My university is on the quarter system which means we are in the midst of final exams. There have been days where I have had class until 2:30pm, grabbed a granola bar, drank 2 coffees, and then continued to study until 2am. If you have ever experienced finals week at a university, you know exactly the kind of days I’m talking about.
Besides final exam week, there are countless other instances when it is easy to get caught up in all your responsibilities and forget to take a minute to breathe. Whether it is your job, family, friends, school, etc., there are tons of times where the stress of responsibilities takes over.
When I first brainstormed ways to destress, many popular examples that came to mind required money. I soon realized how unrealistic that idea was. There had to be ways for anyone to destress without breaking the bank. After doing some research and brainstorming more in-depth, I have complied a list of ways to destress at any budget.
Free: Meditate for 10 Minutes
If you’ve never tried meditation you’re probably thinking “Lydia that’s so boring!” but hear me out. I just recently started meditating and it is absolutely incredible. Start by sitting with your back straight in a chair, feet flat on the ground, and hands laying on top of your legs. Set your timer for 10 minutes and I find that closing my eyes helps me focus the best. It can be hard to keep your mind from wandering but over time it becomes easier. Taking that short 10 minutes to remove yourself from the stressful surroundings does wonders for your mental wellbeing and it also gives you energy to conquer anything that comes your way.
It has been scientifically proven that exercise boots endorphins that, in general terms, triggers a positive feeling in your body. Any type of exercise reduces the feeling of stress and an added bonus are the health benefits. It’s a win-win. Maybe going to the gym for 30 minutes isn’t your thing but that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Going for a walk a friend, dancing, yoga, and swimming are some activities that don’t feel like typical exercise but give the same results.
A change of scenery can be extremely helpful when trying to de-stress from responsibilities that surround you 24/7. The budget on this tip can range from free to $$$ but it’s up to you! Exploring could mean heading to a local beach for a few hours of relaxation, finding a new coffeeshop to try a new fancy coffee, or grabbing a few friends and heading to a local museum or festival. Making time for something other than stressful responsibilities is essential.
$: Grab some Snacks and Watch a “Light” Movie
There is nothing better than changing into pajamas, inviting a few friends over, and watching a movie. When I’m stressed I love to watch a comedy. Some of my recent favorites are “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and “Wedding Crashers”. A movie night isn’t complete without snacks. Take a group trip to a drugstore or grocery store and stock up on all the essentials: popcorn, ice cream, chocolate, and anything else you find along the way.
$$: Get Your Hair or Nails Done
I don’t know about you guys but whenever I get my hair or nails done, I struggle to stay awake because of how relaxed I feel. Not only do I leave the appointment with beautiful hair or nails, I leave with a sense of relaxation and being cleansed in a way. When I feel better, I tend to be more confident and I am able to take whatever comes my way. Those stressful responsibilities start to seem like tiny hurdles.
$$$: Plan a Trip
Whenever I get overwhelmed I like to look ahead at exciting trips I have planned. Researching more about the place I am visiting or planning fun things to do helps me forget about my current responsibilities for a minute. Whether it is a week long trip across the world or a quick overnight trip to visit family, the sheer thought of travel makes me happy.
I hope you enjoyed some of my tips for de-stressing at any budget and can use some of these suggestions in your daily life!