Are you stressed about the holidays? Haven’t quite got relaxed enough enjoy yourself? It’s not always easy to get away from stress, even when the worst of the mad rush is over. We have to make a special effort to relax and if we’re frugal, expensive spas and massages are out… but what are our options?
I’d be silly to ask a question if I couldn’t answer it, so here we go with a baker’s dozen frugal ideas to get you away from stress and relax, even if for just a little while. It will make the rest of the holiday stress easier to handle.
Frugal stress busters to help you relax during the holidays:
1. Take the time to something you like to do, whether it’s jogging or knitting or reading a special book.
2. A long soak in a hot bath is probably the favorite, but take it a little further now. Make an extra strong cup of herbal tea and pour it into your bath water. Try chamomile, peppermint or licorice. It’s a very frugal way to relax and it smells heavenly, too.
3. After your bath and while you’re still wet, smooth olive oil on your skin (it only takes a teaspoon or two for your entire body), then use a rough towel to scrub dry all over. Olive oil is a frugal way to combat dry skin, too, so use it often. A small bottle will last months.
4. What we drink can relax us or give us energy, so think before partaking. Coffee, tea, cocoa and many soft drinks contain caffeine which can keep us from relaxing. Opt instead for herbal or fruit teas (hot lemonade, berry teas), water, milk or juice (without extra sugar). Hot drinks are generally more relaxing.
5. BUT, go for “comfort” in your drinks. The mental comfort of a cup of hot cocoa often overcomes the physical response to the caffeine. Not just drinks, either. Have a meal that includes your absolute favorite comfort food and forget the diet for one day.
6. Don’t overeat or drink too much of anything (even water). A lack of moderation stresses our bodies – which in turn stresses our minds.
7. Put on some favorite music, but not fast music, or music that has an off beat. Our bodies respond to those rhythms so that our hearts beat to them. It’s true, check yourself and you’ll see. Go for something with a regular, slow and steady beat, no matter what the style. Sound is a very frugal way to relax.
8. If you don’t want music, use “white noise” – something that won’t irritate or stimulate, like a fan. Rain or a recording of it, works well too.
9. Remove any bright and/or clashing colors from your immediate vision. Colors stimulate our emotions and bodies.
10. Wear clothing that you enjoy. Choose the fabric especially to your liking, whether it’s silk or fake fur (or tweed!). Don’t wear anything that doesn’t fit well or that binds or twists when you move around.
11. Get spiritual. Whether your bent is prayer, daydreaming or communing with trees, get into it and let your spirit calm your body.
12. Surround yourself with calm people, or no one at all. If you’re stressed, keep away from the “madding crowd” for a few hours anyway.
13. Lie down, or at least raise your feet. Not only physical, this is a mental signal to your body to slow down and relax.
It’s just about impossible to do these things and not relax.