and you may be surprised that the situation isn’t as difficult as it seems.
There you have it, my top 10 ways to reduce stress without spending much money. Which ones of these do you practice in your day to day? What are some other ways of reducing stress that you think should be added to the list? Leave a comment down below!
Bella Wanana is a freelance writer. She is the owner of bellawanana.com, a personal finance and lifestyle blog. She loves sharing with her readers the best tips and tricks on personal finance and how to live a balanced but fulfilling life. She has been featured on sites like MSN.com, Reader’s Digest, The Financial Diet, Yahoo Finance, and GOBankingRates.