In a space-limited rental or apartment and with an economy-limited paycheck, you can’t afford luxury spa treatments or elaborate parties when you need some time to wind down. That shouldn’t mean you don’t get any pampering after a long day (or week or month), though. So instead of emptying your wallet with a pricey massage or facial, try rejuvenating your spirit with one of these easy and simple rebooting remedies.
Take a nap. Instead of going to the gym or running errands on your afternoon off, lay on your couch or bed, turn on some mindless TV (an America’s Next Top Model or Jersey Shore marathon top our list) and let yourself drift off to dreamland. Whether you sleep for 20 minutes or two hours, you’ll feel refreshed and re-energized.
Read a book. Head out to your local bookseller or library, and find a title that will engage you for hours. Pick up that classic that you’ve been meaning to read since high school. Immerse yourself in a romance. Read a biography of Queen Victoria, Benjamin Franklin or Caesar. With whatever you choose, go somewhere quiet – a coffee shop, a corner of the library or store or your living room – and settle in for a couple hours of uninterrupted quiet time. Get absorbed in the story, and forget about all of life’s distractions for a while.
Love your bathroom. The cliché advice when you need to relax is to take a hot bath, but that’s just the first step. After you finish a relaxing bath or shower, take your time getting dressed. Light some candles, turn on music and lather up with lotion. Then paint your nails, give yourself a pedicure and style your hair a new way, even if the only place you’re getting ready for is bed.
Work out. If you need some happiness-inducing endorphins in your life, the fastest way to get them is to hit the gym. But instead of the same boring bike routine, try a new class or recruit a buddy to tag along to make the workout more enjoyable. Or, take the new album you can’t stop listening to and jam out on the treadmill or elliptical.
Indulge. After (or instead of) working out, allow yourself to enjoy whatever food you typically skip in favor of a healthier alternative. Don’t binge – you’ll feel awful in the morning – but take some time to enjoy what you’re eating without allowing any guilt to set in.
Watch a movie. Rent or buy a film you’ve been aching to see, even if it is cheesier than cheddar. Or re-watch one of your favorites that your spouse hates. Or order pay-per-view of the new release you never made it to the theater to see. Whatever you decide, turn off the lights, make some popcorn and enjoy the show.
Shop. Just because you can’t afford an entertainment system or Wii doesn’t mean you can’t engage your purchasing power. So instead of hitting the mall, take a trip to your local pharmacy or grocery store and buy all of the little items you always look at but never buy. Curious about whether that lip balm actually tastes like Dr. Pepper? Secretly dying to know the details of that celebrity couple split? Excited to use that new as-seen-on-TV product? Buy it! Try the lip balm, revel in the trashy tabloid and test the product, and feel good about it.
What other things do you do to relax?