As wonderful as it is, life can get pretty rough sometimes. Between dealing with work, finances, personal relationships, and the everyday stresses of life, things can get difficult. Sadly, it could be somewhat of a vicious cycle, too. Often, when we’re stressed, we might feel like we need to go shopping for some retail therapy, buy something to make ourselves feel better, or head out for a pricey night on the town. Being stressed also causes us to be disorganized and off track, which directly impacts our finances. Stress may be unavoidable, but here are free ways to deal with stress.
13 Free Ways to Reduce Stress
- Wake up earlier.
How you start the morning often sets the tone for the entire day. If you’re rushing around the house, running out the door, and racing to your job, that is a much more chaotic way to kick off the day. Waking up just a little earlier each day, will allow you to avoid some stress. Starting the day in a more calm state, will help you stay less stressed throughout the day. You will also be more productive and organized which makes you much more efficient.
- Manage your time better.
Going along with waking up earlier, you need to start managing your time better if you find you are often stressed.
- Schedule in fun.
While you are on your way to managing your time better, don’t forget to schedule in fun. Often we’re so overwhelmed by work and other obligations that we forego our social lives and having fun. This is especially true when we are trying to save money. Don’t forget to schedule time to do things you enjoy. Whether it is borrowing a book from the library to read or seeing a free concert at a local college, these things are vital for your health and stress level.
- Make a budget and keep track of your money.
Yes, it is true that money issues can cause stress. But it is also true that stress causes money problems. Reduce your stress by creating a monthly budget. If you know where your money is going and how much you can afford, you won’t have to be stressed about going into the red at the end of the month. You can use programs like Mint to keep the tracking simple.
Take time for physical activity. It is proven that when you’re moving around and exercising, you are releasing endorphins which significantly reduce your stress level. Not to mention, exercising will help you look and feel better. Living a healthy lifestyle is a much better option for your finances as well since you’ll get sick less often and pay less in doctor bills throughout your lifetime. Plus, you’ll be able to live a higher quality life. And you don’t need to spend a dime to exercise. Watch exercise segments from professionals online or on your TV. Walk, bike, hike, or exercise outside for free. Check out these budget friendly health tips.
- Get more sleep.
Getting a good night sleep is vital for your health. If you are well-rested, you will be less stressed throughout the day, more focused, and feel better.
- Get organized.
When you are unorganized, you are going to be more stressed. There is no doubt about that. Doing things in an organized way is an investment since it may take a little more time on the front end. For example, it’s easier to walk in the door and throw your bills in the drawer. However, it would be much better to open them, write down when each is due, and file the bills away that need to be paid. The same is true in other areas. It may be easier to throw your keys anywhere and clean clothes in a closet, but putting things in their “right” place makes it easier the next time.
- Laugh more.
They say laughter is the best medicine for a reason. Laugh to reduce stress. If you’re stressed, skip the suspenseful thriller and grab the comedy to watch instead. Make plans with the friends that you always laugh with and always end up having a great time with.
- Surround yourself with positive people.
It is really hard to be around stressful, negative, unhappy people and continue to be happy and stress-free. While you may love them, limit your time with those negative people. Instead, surround yourself with happy, calm, positive people. Happiness is contagious. Being around these people will help your stress level.
- Listen to your favorite music.
Whether it is in the car on the way to work, while you’re at home cleaning, or while you’re exercising, turn up those favorite, upbeat songs you love. Music has the strong ability to put us in a better mood.
- Be thankful.
It is easy to fall into the trap of focusing on all of the negative things about our lives, the mistakes we’ve made, the things that go wrong, and the things we don’t have. Instead, focus on all of the wonderful things you do have. Every day, reflect on something you are thankful for. It can be something as major as your health, a special friendship, or where you live or as simple as your favorite beverage, sunny days, or your favorite music group.
- Learn to say no.
If you are one of those people who love doing things for others and struggle saying no, it can be a definite cause for stress. Sometimes you need to learn to say no. If you find yourself always having obligations that you don’t want to do, heading out with friends to places you’re not really interested in going to, or helping out neighbors all the time, this could be causing you stress. Learn to politely decline from these things to decrease your stress level.
- Start eating healthier.
Eating healthy helps you feel better and will reduce your stress. You can make simple changes like drinking more water, incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet, and limiting greasy fast-food and other junk food.
What do you do to avoid stress? How do you deal with stress? Do you find that being stressed impacts your finances?