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Stressed and broke?
We know how that goes. University life is crazier than it’s ever been before so we’ve come up with some great and simple ways to relax on a budget!
- The Home Spa: There are lots of ways to treat your body to some relaxation time at home! Depending what you enjoy, you can find lotions and scents for any personality. Get some scented tea candles and take a bubble bath with a book you actually want to read; find a new style for your facial hair and give that a try; scrape all the dead skin off of your disgusting student feet so you feel like a real human again! Basically build your own spa! This is great to share with friends and can even be the kick start to a revised eating plan or workout routine.
- Cooking! Comfort eating is a student necessity and cooking for yourself is super cost effective! Get some friends together and compete in a cook-off and then share the results. Try a new recipe that you’ve never thought of before! Allrecipes.com can give great ideas that are easy to do on a budget. If you want to give your cooking an extra boost you can add a bottle of wine into the mix, affordable especially if you’re cooking with a group! Try Pocket Wine, a free app that gives suggestions on food and wine pairings.
- Games Nights: The idea seems simple and maybe a tad boring, but if you’ve ever had a good one, you know how much fun you can have with the right game and the right people. Get some friends together in the evening for snacks and beverages to play whatever you find the most fun. For some of the more word-nerdy people a good game of Scrabble or Taboo will get you boiled up; Scene It? gets everyone really into the game, especially when you have a themed version. When you’re trying anything and everything to avoid your term paper, Risk will get crazy competitive in the struggle for world domination and you may be ready to upgrade to Cards Against Humanity! As long as you’ve got hilarious people you’ll be giggling all night.
- Take a Timeout: If you’re done with being an adult for the day take a timeout and do something kiddy! Grab a colouring book, some bubbles, Play dough, or a Disney movie and reset yourself.
- Get Your Body Moving: Check out the Active Living office on campus for accessible ways to release stress! There’s yoga and Zumba on campus (for free) or the Outdoor Centre rents equipment like kayaks for super cheap with a student ID! Make a whole weekend of it and take off to the mountains or the lakes for some “you” time. You can try some new dance moves with one of the dance clubs on campus or in a class or even go for a Laser Quest outing to get your blood moving again!
- Movie Nights: If you’re looking to relax with something more passive than hiking and kayaking, do a movie night either with friends or solo. Pick a favorite, do a themed night, or choose Star Wars because it’s always the right choice. DVDs are cheaper than ever and Netflix is great for binging on the TV shows you didn’t catch during your busy weeks!
- Ikea: You could be like regular people and treat yourself to something affordable and on sale for your apartment- OR you can go to the show rooms and play house because you’re a student and you can’t see the time when you’ll live like a real adult. Grab some of your parent’s clothing (tie, hat, jewelry, high heels, etc), maybe a Cabbage Patch doll or even a niece/nephew, and play house in Ikea!
- Banff: Go on a day trip to Banff and check out the Banff Upper Hot Springs! If you just do lunch and a walk around the town it’s definitely not that expensive! Hot springs are $7.30 per adult so you can still have a great time taking the day to yourself.
- Be a Tourist: There are tonnes of things to do in Calgary that lots of people forget about with their busy schedules. Go down to Stephen Ave for a walk; hit Lloyd’s Roller Rink; take a ghost tour; and go to the many Farmer’s Markets around town.
- Winter It Up: It may not be snowing now, but you know it’s coming. Before you get tired of the snow, take advantage of it! You can take a study break and build snow people, go tobogganing down a wicked hill, or go skating outdoors. Check out Calgary Olympic Park for activities or a winter walk. You might get nice and chilly but it might also make you more enthusiastic to read your books in the warmth!
We know that everyone unwinds in different ways but we know that money can be tight for students and you need to relax too! We hope our list helps you chill out before your next midterm or paper! Enjoy!
Originally posted Oct. 6, 2014.
Andrea is a fourth year English and Urban Studies combined major, and currently works as an Events Coordinator for the Students’ Union. She is President of Amnesty International, President of the Scribe and Muse English Club, the English Representative of the Faculty of Arts Students’ Association, and VP Promotions for Queers on Campus. Andrea loves Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and architecture. Check her out on Twitter and Instagram @aoakunsheyld.