Here are some activities that can help you manage stress without spending too much money:
1. Get some sleep. Sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our mental health, yet many of us don’t get enough of it. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night for optimal health, but most people only get six hours or less. If you have trouble sleeping, try going to bed earlier and taking a relaxing bath before bedtime.
2. Exercise. Regular exercise releases endorphins that make you feel happier and more relaxed, according to the American Heart Association. Plus, getting your heart rate up can make you feel better about yourself by boosting confidence and self-esteem.
3. Take time for yourself every day. Schedule some time each day for yourself — even if it’s just 10 minutes — so you can relax without feeling guilty about not doing something else first. Some ideas include reading a book or magazine in bed before falling asleep; taking a walk around your neighborhood; or having coffee with a friend at a local coffee shop after work or on weekends (or both!).
4. Meditation. Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and spend 10–20 minutes meditating each day. Close your eyes and focus on breathing deeply from the diaphragm. If thoughts come into your mind, acknowledge them and return to your breath. If you have trouble focusing, try repeating a phrase or word in your head as you breathe deeply.
Massage. Schedule an appointment with a massage therapist once or twice per month (or more). Studies show that massage therapy reduces anxiety, improves sleep quality and boosts moods—and it doesn’t cost much compared to other forms of self-care like paying for therapy sessions or taking medication!
5. Learn to relax. Relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing have been shown to reduce stress levels in studies. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is one specific type of meditation that has been shown to effectively reduce anxiety and depression.
6. Stress is a normal part of life, but too much stress can be harmful to your health. You may experience physical symptoms, such as headaches and muscle tension, or emotional symptoms such as irritability or anxiety. Stress management is the practice of methods to reduce stress, either during its development or once it has developed.