A Spending Fast is an awesome way to kick-start your savings, pay off debt and encourage minimalism. I’m using my three-year Spending Fast to pay off my massive student loan debt. Spending Fasts have numerous benefits, but they can be a bit stressful, even if you’re frugal (like I am). If you’re committed to a Spending Fast, what should you do if you’re feeling stressed out and just want to unwind?
When I’m feeling tense, I would love to go see a movie with friends, get buzzed at a bar or get a massage. Unfortunately, none of these things are (typically) free – they’re often expensive.
If you’re feeling stressed and tempted to break your Spending Fast, don’t worry! I do several things to relax and decompress – without spending a dime.
5 Ways I De-Stress During My Spending Fast …
Try a free yoga class
I love yoga – it forces me to focus on being more present, it reduces my anxiety and it’s an amazing workout. A yoga studio membership usually is insanely expensive, but luckily, there are tons of ways to get free yoga classes!
Some churches offer holy yoga for free. Non-profit groups offer free outdoor yoga. Many colleges also provide free classes for students and staff members. Yoga studios also often offer trial periods with unlimited yoga classes for a week.
Over the past year, I’ve consistently gone to yoga two to three times per week, and I haven’t paid for it once.
Exercise at home or outside
Exercise causes your body to produce endorphins, which improve mood and help you feel more relaxed. I’m fortunate to have a free on-site gym I can use at work, but if I didn’t have that option, I would power walk outside during my lunch break. I’ve also worked out at home plenty of times. Many exercises can be done at home, such as squats, lunges, pushups and crunches.
Do something free with friends
I don’t need to go out for dinner or drinks to have a fun time with friends. Over the past year, my husband and I have found all sorts of free things to do with friends. Our favorite group activity is board game night. We spend so much time laughing and it’s even more fun than an expensive outing would be. We also like to go for walks or hikes with friends, check out free classes, go to free festivals and bring our dogs to the leash-free dog park. Since we have awesome friends, it doesn’t matter what we’re doing, as long as we’re together.
Get a free massage
When I’m feeling stressed or tense, I often tighten my muscles without even realizing it. It can be difficult to break a habit if you aren’t even aware you’re doing it! Massages are one way to relieve muscle tension. Fortunately, they don’t have to be expensive. My husband and I give each other massages for free. Another option is checking out a massage school – sometimes they’ll offer free massages to the public so the students can practice.
Make time for a favorite hobby
When I’m feeling stressed or anxious, it’s often because I’m overwhelmed. I’m a Type-A perfectionist. Sometimes I have to remind myself to take a break once in a while and spend time doing something I love. Many hobbies aren’t expensive. I enjoy reading library books, going on photo shoots with my husband and sunbathing at a friend’s apartment pool.
Spending Fasts are a great way to drastically cut your expenses, which can help you pay off debt or boost your savings. You might be tempted to break your Fast when you’re feeling stressed. I know. I’ve been there! When I need to de-stress, I do yoga, exercise, get together with friends, get a massage or make time for a favorite hobby – all for free!. All of these activities help me to relax and unwind without ditching my Spending Fast.
What about you? What free or low-cost things do you like to do to de-stress and unwind?
Jen Hayes is a frugal lifestyle blogger and freelance writer. Jen is passionate about helping millennials to lead healthier lives – financially, physically, and mentally. She writes about her journey toward shedding 50 pounds and $117,000 of student loan debt on her blog Frugal Millennial.
P.S. Ready to get out of debt ASAP? Check out the Spending Fast Bootcamp!