Everyone needs to relax sometimes in order to keep stress at bay and not end up sick. The problem that usually arises is most people think about the most expensive ways to unwind, but what if you are on a budget or don’t have the funds. Does that mean you can’t enjoy a little R&R too?

No! There are ways that you can relax without spending a dime and I will share with you some that you can go do right away for FREE.

Here is a list of ideas for relaxing without breaking your pockets:

1. Exercise. It’s free to walk around your neighborhood or the park or even a school track. And it has been proven that walking reduces stress and anxiety and is a great way to get in shape. I often take a 30 to 45 minute walk every day. I also use that time to listen to different podcasts and audio books. I have also been known to come up with great ideas on my walks.

2. Meditation. This doesn’t have to be the woo type of meditation. Simply sitting somewhere in silence and emptying your mind can be very relaxing. All you need is 30 minutes and some deep breathing and you will feel a whole lot better.

3. Naps! I am a big advocate of naps. I take one every day. It is a requirement for me to be refreshed and focused when I get up. Even if you can squeeze in 15 to 45 minutes that will do you a world of good and will help you to be more relaxed and rejuvenated.

4. Gabbing with a Friend. Whether you do this over the phone or in person just calling up a friend and catching up or venting can be quite relaxing. Talking with friends helps us to reminisce about the good old days and takes our mind off of the stresses of the day.

5. Listen to Music. You can grab your phone or iPod or turn on your computer and play some music. There are all types of music out there and tuning into what you like can help you relax immensely. I like to listen to Pandora and turn on the classical station when I am doing work. I also like to make playlists for when I am just lounging around the house and in the mood to jam.

6. Read a Book. I love reading and with my Kindle Paperwhite I am never at a loss for material to read. I like to either fire up the Kindle and read a good book or actually pull a good book from my shelf and find a cozy spot in the house and sit and read in silence. It is the most relaxing thing.

7. Bubble Bath. Fix yourself a hot bubble bath and grab yourself a good book, some nice music and if you drink – a glass of wine and unwind in the bathroom. Very relaxing and free.

8. Look at Old Photos. Strolling down memory lane with your kids can be very relaxing. Unless you had a terrible childhood, sharing your baby photos or childhood photos can be very enjoyable and relaxing. If so you can pull out old photos from when you were a young adult and share. Even looking at photos from ten years ago can bring back fond memories and a few laughs.

9. Play Games. Family game night is one of the most fun things we do in our house. But you can also play games on your computer. I have several games that I play just to relax and have fun by myself. When was the last time you played your favorite board game? Pull out Scrabble or Monopoly and fix some snacks and game night is a go.

10. Daydream. I daydreamed a lot as a child and I still do occasionally. Daydreaming is a great way to just let your mind wander and to relax and go to another place, a happy place. All for free.

These are just a few ways that you can relax for free, but there are tons of other ways too. The key is to be creative and to have fun in whatever you choose to do. Don’t stress out about finding the perfect technique or waiting on the perfect time. Don’t let guilt of not doing anything rob you of being stress free. We all need downtime. Just take one of these suggestions and do them today. Your body will thank you.

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