5 Inexpensive (or Free) Ways to Deal with Stress

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Are you stressed? In these challenging times, it is going to be more and more difficult to avoid stress. In fact, there are likely going to be more stressors. Inflation is only one. Food shortages are predicted to increase. What is the state of your pantry? Perhaps you are feeling your blood pressure rising as you read this: I assure you, that is not my intention! In fact, this article aims to do the opposite: to review some inexpensive or free ways that you can deal with stress in a proactive way in the days to come.

Stop the insani-tea with herbal tea.

One of the key tools in my toolkit for dealing with stress are herbal teas. Some of these, like chamomile, lemon balm, and lavender, I generally grow myself. Others, like oat straw, I do not currently produce and need to buy them.

I do not think that there is a one size fits all list of teas to use in certain circumstances. At least, in my own life, I have found that my needs have varied. If you are feeling the effects of stress these days (and honestly, who isn’t?), are you trying some herbal teas to support your body’s own natural healing ability? If you aren’t, you might want to ask yourself, why not? Overall, herbal teas are relatively low in cost compared to most pharmaceuticals, and their action on the body is more gentle in most cases.

If you don’t know where to start, why not jump in with this amazing herbal course offered by The Organic Prepper?

In my own life, herbal teas are my go-to for stress support. I take oat straw tea daily and add some extra teas if need be, depending on how I feel.

Mindfulness keeps me sane.

I find that when I am very stressed, I am often the farthest from the present moment that I can be. What do I mean by that? The other day, I found myself quite upset. I was stuck, thinking about the past and making dire predictions for the future.

Many years ago, a wise friend once asked me, “How are you?” When I started to list off all the ways that my life was going down the tubes, he gently interrupted me, “How are you right now?” Well, I had to admit, looking at my kind-hearted friend across the table from me, seeing the sun shine through the window on that sunny day, checking myself and realizing that my body felt great, I had eaten that morning, I wasn’t hungry, this place was safe…I suddenly realized…That particular moment I was in with him, right then, was fine….it was actually quite nice.

That moment was a huge turning point in my life. Now I can often see when my mind is churning up the past and the future and how that always obscures what’s going on right now in front of me. The other day, I used the wise words of my kind friend to bring me back to a rather nice moment, where I came back to the beautiful view out the windows of my eco-cabin, listened to the bird song, and truly tasted my coffee. I felt better, and the rest of my day was also better as a result of re-centering myself in this way.

Exercise

There are free ways to exercise when money is tight: You don’t need a gym membership, although all the ads on the TV and other places might make you think you do. A good friend recently recommended I try some martial arts training. I researched the local options: most clubs wanted around $60 per month to access their scheduled lessons. Oh dear! The thought of adding another expense to my monthly expenses did not appeal to me.

Can you imagine, I have found lessons that are being made available for free through the summer? And in the fall, the fees will be around $30 per month, which I will make room in my budget for. So, you might say that I’m lucky. What happened was that I followed up on the club that was the friendliest when I sent my initial emails out. All clubs offered up to three free lessons to try them out. So, even with no money, I am having an amazing experience this summer and learning valuable new skills while I get fit. You will never know what you might find out there unless you try.

Reaching out is necessary.

Human beings are programmed to connect to each other, but it’s easy to feel bummed out and cut down your contacts when you’re super stressed. What happens to me when I do this? I start to feel more isolated, and then I actually feel worse. So, yes, there are some nights when you just need to come home and stream a movie and go to bed. However, if you find yourself doing this night after night…this is not going to reduce your stress.

Why not reach out to someone? Call a family member that you know cares…attend a church fellowship meeting…text a friend and see if they might want to go for a (free) walk with you…write someone that you really like, but have lost touch with, an email and ask how they’re doing.

Listening to the universe

OK, this one may seem to be a little woo-woo, but bear with me. These are stressful times, but I still see a lot of beauty in the world. When you are pushing yourself to the limit, without any quiet moments, you may be missing helpful people and helpful ideas that the universe is trying to send your way.

Earlier today, I reconnected with a local shop owner by phone. I had always enjoyed his positive energy. What I thought was going to be a 1-minute phone call, “do you have this product in stock today?” turned into a rambling call of 14 minutes in which we discussed spirituality, music, mindfulness, ice cream, poetry, and joy in life.

WOWWEE! I felt like the universe was sending me a gentle reminder that there is still good out there…and that many of these wonderful things, like my own poetry writing and music, are the things that will help sustain me in the times to come.

FREE yourself from stress.

Reducing your stress rarely requires money. Could you see yourself trying any of the thrifty stress reduction tips offered here? Do you have one you can share with us? Please tell us in the comments below.

About Colette

Colette is passionate about sharing her knowledge of thrifty living and self-sufficiency. She has developed her skills in self-reliance living in the suburbs, the city, and more recently, on her own Half-Acre Homestead. Colette lived five years completely off-grid and without running water in an eight by 24 foot tiny home while designing and building her own 18 by 24-foot eco-cabin. She has just launched her website, Half Acre Homestead. Colette invites you to stop by and visit this work in progress! Coming soon in 2022 is her exciting new online program. Interested in Resiliency, Preventative Health, and Self-Sufficient/Off-Grid Housing (to name a few!)? Stay tuned for more details!

5 Inexpensive (or Free) Ways to Deal with Stress
Colette

Colette

Colette is passionate about sharing her knowledge of thrifty living and self-sufficiency. She has developed her skills in self-reliance living in the suburbs, the city, and more recently, on her own Half-Acre Homestead. Colette lived five years completely off-grid and without running water in an eight by 24 foot tiny home while designing and building her own 18 by 24-foot eco-cabin. She has just launched her website, Half Acre Homestead. (www.halfacrehomestead.ca) Colette invites you to stop by and visit this work in progress! Coming soon in February 2022 is her exciting new online program. Interested in Resiliency, Preventative Health, and Self-Sufficient/Off-Grid Housing (to name a few!)? Stay tuned for more details!

10 thoughts on “5 Inexpensive (or Free) Ways to Deal with Stress”

  1. For me its take a deep breath and center in on the joys of the moment, enjoy a cup of hot tea- most of mine are herbal either home grown or foraged, pray for friends, family and others, create art, sit down and read a book, eat a cool salad dressed with a splash of Iemon juice and sip cold water- its cooling, and just enjoy the flavors and take a much needed meal break, add some protein such as tiny shrimp, boiled egg, or cheddar cheese so its subatantial enough to last a few hours, call a friend or invite someone to come eat lunch or dinner and really enjoy a friendship. Since I’m 75, many friends are also retired and will be free to enjoy a meal and not having to cook. Write a letter. Yup I’m old enough to enjoy sitting down and writing to a friend or family member. Recount good times, tell about a fun trip, or going camping… cooking over a real fire, buying two crawdad traps and catching 49 in three hours with fresh catfish guts, boiling all 49 in a well seasoned broth and sharing the eating with a son, grandson, and the out of work couple in the neighboring camp spot.. did you eat them with melted real butter and and a squeeze of fresh Iemon. Or did you make it a full meal by adding new potatoes and corn on the cob? Make it chatty and paint great word pictures. A good letter is priceless today especially if it shares good times or beautiful places. And the quiet time while writing about good fun is relaxing. That why I choose fun times to share. It writes easy.

    1. Hi Clergylady, Thank you for taking the time to share this lovely post. It was like a glass of cold water for my soul on a real hot day: refreshing! Based on how interesting your posts are, I can tell that folks would love to get one of your handwritten letters about fun times. I am quite certain that there are many of them in drawers, cherished and re-read with a smile. You paint a beautiful picture of the healing nature of connecting with others and the precious memories we make together. Thank you for sharing so vividly this value of connection: it is something even more important during these challenging times. God Bless!

  2. For me, it’s all about gratitude. It doesn’t mean times aren’t tough, but I run over my gratitude list when I’m resentful/stressed. Especially before bed. I will occasionally read/watch something funny and/or incredibly stupid. A good laugh helps.

    1. Hi Denise, Thank you for these excellent additions for your fellow Frugalites. I do agree that gratitude is so important, especially when times are tough! I also love a funny movie. It’s amazing how much a good laugh helps. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you the best!

  3. Dance. It frees your mind, gets the muscles loose and can make you smile. I put on some Big Band music and hop around the house. All of the bottled up stress goes away.

    1. Hi Corsaire, Back in the early 2000’s, I owned a 22 foot Corsaire trailer. What wonderful memories we made there! So, thank you as your name brought back some of those great times to my mind. Yes! Dancing! What a vivid picture you were able to paint with so few words. I felt like I was right there, dancing with you! Dance on, Corsaire!

  4. Since the Covid shut down I started a new habit of picking up the house and washing the dishes before bed. I set up the French press and put fresh water in the teapot. In the morning I start the day less stressed if I have my clothes picked out ahead of time. I sit with my husband for a few minutes and we have coffee before the hectic day begins. It helps me sleep better knowing I’m on top of things as well.

    1. Hi Winnie, Thank you for this unique suggestion. There is much wisdom in these steps you take to start your day off “on the right foot,” so to speak. The investment of time in the evening sets a beautiful stage for the beginning of the next day. I especially like the quiet time that you have set aside to enjoy your coffee with your husband. I feel certain you are also building cherished moments in those quiet together times, as well. Much appreciated! Wishing you and your husband the best!

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