10 Cheap Ways to Relax This Weekend

By: Ali Sakr

So, it’s been a long week. Things didn’t quite go as planned, or they actually did and that’s making you even more exhausted. It’s finally time to give yourself a hard-earned break and relax.  But then, you glimpse with the corner of your eye a small wallet barely peeking out of your bag, giving you an unexpectedly intimidating stare. If it were a person, you’d look into its eyes seeing only the emptiness that resides within, not a sign of human life, or in this case – money. 

Short version: you need a break, but you’re broke. Here are a couple of things you can do.

1-It’s time for a marathon

There are two ways to mean this, and I mean both. 

Either grab some popcorn/any light snack and start binge-watching your favorite (movie) series, or go on an actual run while listening to calm music. You’ll be very tired at the end of both, but you’ll be sure to enjoy every moment of them.

2-Get a bit nostalgic

Looking back to simpler times can create a feeling inside you that compares to nothing else. Whether this is going through your old toys, reading all the things you used to write in middle school or watching Disney and old cartoons, you’ll be filled with this mixture of a bitter-sweet but effortlessly smile-inducing emotion that’ll mentally prepare you for the challenges you’ll be facing next week.

3-Do some exercise

I know, I just said you should go on a run for a couple of seconds ago, but that’s not inclusive. You can do some yoga to help you relax, go to the gym to get rid of excess energy and maybe play a team sport with some friends like absolute amateurs, because there’s a certain childish joy in being self-consciously terrible at something.

This is all, of course, not to mention all the endorphins and energy, but it’s not like we haven’t heard all that before.

4-Get in your own head

Sometimes, we all owe ourselves some time to escape anything and everything going on around us, and just live in our own bubble for a short but sweet couple of hours. While points 1 and 2 can be used to serve this purpose, I mean to make this one more intentional.

Meditate. Actively work to eliminate all thoughts from your head, while focusing on a rhythmic pattern, such as your breath. This is ideally something to incorporate within your regular life, but life isn’t always ideal, so try it out when you’re feeling like rewarding yourself. The serenity that follows it is well worth the effort.

5-Romanticize your own life for a while

Make yourself a warm drink and wrap yourself up in a blanket. Not feeling cold enough for a blanket? Turn on the A.C. then proceed to use your blanket. Turn on just one or two lamps, listen to some lofi music (perhaps with some ambient rain sounds) and curl up in some random corner to read or watch anime or something.

Do the kind of thing you’d read about in a post and think seems nice but not actually do because you don’t want to succumb to the fantasies of a 2012 tumblr girl. Allow yourself that pleasure every once in a while. No one will be there to judge you.

6-Make a bubble bath

Now, I personally don’t do this, but I do know a couple of friends who do, and they seem to really enjoy life some days so I think this is their secret. I guess it’s a nice change of pace from the usual quick shower, and a more relaxed version of the long warm shower that is often accompanied with less calming thoughts than those which would come with a bath.

7-Cook something

Look up some random recipe you’ve felt like trying for a while, and get to it. The sheer excitement of willingly being in the kitchen can be pretty fun, not to mention how proud you’ll be of yourself if what you end up eating actually doesn’t taste like shit.

8-Go for a walk

You can do this in a more nature-based environment, as well as one which is more urban in the centre of the city – whichever life you feel more akin to at the moment.  This will either allow you to experience some fresh air and solitude, or give you the chance to observe streets as they get filled and emptied of strangers and passerby, with no particular worry in your head.

9-Learn Something

Learn? To treat yourself?

Surprisingly enough, it can be pretty fun if you’re learning something you’ve been interested in for a while. I often find myself reading about the marine biology of the deep sea, or astronomy, and it’s pretty damn fun to do this kind of thing at your own desire.

You can also learn to play an instrument you might’ve picked up recently but didn’t have the chance to play much. Or maybe learn to sing or draw. The general theme here is to explore your talents, especially those which you don’t know about yet. It’s fun to try out, and definitely worth it at the end.

10-Explore some new music

We love to put the things we like into little locked boxes, and that often includes our tastes in music. Opening up to a genre you never thought you’d like can unravel an entire world to you – one which you can enjoy on a calm Saturday evening.

I’m sure there’s probably plenty more you can do, but this – for me at least – would probably be enough. Go have some fun. You probably deserve it (I hope).

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