In search of some stress relief? Desperately need some pampering? Wish you had the money for it? Then this article is for you. Filled with ingenious ideas to get yourself some me-time at no cost, there’s something here for everyone. You no longer need a short term loan to visit the spa or go on a shopping spree – try these ideas instead!
This set of guidelines will inform you of different ways of stress relief and pampering yourself.
- The rules of pampering
- DIY beauty treatments
- How to get new clothes for nothing
- Yoga & meditation
- Food treats
- Pampering yourself at home alone
- Evening entertainment
- Cinema & the theatre
- Days out & weekends away
- Pampering yourself doesn’t have to be an expensive treat
- There are plenty of ways of stress relief at home
- Do you prefer to relax alone or with friends? Whichever it is, there are ideas here for you!
There are many ways to pamper yourself, and the thing to remember is you don’t need to get into debt to be able to afford them.
We’ve put together a list of things you can do, either alone or with a close friend/group of friends. We’ve tried to include a variety of activities to suit women of all ages and different characters and interests but what they all have in common is that they cost little or no money. Read through them and try one of them once a week; it’s guaranteed to make you feel better after even the most stressful week.
Stress Relief Solutions
Whether you feel stressed and tired by your working week or whether you are a housewife and mother frazzled by the frantic running around after everybody else, everyone needs one day a week – or at least an evening – to themselves just to wind down and relax. But how can you do this when you have very little or no money? That weekend at a spa is simply not on the list of things you can do, however much you would like to and however much you deserve it. So how can you pamper yourself?
But before we begin, what are the two rules of pampering yourself properly?
Rules of Pampering and Stress Relief
There are only two rules when it comes to following this guide on pampering. Number 1 is that you must be without people distracting you so make sure your partner is off elsewhere and someone is babysitting the children to give you a breathing space for your stress relief.
The second rule of pampering is that there should be no distractions from technology; turn off your phone for a few hours and no sneaky logging into any social media!
A Spa Treatment DIY Style
You don’t need to spend a fortune on a spa when you can create the experience in your bathroom. Fill the bathtub and add lots of bubble bath to make a foamy scented heaven; perfumes like rose, geranium, lavender and jasmine are particularly soothing. Turn the lights off, light some candles and put on some relaxing music. For an even more luxurious spa treatment, buy some scented candles and a neck pillow and pour yourself a glass of wine. Soak as long as you like and if necessary refill the tub with more hot water.
Once you have finished, pat yourself dry and take the time to apply some body moisturiser or body milk to complete the spa treatment.
Pamper Yourself with a Facial
After your relaxing bath, it is the ideal time to do a facial. Face and mud packs can be found in High Street stores for less than a £1 while slices of cucumber can be very soothing for tired eyes. There are also many ideas online for home-made skin concoctions which can be made extremely cheaply with common cupboard and fridge foodstuffs such as oatmeal and even chocolate powder.
Having a facial done is something that can also be done with a close friend or group of friends. Everyone contributes a beauty treatment. It’ll give you a chance to relive your adolescence; remember spending hours getting ready to go out with a friend? You will feel so much better, not only because of the beauty treatment but because you’ll have had the opportunity to spend time with friends and catch up on each other’s news without distractions.
Treat Yourself to a Manicure/Pedicure
Either alone or with friend(s), a manicure and pedicure are a great way to have some stress relief and feel good about yourself without spending a great deal of money. Most women already have a range of varnishes, and if you pool your colours with your friends, you’ll have an even wider choice.
Pay a trip to your local £1 store and pick up a new colour or different nail accessories like stickers. Online you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to create the most amazing patterns and even pictures. With a little practice, other women will be asking where you had your nails done.
Enjoy a Homemade Hair Treatment
Do you find it a struggle to afford regular visits to the hairdresser or to buy expensive conditioners? Or maybe your life is so hectic that you barely have time for a quick shower let alone the trouble of applying conditioner.
If so, your evening of pampering is the time to remedy that. Like the facial treatments, you can make many rich conditioners from kitchen ingredients. Take the time to massage them into your hair while listening to your favourite tracks. A head massage can do wonders for stress relief, releasing tension and getting rid of headaches.
New Clothes for Nothing
Everyone loves the ‘high’ of buying new clothes, but for some of us, this is not always possible. If the Sales are on, treat yourself to something new even if it’s only a fashion accessory like a scarf. If that’s not possible, don’t turn straight to personal loans; there is a way to get something new for nothing.
Everyone hides fashion ‘mistakes’ in their wardrobes and drawers; impulse buys that just didn’t work out once you got them home. It seems a shame to donate them to a charity shop when they’ve never been worn, but now all they’re doing is taking up precious storage space.
Why don’t you organise a swap with friends? Everyone brings their ‘bad buys’, whether they are clothes, accessories, perfumes or cosmetics and you have a chance to swap. What looked horrendous on you might suit a friend; new clothes for nothing! Hold an impromptu fashion show – your friends might be able to give you ideas on how to freshen up old outfits with accessories.
Relax with Yoga & Meditation
The great thing about yoga and meditation is that they can be done with friends, but they work equally well when you do them alone.
Also, they can be fitted into the busiest routine, and you only need to devote as little as 5-10 minutes every time. Concentrating on your breathing is a great way to calm down and help with stress relief.
If you’ve never done yoga before, you’ll find videos online, but the best way is to learn it exercise by exercise until it comes naturally to you.
Meditation requires both practice and mental discipline; even if you’re dubious about its benefits, just sitting with eyes closed for 5 minutes can help you with stress relief, making you relax.
Treat Yourself with Food
You don’t have to spend a fortune going to the latest ‘in’ restaurant. Even buying yourself a bar of chocolate can be a great way to pamper yourself. Why don’t you go to a tea shop and order some scones or sticky buns? Take your time, have the pot refilled, sit by the window and indulge in some ‘people-watching’. Sometimes pampering yourself just means letting the world go by and not rushing off to be on time for your next appointment or to do more chores.
As far as meals are concerned, what you consider to be a treat depends on your circumstances. If you have a family and are expected to cook every day, then pampering yourself might be the chance to order a takeaway just for yourself, without consulting anyone else. However, if you live alone and have a busy career, then pampering yourself might be the complete opposite; taking the time to shop for fresh ingredients and making food from scratch. Try it and take the time to savour the experience.
An Evening Alone: Make the Most of it
The best thing about staying at home alone is that you don’t have to worry about your appearance so you can wear your most comfortable pyjamas and dressing gown. How you choose to spend an evening alone depends on your interests. It could be that you just want to relax in front of the TV watching a crime series or a soap opera. You could also hire a DVD; choose what you want to see without consulting anyone else and compromising. You could even make some home-made popcorn to make it like a cinema experience.
If you aren’t interested in TV or films, you could take the time to read that book you’ve always wanted to. The best thing about living in the UK is that there are still many local lending libraries so why don’t you become a member and make a point of reading at least a book a week? If you don’t think you could make time or you aren’t a great book-reader, why don’t you buy a couple of magazines or newspapers? Just lie down on the sofa and relax!
How about using this time to have an early night? It might seem boring, but it’s sometimes just what our body needs for some stress relief, to feel full of energy and recharge our batteries for the routine of work and family.
If the prices in pubs and bars are too high for you to go out, why don’t you invite a group of friends to your house and have a boys’ or girls’ night in? You could ask everyone to bring a bottle and prepare a ‘Top 10’ of their favourite songs, so you have music to suit everyone. With good company, laughs and a few drinks, you could have the experience of the pub at a fraction of the price.
If you feel even more adventurous, you could ask everyone to contribute a sum of money to the ‘pot’ to buy alcohol and mixers, and you could arrange a cocktail party. Make sure that all your friends dress up in their best clothes, so it makes the experience more realistic. To make it more fun or a little different, you could make it a karaoke party as well.
Want to go out? Try these stress relief ideas
You might think that the cost of cinema tickets means that you can’t afford to go very often, if at all. However, did you know that many of the cinema chains offer discounts and membership schemes, which can drastically reduce the price of the tickets? Many also have off-peak hours, such as on Mondays, Tuesdays or for matinee performances, when tickets can be up to a third cheaper. If you live in a big city, find out if there is an independent cinema nearby since they often have much cheaper tickets.
When seeing the price of West End theatre shows, you might think you could never afford to pamper yourself with a trip to the theatre. If you live in or near London, you can find tickets online or in ticket booths for 50%-60% cheaper if there are returned tickets on the actual day of the show. This may mean you have less choice in what you see, but it’s a golden opportunity to see a popular show. Alternatively, if you attend preview, weekday or matinee performances, you’ll pay much less.
If you live outside London, similar deals can be found for all city theatres while if you live in a university town, it’s worth finding out about their amateur dramatics performances since they can be amazingly professional.
Maybe you would love to book a getaway weekend or city/country break but can’t afford it. However, you don’t have to travel far to treat yourself to a day out. You could go to a local park or a nearby area of natural beauty for a walk. Why don’t you take a packed lunch or a picnic, so you don’t spend a lot of money in snack bars or restaurants?
Something that we’re all guilty of doing is that when we live somewhere, we take it for granted and never bother going to see the sights unless we have out-of-town visitors. Or we’re so wrapped up in the routine of work and chores that we don’t give ourselves time to explore our own area.
Be a tourist
What about pretending to be a tourist in your town or city for the day or weekend? Find out what attracts tourists to your city or local area and pick 2 or 3 places to visit. They don’t have to be expensive; ancient churches, the grounds of stately homes, local museums and art galleries are all free, or you pay a nominal entrance fee. Instead of yearning for places further afield (which you can’t afford) why don’t you check out what is on your doorstep?
If you do decide to be a tourist in your town, the rule is that you mustn’t do any housework on your return home. It adds to the authenticity of the experience. After all, when was the last time you did the laundry in a hotel?!
Do you have any friends or family who live in a different part of the country? If you do and need to get away, this might be the best time to visit them. Instead of taking a car, check with special deals on public transport and if possible, book ahead but not at peak times when you are likely to hit the commuter rush hour (and pay much more money).
What it might cost
The price of accommodation will be free, so all you need to think about is the price of an evening out and a day trip around the town. And as you have seen above, sight-seeing doesn’t have to cost the earth. Explain the situation to your family or friend, so they don’t make elaborate and possibly expensive plans for the weekend. After all, the reason you’re there is to pamper yourself with some stress relief and time away from your routine and of course to see them and catch up on their news.
As you can see, it doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive to go out and have a good time!
Use these ideas for cheap pampering and stress relief
Pampering yourself can take many forms; sometimes it can be as simple as taking the time to sit and read and not having to keep looking at your watch for your next meeting or hurrying to be somewhere else.
Not all of these ideas will be to everyone’s taste, but maybe they will give you ideas of other things to do that suit you more. Try to incorporate at least one of these ways to pamper yourself in your weekly routine. Your stress relief method may be something simple and inexpensive, but it can lift your mood, relax you and give you the energy and patience to go on.