With the holidays approaching, stress levels are on the rise. One of the most common stressors for this time of year is — MONEY!
Gifts and travel and entertaining and eating out… well, it all adds up to a lot of money being spent, and even if you’re doing well with your budget, just this uptick in spending can be stressful.
This stress can make you more irritable and can even negatively impact your relationship with your significant other. Stress and anxiety are also a leading factor in erectile dysfunction!
Check out my list of 7 productive things you can do, instead of spending money.
- Go for a walk – by yourself, with your partner, or with your favorite 4-legged friend. Even in the winter time, even in the snow, check out the beauty around you. Snow on the ground – or even just the stark contrast of a leafless tree against a gray sky. If you’re with your partner – hold hands. If you’re alone – put in some headphones with your favorite music playing.
- Do a puzzle – I know that sounds old fashioned, but puzzles are like the original Farmville. You have a sense of accomplishment for completing tasks! Plus, putting a puzzle together actually exercises your brain. Do it with your partner, with the TV and cell phones off, and just enjoy being together. Your local library may even have some puzzles you can check out for FREE!
- Call a relative – Just to say “Hi!” In today’s world, chances are most of your non-face-to-face communication is electronic – e-mail, text, personal messages, etc.. But, that’s not the same as actually hearing another person’s voice. So, give someone you love a call! If you both have the ability to video chat – that’s even better! You don’t have to have a reason to call – just call to chat.
- Prep for the week ahead – While this one isn’t fun while you’re doing it, it’ll make the rest of your week SO much easier, you’ll be glad you did it! Iron all of your clothes for the coming week. Plan out what you’re having for dinner for the week and prep any veggies you can (like dicing onions, etc) and putting the things you need all together in one spot. If you make lunches, do what prep you can for the week there too. MrKimberly likes turkey-roast beef-and Swiss sandwiches. I take the three and make up sandwich portions – layering some turkey, some roast beef, then 2 slices of Swiss, with a little piece of wax paper between that portion and the next. That way, when I go to make his lunch for the day, I have the meat already pre-portioned out. Yes, I feel a little like Subway. 😉
- Do yoga or meditate – Yoga and meditation are 2 of the best stress relievers! In fact, if you have high blood pressure, you should be doing both every single day! The great thing about the Internet is you don’t have to pay for a gym membership or even buy a yoga mat to do these exercises. YouTube has LOTS of great instructional videos that will walk you through a yoga routine or lead you calmly through a meditation. No need to dress up or even leave your own home!
- Dance – Dance like no one is watching by yourself. Turn on your favorite music and just have FUN! Or, if your partner’s around – dance with them! Heck, YouTube again has great instructional dance videos – you can learn to Salsa or Cha-Cha or Floss or any of a million dance moves! All free!
- Draw and/or color – Drawing and coloring (or painting or any artistic endeavor) is something we used to do all the time as kids. We used art as a way to express ourselves. We also used it to build our self-esteem. Do you remember how good it felt when your artwork was put up on the wall at school for display? Or even when your parents hung it on the refrigerator? You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy creating art. Doodle even. Stick figures. Whatever. Just let your inner child come out and create for a little while!