Ways To Manage Stress Without Spending A Single Cent

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Ways To Manage Stress Without Spending A Single Cent

Stress can be triggered by countless factors: an inability to pay your debt, a job loss, a pay cut. Even events considered "happy" can cause a considerable amount of stress, especially if they are paired with a change. Just think about a costly wedding party or starting college and taking out a loan. Stressful situations take their toll on us. We lose sleep and our appetite or quite the opposite - we sleep a lot and start overeating. You can read more about the causes of stress and how they can affect your body and mind here and here.

Since stress is such an immediate body and mind response to so many life events, attempting to minimize it is easier said than done. You can hardly cut it from your life, yet, you can explore different avenues to minimize its effects. And, since this is a credit union blog, and we’re all about saving you money, our ideas could be implemented for free. We know how irritating it is to hear or read that the best way to deal with stress is to take a trip to a SPA, go shopping or see a therapist. Of course, you can do any of these things but if you’d rather deal with stress in a more economical way, keep reading.

Talking or Writing

Talking is one of the cheapest ways to de-stress. It can be very cathartic and help you move through a problem by verbalizing what exactly is going on in your head. More importantly, talking can be done solo. You don’t necessarily need another person to listen or talk back. Saying aloud your concerns can be action enough to move forward, allowing you to express your emotions.

Writing is another powerful way to deal with your stress, especially if you are uncomfortable with talking. Putting your thoughts into sentences and writing them down can make the problem seem more manageable and can help you realize what you’re actually feeling. For example, knowing you have several errands to run may seem a bit overwhelming. However, compiling your errands into a to-do list means you have created a plan to tackle your work.

Watching TV and Movies

If you find yourself in a stressful situation and need an immediate relief, try watching a light-hearted TV show. It may help you by taking your mind off of things. If you are, however, looking for something more, watching movies or TV series related somehow to your specific situation might be a better solution for you. It can put you at ease with whatever has caused your stress and help you think about it from a different perspective.


Reading is a similar stress reliever to watching TV but it allows you to use more imagination. After all, it’s a lot easier to let your mind wander when you’re watching something rather than when you’re reading. It might be initially difficult to focus on a story but with a captivating book, you should be able occupy yourself for hours. Not to mention the added benefit of expanding your knowledge, improving memory and increasing your empathy.


Exercise is one of the recommended ways to relieve stress. Having said that most of us don’t have a workout outfit or gear available immediately if needed. That’s why walking seems like a more plausible idea.

If you are a person that needs to “clear your head” walking is perfect for you.  It allows you to leave a stressful situation and focus on your surroundings so your mind gets a breather.

Achieving Something

Achieving something is my personal top stress relief activity. I am not sure what psychologists say about it but I have tested it many times on myself (I stress easily) and it has worked wonders. The basic idea is, like with the other activities, to distract myself. The underlying message, however, is that I might be stressed about one thing but I am really good at something else. Even if that “something else” is as simple as baking a cake or washing a car. It’s a mood booster that allows me to feel OK about myself despite whatever stressful situation I am in.

Aside from the ones above, there are many other free ways to de-stress. There are various breathing and relaxation techniques, more intense workouts; there is also crying. The most important thing is to be open to testing different methods if you realize that whatever you are currently doing is not working.

Talking and writing: http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-relieving-stress#1

Watching TV: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2015/impact-of-discrimination.pdf

Reading: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2015/impact-of-discrimination.pdf

Walking: http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-relieving-stress#2

Anita Tomczak works in HTFFFCU Marketing Department and she is responsible for social media, market research and a lot of promotional blitz. She loves reading, eating and cycling (in this order) and constantly tries to broaden her horizons, both at work and in her personal life.