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Inexpensive Ways to Relax

Try one of these techniques before you start feeling like this! (Photo courtesy of Sara Forrest)

Holidays stressing you out? Spa treatments and therapeutic massages are great ways to relax, but with all the gifts you're buying for those on your list, you might feel so guilty about spending the money on yourself that you skip the treatments altogether. During the high-stress time of the holiday season, many of us need relief now more than ever. Thankfully there are plenty of cheap and easy ways to relax and relieve the tension.

Bathe in Espsom Salts
These very inexpensive salts can be found at just about any supermarket. Add two cups to your bath water to relax your muscle tension, detox your system, and aid in sleep and relaxation.

Learn to Meditate
I've said it before and I'll say it again: there's nothing hippy-dippy about meditation. All it means is sitting comfortably in a quiet place and clearing your mind of all thoughts. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing; if a thought enters your mind, simply acknowledge it but don't entertain it. Try it for five minutes the first time, then slowly ramp up the length of your sessions.

Let the Tension Out
Try relieving the tension in your body with a method called progressive muscle relaxation. Sit with your back straight, your feet on the floor, and your hands in your lap. Tighten each muscle group (your neck, shoulders, etc.) for 20 seconds, then relax it slowly. Start at the head and work down the body to the feet.

Exercise Repetition
We all know that exercise is one of the best ways to de-stress. If you've got a lot on your mind, pick an especially repetitive activity, like walking, running, or rowing. You can lose yourself in your thoughts and focus on the rhythm.

Keep reading for more cheap ways to chill out.

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