10 Affordable Ways to Relieve Stress and Unwind

Use these tips to de-stress without blowing your budget.

Feeling stressed lately? With an overwhelming news cycle, ongoing global pandemic and ordinary day-to-day stressors, plenty of people are feeling burnt out.

Self-care has become a big business in recent years as wellness brands and influencers push products and services designed to make you feel better. The secret is: You don’t need to spend a lot (or any) money to improve your state of mind when life is stressing you out.

Check out these affordable ideas for de-stressing:

  • Take a bubble bath or aromatherapy shower.
  • Meditate.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Set screen time limits.
  • Drink a cup of tea.
  • Make face masks at home.
  • Organize your space.
  • Write.
  • Play a game.
  • Dance it out.

Take a Bubble Bath or Aromatherapy Shower

Taking a bubble bath or extended hot shower is a great way to clear your mind and relax your muscles. Cheap add-ins such as Epsom salts or oatmeal can have healing benefits for your skin.

If you don’t have a tub, adding essential oils or a eucalyptus plant to your shower can give you a calming aromatherapy experience. Try lavender before bedtime to soothe your mind or peppermint in the morning to awaken your senses.


Meditation is one activity that doesn’t have to cost a thing. You can, however, explore paid options such as a subscription to the Calm app for $69.99 per year. But there are plenty of free resources available to help you get started. YouTube has a wide selection of meditation videos from which to choose.

Once you understand the basic principles of the practice, you can do it on your own anywhere you please. All you need is a space where you’re able to focus.

Go for a Walk

If something at home is a point of stress, taking a walk is a great way to recuperate. Try to unplug from distractions on your phone or in your head and notice little things.

Literally stop and smell the flowers if your allergies allow. Being out in the sunlight can help improve your mood while the fresh air helps clear your busy mind. If you’re in a city, try to get to a park or a place where you can see a little more nature. Or relish in some casual people-watching.

Set Phone Limits

Something you can do to promote mindfulness is setting limits on your phone to encourage yourself to spend less time staring at a screen. Especially if you are someone who often scrolls endlessly through social media at all hours, it’s important to take meaningful breaks.

Smartphones are great for keeping individuals connected, but the physical and mental strains from overuse are well-documented. Screen Time on Apple devices and Digital Wellbeing on Android devices allow you to set reminders to put down the phone.

Drink a Cup of Tea

Perhaps its various relaxation benefits make tea one of the world’s most popular beverages. Even the act of brewing a cup of tea can have relaxing effects. Try chamomile to help you get a better night’s sleep or ginger tea to settle digestive issues.

Make Face Masks at Home

You don’t have to spend tons of money on spa treatments to give your face a little boost. Instead, hit the grocery store.

There are plenty of do-it-yourself face masks you can make at home from basic ingredients you might already have in stock. For example, honey can help bring moisture back to your skin without making it oily. Egg whites, avocados and yogurt all have different benefits you can reap.

Organize Your Space

A cluttered home might be contributing to your cluttered mind. While it’s OK to leave a mess sometimes, especially when you’re trying to relax, there is plenty of therapeutic value in tidying up.

Take some time to get rid of unwanted items in your closet or give your kitchen a deep cleaning. You don’t have to spend any money to get the satisfaction of a sparkling space.


Let all your steam out on the page. Don’t worry about crafting the next great memoir. Take some time to write about anything.

It can be helpful to write about what you’re feeling when you’re stressed or depressed, but some folks might enjoy escaping their thoughts by writing fiction or about something else. Regardless, the practice can be cathartic by allowing some thoughts to leave your crowded mind.

Play a Game

When kids are laughing, everyone’s happy. Perhaps adults get more stressed because many stop playing at some point.

Get back to your roots by picking up a board game, video game or backyard game. It doesn’t take much to have a fun hour or more with a friend or family member. Even if it’s just a card game that takes you away from your phone or work stress for a little while, the competition and camaraderie can help soothe tension.

Dance It Out

When in doubt, dance it out. Turn up some music and get your body moving.

You don’t have to have lessons or rhythm to reap the benefits of a little boredom-busting boogie. And if you can’t dance, check out some videos of cute kids or zoo animals dancing online. The internet has plenty of content that can stress you out, but an equal amount that can help you cope and relax.

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