No matter what kind of super busy SHOLDIT® LifeSTYLER you are, the holidays—and the great diet-and-exercise cleanup after it—can wreak havoc on all of us. Since many of us are too busy taking care of others, we tend to forget to take care of ourselves.
What better time to pamper yourself than in the dead of winter? Here are some frugal ways to give yourself a relaxing day without breaking the bank.
Create a peppermint foot soak and scrub.
We love this one by The Gunny Sack. Super easy, super inexpensive.
How to make it:
Mix 1 cup of baking soda, ½ cup of Epsom salt and the contents of four peppermint tea bags. (We recommend using tea that just has herbal tea leaves as its ingredient.)
Then drink some of the extra peppermint tea, which is a known appetite suppressant, and may also help prevent nausea and motion sickness, and also offer relief from excess gas, cramping and stomach discomfort. Another bonus, peppermint is supposed to help relieve mental stress, coughs and colds.
Go to the gym.
Nothing says pumping up endorphins (well, almost nothing) like getting in a workout. Even if you only have 30 minutes, take the time that you have to get in a workout. Have less than 30? Stand up from your chair and stretch. Or walk around the block for 5 or 10 minutes. It all adds up.
Create a facial mask.
We like the nine different recipes that Reader’s Digest recommends for every type of skin type. Ingredients include using bananas, milk, oatmeal, vinegar, mayo, yogurt, lemon, mustard or an egg to make a facial mask. Everyone should have at least one of these ingredients at home, right?
Take some deep breaths.
Just think of Julia Roberts in the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” when she is trying to breathe and meditate. (Or author Elizabeth Gilbert if you’ve read her memoir.)
Dr. Andrew Weil, a U.S. trained physician who is known as a holistic healer, says “Since breathing is something we can control and regulate, it is a useful tool for achieving a relaxed and clear state of mind.” He offers three breathing techniques here.
Get a new look for free.
Not sure how you want to change things up? Head to the beauty counters and try out free samples. Get a makeup makeover. Many Aveda stores also offer free hand massages for visitors. (Or you can at least drink their calming tea while trying on some free products.)
If you’re a parent, build in some free time by offering to watch another parent’s children if they watch your kids. Then you can shop, drink or watch a movie on your own.
Take a bath.
Use Epsom salts and lavender. Both are known for their calming properties. (Plus Epsom salts will draw the toxins out of your body.) Just drink lots of water and some chamomile tea to help you relax, detox and de-stress.
Make your own rose-water toner or exfoliating sugar scrub.
We also like this rose water recipe from Glamour magazine’s list of “13 DIY at Home Spa Tricks” which includes pouring two cups of boiling water over one cup of packed rose pedals.
Another interesting recipe on Glamour’s list, making a sugar scrub with:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup raw oatmeal
- 1 cup olive oil
Take a class, learn something new.
Your brain is a muscle. The more it is worked out, the more you’ll feel motivated, recharged and refreshed.
We really don’t care what you do. Just do something you love that you don’t usually have time to do. Maybe it’s painting or journaling. Maybe it’s going to dinner at your favorite restaurant. Make time to do that one thing that calls to you.
Don’t have time to go somewhere? Watch a TED Talks video or try taking a free online class at Khan Academy. Learn a new language, how to draw or take a stellar photograph.
Other places for free online learning:
10. Indulge in little luxuries.
- Grab a cup of coffee with a friend.
- Read a book. (Or who are we kidding, read a chapter or read a few articles in your favorite magazine.) If you’re a mom, lock the bathroom door.
- Buy a new bottle of nail polish and go bold. You can always take it off.
- Have a movie marathon in your pjs.
Want more ideas? Check out this list from Parenting.com.