Is stress weighing you down but you don’t want to dish out extra money? These are some of my favorite stress relief techniques I use on a frequent basis that do not cost a fortune. Make the time investment in yourself – treat your body and mind well.
Living in times where being busy is glorified can really take a toll on our emotional well-being. That’s why today I’m sharing with you some of my favorite stress relief techniques that are enjoyable and fun.
Do you sometimes feel stressed out? Do you feel like you could definitely use some time for yourself but you are out of money (or ideas) for a massage (great option with wonderful benefits but unfortunately it can get pricy) or a professional mani pedi (typical girl activity but costs money as well). Today, you will learn my favorite stress relief techniques that don’t require you to buy anything special that you don’t already have at home. Why spend money on unnecessary products when we have all that we need right here?
Hot Steamy Showers
Once upon a time, I was pretty stressed out and decided to take a long hot shower. It was so darn relaxing I almost dedicated a whole post to my gratitude for being able to have the luxury of taking showers of the sort. Haha, almost. Then I thought the post would be kind of strange so it’s sitting in the depths of my drafts. Maybe someday it will see the light of day. Or maybe I’ll edit it into something else. Who knows.
Anyway, hot steamy showers are one of my favorite stress relief tips. They relax the body’s muscles from the hot water hitting your back. It feels glorious. I bet it would feel even more amazing if you have some fancy shower head. Mine is pretty normal and it still feels fabulous.
I like to use nicely scented and foamy body wash to aid in the experience. Going along with the goal of stress relief and relaxation, subtle scents such as lavender are perfect. I also really like homey and comfy scents (think Thanksgiving and Christmas scents) simply because they bring me back home and therefore make me feel automatically more relaxed.
Drink hot tea
So I may be biased, but tea is great. I am a self-proclaimed tea-holic and I am proud. I love tea and drink it daily. Sometimes multiple times per day. There are so many types of tea and each variety has its own wonderful set of health benefits. I’m a big fan of white tea and green tea, but rooibos tea is nice too.
Whenever I feel stressed, I ask myself “what would make me feel better?” and choose the tea that corresponds to the desired feeling:
- Am I seeking comfort? (something smooth with spiced flavors)
- Do I simply want to quiet my mind and find peace? (chamomile and lavender)
- Or is my stress more physical, like digestive issues? (mint or ginger)
As you can see, there area many different herbal teas that you can use in addition or instead of the main players such as the ones I mentioned in the beginning. Each tea has its own benefits and can provide you with a different set of feelings that accompany it.
Additionally, I find that drinking a hot beverage, such as tea, really relaxes your body from the inside out – making the warm feelings spread out through your whole body. It feels lovely and it certainly does have the capacity to relax a person nicely.
Reading a novel
I am an avid book reader. I tend to read books all the time, however most of the books I read are either work-related (marketing and social media), or personal development (spirituality, self-help, psychology, etc). While I absolutely LOVE both topics, I’ve found that reading books that are more of an educational nature does not help me relax as much as I could otherwise.
Reading an educational book stimulates your creativity and inspiration and therefore our body remains energized. Even if it’s an inspirational self-help book about something calming, I find that it still does not necessarily relieve stress the way I’d hope for it to.
So what do I do when I feel stressed and need an escape? I reach for a good fiction novel!
Fiction > Non-fiction
Being able to get lost in a new world of a novel provides me with that escape I need. It gives me escape from my current problems and issues that might be nagging me from the back of my head. Reading a great fiction book gives me the opportunity to get completely lost and feel a connection to the characters in the plot in the book rather than the situation in my own life. I’ve found that fiction books are a lot more successful as stress relief goes – at least in terms of the actual act of reading.
Here are some great fiction books that I read recently that really immersed me in the plot (linked to my review so you can learn a little bit more about it and what I thought about each):
But also, if you read non-fiction books that are written in a story format – like biographies, for example – this works the same way too. I am just not a huge fan of biographies for some reason. Maybe I just haven’t really found any good ones that really captivated me the way a good fiction novel does… who knows?
Meditation… in the right setting
We all know that meditation is amazing for the body and the mind, right? There have been countless studies done that show the wonderful benefits of meditation so I don’t even get into those in this article. I’ve been meditating a lot more lately and I’ve seen it enhance the quality of my life considerably.
I wanted to share my favorite way to meditate though. While I like to do a quickie in the mornings, 10 minutes or so. But I do like to set myself for a “date” of sorts at night sometimes. I’ll actually be excited whenever I plan one of those “me” time relaxing dates.
What do I do for a solo meditation date? Well it’s simple, I get the setting right. This includes:
- Lighting candles in my room – I use two candles, one is lavender (calms the mind) and another is a spiced “autumn” candle which stimulates my senses and makes me feel a bit sultry (it’s also red, which I find stimulating by itself). The combination makes me feel perfectly balanced. I like to feel a mix of excitement and comfort from the spice but also a whiff of relaxation and peace from the lavender’s light purple hue.
- I also have Christmas lights in my room that are mostly red and I put them on so they illuminate my room a little bit more (I have quite a big love for Christmas lights, regardless of the season).
- I make sure my bed is made and everything in my line of sight is tidy – messes may tend to contribute to your feeling of stress. Clean up your space and you might feel a lot better right away!
- Put some relaxing music on and just let go. I put together a nice list of relaxing songs that are perfect for “me” time that you can check out for some inspiration. My favorite resource for quick yet deep meditation sounds is OmHarmonics.
Centering the mind and consciousness is a wonderful euphoric feeling. I sometimes use guided meditation but sometimes I just listen to music and do my own meditation practice for a couple of minutes. I’m not an experienced ‘meditator’ (is that a word?) yet although I am learning to control my mind more and more each day with the Silva Method, but I find that even just 10-15 minutes are enough.
Moving Your Body Like It Wants to Be Moved
I think we all know the benefits that exercise has on our body and mind. It has the power to dissipate our worries in a matter of minutes. It’s definitely one of the best stress relief techniques I know of.
However, many people think of exercise as a chore and something they ought to do. This is usually because you simply haven’t found the exercise that is right for you. If you have negative connotations around exercise and that you’re supposed to do it.. well, you won’t ever like exercise with that type of attitude! It’s the same kind of thing you think about cleaning the house or doing the dishes. You know you’re supposed to do it.. and it’s such a drag. But it’s the right thing to do. This kind of attitude can make exercising seem daunting and you might conveniently forget the great positive effects you feel after a good workout.
To combat this, I encourage you to find a way of exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise! Any type of movement can be considered exercise – just move your body the way it wants to be moved. There is a tremendous amount of information you can learn from your body just by listening to what it likes and dislikes.
When I went to Inspiration & Perspiration workshop in November, I was in the exact mindset I just described to you. I was introduced to the Shrink Session workout created by Erin Stutland. I fell in love with the session and purchased her online package right on the spot – it’s a one of its kind experience – not only was it a good workout, it was also filled with positivity and encouragement. I felt like a better person after, inside AND out. And that’s because the workout did more than just move my body – it moved it the way it wanted to move and added positivity and affirmations to make the stress disappear and make me more inspired, motivated, and happy in general.
Another way I like to move my body the way it wants to be moved is by dancing. In my room. Yep. I do this. I get really into it sometimes too. I talk about this more in depth in my free course 14-Days Into Sensual Joy. But it is a truly liberating and ecstatic feeling. Not only do you get to move your body, but it also caresses your soul with positive emotions throughout. It’s like meditation for the body. I love it.
Other ways to exercise for free is with YouTube fitness channels! There are a ton of great YouTube channels out there that put out great workouts on a consistent basis – they are fun and get the job done. Some of my favorite YouTubers include Blogilates, FitKnitchick, and The Sweaty Betties, among many others.
And while you’re on YouTube, make sure to subscribe to my channel as well!
I’ll leave you with a video I made last year about 5 Quick Ways to Relieve Stress.
What do you think?
Do you agree with these ideas or disagree?
What are some of YOUR favorite stress relief tips?
Your comments are appreciated and encouraged. Thank you!