I get stressed out at least once a week. Our internet went out at work, there’s a leak in the roof, I got a flat tire – and that was just Monday. Is it too soon to give up?
When things get stressful, I’d like to go shopping or buy a bottle of wine. But these coping methods aren’t healthy – for me or my wallet. Thankfully, there are tried and true free ways to de-stress. While they won’t replace my flat tire, they will make getting to Friday a little easier.
Deep breaths in and out. Meditation is the simplest way to decompress, and you can do it from anywhere.
Close your eyes, clear your mind, and sit still for a little while.
You’ll feel a world of difference when you get up.
If sitting still is difficult for you, get moving! Exercising releases endorphins that reduce your perception of pain and trigger positive feelings. That might explain why I hate running while I’m doing it, but feel great afterward.
Purging is therapeutic. At the end, not only will your house feel lighter, but you will, too. You can donate your things to your favorite charity or thrift shop, or sell them through a marketplace like Facebook. Either way, there’s a lot to feel good about when you get rid of your junk.
4. Take a Hot Bath
I always forget how much I like a hot bath until I’m sitting in it. It’s like a warm hug.
And baths aren’t just good for the soul. The heat has healthy effects on your body and brain.
Whether you’re a lady or a dude who’s embraced mampering, turn on the faucet and get happy.
5. Listen to Music
If you’re going to be in the bath for a while you, might as well crank some tunes. Music is scientifically proven to make you happier, increase athletic performance, and reduce stress. So next time you see someone jamming in their car, turn up the volume and have a little street-light dance party.
6. Try Essential Oils
Lavender and rose are the best essential oils to reduce stress. Some popular direct-sales companies with local distributors will gladly give a free sample or two for you to try. Blogger Jenni Hulburt gives free essential oil sample kits to anyone who wants one. You just pay shipping.
7. Take a Screen Fast
Sometimes Facebook and email are the root causes of stress. You see how much fun your friends had without you, or your mom posts something embarrassing on your page. You don’t need that negativity in your life. Put your devices in another room and walk away.
8. Give Yourself a Spa Day
Grab that cucumber from the fridge and put on your robe for a spa day – brought to you by free samples.
Sephora and Integrity Botanicals both give free samples of skin-care products with any purchase. And Alitura Naturals gives a one-ounce sample of its clay mask for free — you just pay $2.95 for shipping.
9. Drink Green Tea
While I think using food and drink as a way to de-stress is counterproductive, green tea gets a pass. Green tea has so many health and relaxation benefits that it’s less like a drink and more of a super food for happy thoughts.
10. Pucker Up
That’s right – kissing is good for your health! It reduces the stress hormone cortisol and increases endorphins, making you less stressed. I assume that’s why new couples are annoyingly happy. If we can learning something from them, it’s to pucker up for less stress.
11. Watch Cat Videos
OK, it doesn’t have to be cats – any funny videos will do, as long as you’re laughing. Watching funny videos always make me feel better, and I usually forget what I was annoyed with before I pressed play. You can even watch them on Swagbucks to earn some extra money. Win!
12. Make Something
Art therapy is used in hospitals to help trauma victims heal emotionally. Using the creative part of your brain is a chance to give your overthinking, analytical brain a break. Bonus: You won’t have to worry about holiday stress, because you’ll get all your DIY Christmas presents out of the way!
If the thought of crafts stresses you out before you even see a pair of scissors, start with coloring. POPSUGAR compiled a list of free coloring pages for adults that will get your creative juices flowing and your mind winding down.