Everyone needs to relax every now and then. If you don’t, we could end up in a chronic stress cycle.  There are many relaxation activities out there that cost a pretty penny. What if we want to find some ways to relax without breaking the bank? There are many of them out there and it’s easier than you think.

Here is a list of ideas for zero cost ways to relax:

1. Light Exercise. A great way to relax is getting some light exercise. This can mean going for a walk around the neighborhood or playing a low impact sport. Exercise has been known to help the body relax and engaging in non-intense exercise will help your mind to unwind as well.

2. Meditation. Taking up meditation is one of the most relaxing activities you can engage in for free. All you need to do is sit in silence and focus on your breath. When negative thoughts arise, acknowledge them, and then let them go. Try doing this for just 5 minutes each day.

3. Take a Nap. Babies and toddlers aren’t the only ones that can benefit from a nap. You may even feel relaxed and rejuvenated after a simple 15-minute snooze. You don’t even need to completely fall asleep to enjoy this activity. Just resting your eyes can help get you relaxed.

4. Shoot the Breeze. Go to a friend’s house or talk to a friend on the phone. Chances are you have one of those friends that you can chat with as if no time has gone by since you last talked. Old friends usually provide great opportunities to talk about the good old days.

5. Listen to Music. Grab the MP3 player and lay down with some great tunes. Pick out a group of songs that you find especially relaxing. Classical and other light songs usually work best.

6. Read a Book. Go check out a new book from the local library and start reading. It may even be a fun activity to read one of your favorite books over again.

7. Take a Hot Bath. Take a hot bath or shower. If you’re taking a bath, add in bubble bath soap, play some classical music, and remember to turn off your phone ringer. This is a simple way to have some peaceful time just for you.

8. Look at Old Photos. Bring out some old photos from your childhood or the photos from a fun trip you took. Remembering some of your treasured moments through photographs will make you smile and relax for sure.

9. Play Board Games. When was the last time you played your favorite board game? Dust off the old Monopoly or Scrabble, prepare some snacks, and play a few games with your family. It’ll be fun for all!

10. Daydream. Allow your mind to wander and dream. Escape to where you’d like to travel one day. Think about what your life will be like in the next 5, 10, or 15 years and write these thoughts down in a journal for you to read later.

Endless Possibilities

These are just 10 simple ideas when it comes to relaxing the zero cost way. Stay creative and remember that it’s okay to take time to relax. You can either hang around doing some self-reflection, or you can hang out with friends or family. Whatever it is, just something fun!

28 thoughts on “10 Ways to Relax on a Budget”

  1. This is a great reminder of the resources we already have in our life!  When stressed, it's easy to forget that we already have what we need to unwind without having to take a Spa vacation!!

    1. Exactly, Melanie! Thinking that relaxing requires a big vacation is a way for us to resist rest.

  2. Hi Lisa,
    Too many people look at relaxing as a sign of laziness or non-productivity.  What they don't realize is that a well-relaxed mind and body are infinitely more productive than a tired, stressed mind and body.
    Personally, I meditate in the morning, and in the evening I put on the headphones and listen to Sheila Chandra.  I almost instantly feel tightness leaving my body.

    Excellent information.  Thanks for sharing!

    1. That is so true, Gregory. It’s so easy to get into a trace of doing instead of being that we forget what it’s like to relax. I’ll have to look up Sheila Chandra.

  3. My fav of these is the daydreaming one.  I can get lost in the "what if" if I'm not careful, as I love to live in the future more than the present sometimes..LOL  And my new Kindle keeps distracting me with the new books I've downloaded.  Hmmm, maybe I'm relaxing too much! <g>

    1. It’s so amazing to me how our minds have the capability to slip into the past and future, even when resting. Well, it depends on what new Kindle downloads to you have!

  4. Great suggestions Lisa! I've tried all of them a time or two, but my favorite is to head walk down to the river and park myself on a rock for awhile. Just being outside and breathing in fresh air is an instant stress reliever for me.

  5. I do not know how to relax, so I admit that I do 1, 5, 6 at the same time and sometimes I will throw in a 10 especially when a hottie walks by.

  6. Wonderful ideas, Lisa.  I think many of them are far more relaxing than a big vacation. I always come back from vacation feeling like I need a vacation to recover.

    1. So true, Marie. It’s how we look at rest time. I alway feel like I could have more time off after a vacation!

  7. There really are endless possibilities when you think about it! Good call on the meditation. You can reap those benefits long after your relaxing time is over. 🙂

    1. Meditation it so helpful to stay in the now and for many more reasons. Thanks Nisha!

  8. Those are all very good suggestions Lisa. When my honey and I wanted to destress from our business we would go on a dayhike. There is something about being out in nature, surrounded by all of those tall pines and miles away from cellphone reception that was just so amazing. With every step up the mountain I could literally feel the stress rolling off my body. I had no idea I was carrying around that much stress! And it sounds counter-intuitive, but it was very good for business. We got some of our best ideas for our business climbing up those mountains!

    1. nothing like clearing your head with a hike. Getting into nature helps me relax and get focused again. I believe it was very good for your business and totally understand!

  9. Lisa, I think I'm going to print this out and post it next to my desk so I can remember to take a break sometimes. I often reach for music but I like all the different ideas you've got on here, in fact the nap one sounds good right now! 🙂

  10. Hi Lisa, It seems like we are all of like minds judging from your blog and the above comments : D.  I just did my budget and now I know how much money I don't have : ( .  I also am working sick…allergies turned into a cold and now it is going into my chest.  I think that your list above is PERFECT!!!  I plan on a nap and hot bath today for sure…I already do meditation and read books.  I think I might even play a board game with my son…he is 4 yrs old (wonder if he has stress today too?).  Thanks!!!

  11. Lisa, I love your blog!!!!  Did I ever mention to you that I'm a yoga instructor part time? Your tips are so attainable, anyone can relax and unwind!! 

    1. Thanks so much, Karen! I adore yoga- I didn’t know that about you. Too bad I didn’t meet you before I left NoVa!

  12. These are all great ideas. I love to go walking to let it all out. it clears your head too and makes it easier to work! I need stress relief and cheap fun!

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