The holidays are quickly approaching, which means that people are gearing up for parties, family get-togethers and gift shopping. But in addition to being a time of happiness and joy, the holiday season can be a source of stress for some of us. Luckily, there are ways to de-stress without breaking the bank. Read on to find our favorite ways to relax on a budget.
We’re a fan of manicures because they’re pretty and we love getting a hand massage. But we’re not on board with their often expensive price tag and added tips, so grab a couple of girlfriends and the latest chick flicks, pick up a few bottles of your favorite nail polish and have a manicure party in your apartment. You’ll save a few bucks while strengthening your friendships.
You don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for a massage to get its relaxing benefits. Even a simple, 30-second massage can help you tame stress. Rest your elbows on a desk and place your thumbs under your eyebrows on either side of the bridge of your nose. Let the weight of your head rest on your thumbs for 10 seconds. Then, pinch your eyebrows with your thumbs and index fingers. Hold for a few seconds, then move your fingers a half-inch out. Repeat until you’ve covered your entire brow.
Best Face Forward
Recreate the plush, spa-like atmosphere at home by giving yourself a DIY facial. Find a soothing space, take a deep breath and sip on some homemade cucumber water while you try the following self-spa facial treatments, made from ingredients you most likely have lying around your apartment.
For Dry Skin: Frozen Egg and Honey Facial Mask
- 1 egg
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon honey
Beat the egg in a small bowl until frothy and well mixed. Slowly add the liquid coconut oil and honey, beating until your mask is the consistency of mayonnaise. Take an empty toilet tissue roll and set one end in a clean bowl. Spoon mixture into the roll and place in the freezer overnight. To use, peel away the top one-quarter-inch of the roll and smooth the frozen stick over your face. Leave mask on for five to 10 minutes, then rinse off with warm water.
For Oily Skin: Grapefruit and Parsley Face Mask
- 3 tablespoons very fine oatmeal
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- ½ large grapefruit
- Olive or sunflower oil
Mix first two ingredients in a bowl. Add grapefruit juice until a soft paste forms. Let the mixture rest for five minutes. Spread soft mixture over your face and let dry for approximately 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water, following with toner and moisturizer.
Pore Cleansing Strips
- 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
- 1 ½ tablespoon milk
Mix two ingredients and microwave for 10 seconds to slightly warm. Using a clean cosmetic brush, apply to nose and chin area, avoiding the eye area. Allow mixture to dry for 10-15 minutes and form a stiff film. Peel off the film.
Break a Sweat
Exercise has been known to be a great, natural stress reliever. Keep in mind the goal of getting your heart rate up to around 100 to 120 beats per minute. If you don’t have the time or budget to hit the gym, jog a few laps around your apartment building, or run up and down the stairs. You can even try jumping rope or doing jumping jacks in your living room.
Take a Breath
It may seem like a no-brainer, but most people don’t realize they are holding their breath during times of stress. Instead of keeping all of that negative energy inside, take a deep breath, pulling air in from your diaphragm rather than just your chest.
Photo credit: iStockphoto/StephePhoto