Stress & Finances

Updated on September 25, 2010
M.K. asks from Santa Rosa, CA
18 answers

I've been really stressed lately with my new promotion at work & the finances being poor (both at work & home). Anyway, I would love to join a gym or exercise with a friend, but that isn't happening. Do you have any creative ideas in relieving stress or exercise as well? Oh, any ideas on inexpensive things to do with kids would also be helpful! Thank you moms! I just want to say that "you're wonderful"

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answers from Chico on

Roller Derby. no really, i mean it. nothing beats stress like sweating, skating till you're exhausted and knocking people down.



answers from San Francisco on

I know it's challenging to find time to exercise at home, but grab a good yoga video and a mat! Yoga is sooo stress-relieving. Sometimes when I'm done, I feel like I've had a massage! Even if you just do some of the stretches every day. I strive to do yoga once a week, but really, a daily routine would be the best. When I do it at home, my kids join in at times. They're way more flexible than I am!

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answers from Tampa on

We adopted a dog from a rescue last year. She gives our family the balance we need when things are bad. We go on family walks and take her to the dog park. I'm not sure if you have or want a pet but they can bring you lots of joy.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Make a date with a friend to go for a walk. Bring the kids along. Explore different neighborhoods.

Walk during part of your lunch hour and/or break at work. Or right after work, maybe with a colleague?

Park car farther away from your destination so you must walk.

Take stairs, not elevator.

Jog in place during tv commercials.

Eat healthy foods.

Put on fun music and dance.

Borrow exercise videos from the library or video store to see which ones you like before investing in your own copies. Buy on craigslist or ebay for better prices. When you get bored with yours swap with a friend.

Go bike riding.

See if there are any folk/square/English country dance groups near you. Try them out to see which kind of dance you like best. Maybe you will discover a walking/biking buddy there.


Get a cat. Easier to care for than dogs (downside is, less exercise). But it's so calming to hold one! ;-)

Cheap things for kids--go to library (get books and videos, story time, movies, summer reading club, whatever they have). Check out some craft books and have the kiddos make b-day/holiday/Valentine cards for relatives or the shut-ins at church. Or "thinking of you" cards for the shut-ins.

Tie-dye some t-shirts. Or bleach-dye a colored shirt (same as tie-dye but put shirt into hot beach water and soak--you get different shades of whatever color you started with).

Bake cookies/cakes.

Rake leaves into a pile and jump in.

Visit a farmers market or a pick-your-own-fruit orchard.

Build a cardboard castle with big boxes. We did this with the moving boxes when we moved--the boys loved it! The cat wasn't so sure.......

Plant flowers.

Help a neighbor with leaves, garden, etc.

Sidewalk chalk.

Play tent in the house with old sheets, chairs etc.

Go on a picnic, indoors or out.

Give each kid a cheap one-time-use camera and let them take pictures. You'll be surprised at what they come up with! Buy a small photo album at the dollar store so each can have his/her own scrapbook.

Have a tea party.

Play store. or school.

Any place to swim?

Take five min. just to do nothing when kiddos are in bed.

Pray and/or meditate. Do yoga. Get a how-to book from the library.

Read fun stuff (whatever that is for you--novels, mysteries, nonfiction....). Even just a few minutes each day helps.

Good luck!

K. Z.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

You're not alone. I've seen an increase of stress related syndromes since this economic downturn. Here's some quickies I suggest for clients:

1. Breathe. Sounds simple. So Simple in fact it is often over-looked. Stand still and for about 1-2 minutes just concentrate on pulling in long, deep breaths. This breathing will bring oxygen to the mind and the muscles. The effect will be more clarity and a loosening of the tension being carried in your body.
2. Begin a regular meditation practice. Start small. Even 5 minutes each morning can have an amazing effect on your day.
3. Yoga. You can buy a DVD, and do yoga at home. It is very relaxing and has numerous health and fitness benefits.
4. Listen to relaxing music that is slow and dreamy.
5. Learn techniques for progressive relaxation.

Because so many people are stressed at this time, I am giving away a copy of my stress reduction CD. You can find it at It is studio produced with special sounds and music that is shown to enhance relaxation. I suggest you put it on at night before going to bed. Many of my clients say they never hear the end of with that in mind, don't drive and listen to it at the same time! :-).



answers from Sacramento on

Taking a daily walk can help both of your concerns. Take the kiddos along. You don't need to try doing any sort of 'power walk' for exercise. Simply take a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood with your kids. Use the time for conversation with them, and enjoy your time together. You may want to find a nice park where you can walk, and the kids can take some time out to enjoy the playground equipment. Try spending at least a half hour doing this each day and I think you'll be able to relax better as well as having done something interesting with the children.



answers from Little Rock on

When I worked downtown, I used to use my 15 minute breaks to walk up and down the stairs. I also would walk a few laps around the building during my lunch break. My husband worked across the street and would sometimes join me. I helps if you have a buddy with you. The building my husband works in now has a gym upstairs that can be used by the employees in the building and the visitors to the hotel across the street for free. I don't have a TV, but isn't there still exercise videos you can excessive along with in the privacy of you home. Maybe a walk around the block, my kids ride their bikes up and down the street while my husband and I walk (rarely anymore, I am so out of shape, No thats not right, Round is a shape)



answers from San Francisco on

I'm in the same position--somewhat....I like to write in my journal to relieve some stress/thoughts..let it alllll out on there. Have a good friend to vent to. Just take a 30 min walk outside, hitting the punching bag a few times.

With finances being tight...we've done board games, play time at the parks, some baking, coloring books. Depends how old the children are as well.

Things will get better...they will.



answers from San Francisco on

Geocaching is a great free way to get the whole family outside to explore and exercise. It's a world wide treasure hunt using GPS coordinates.

While most geocachers use a GPS or an iPhone, I know from experience that you can do it without.

Go to and set up a free account. Look for easy (difficulty 1 or 2) geocaches near your home. View the site with a satellite map and zoom in as close as possible. You can print it out so you know where it is when you go off on your hunt. Also print out the hint, the description and previous logs (which may have clues).

You can go on long hikes and find several, or you can look for "urban" caches in your city downtown. In the larger containers, you can find small trinkets to exchange. It's mostly cheap junk, but the kids love it! For smaller caches, you just sign your name.

Great for exploring on vacations and other trips, too.

Have fun!



answers from Chicago on

We walk a lot. I take my kids on a walk whenever we get a chance. We pick up pine cones, look at leaves, etc. It's free, I get exercise and they get tired.



answers from Phoenix on

Dear M.K.,

I think exercising and the other suggestions are very helpful. How about addressing the financial situation so that you aren't so stressed to begin with? Go to He also has a radio program that is on 3 hours a day. I think you can listen to it online. Lots of books and information that is SO practical for everyone at every stage of life. I hope this helps! He's also very fun to listen to! Just saw him live in Phoenix.



Dear M.K.,

I think exercising and the other suggestions are very helpful. How about addressing the financial situation so that you aren't so stressed to begin with? Go to He also has a radio program that is on 3 hours a day. I think you can listen to it online. Lots of books and information that is SO practical for everyone at every stage of life. I hope this helps! He's also very fun to listen to! Just saw him live in Phoenix.



answers from St. Louis on

We love going for bike rides and playing at the park. These are both kid friendly and healthy. Now that it is cooling of a bit (at least where I live) you should be able to spend a bit more time outside playing.

Things with out kids to relieve stress and burn calories: my fav is sex. I love how my body feels afterwards. Sex releases enorphins (sp?) that help reduce stress and if you are the active one you can burn a ton of cal's too!



answers from Chico on

You don't say how old your kids are, but there're a lot of crafty blogs out there if your kids are into crafts, and you can also find printable games and activity ideas. If you search for something they love and "game", you will likely hit a bunch of stuff. One of my favorite blogs is Frugal Family Fun- she does lots of fun things with her 6 and 2 year old kids, and almost all the crafts are cheap or with recycled items. She occasionally does cooking, too. We had a humpty dumpty night the other night, at the urging of my 6 year old. He played teacher, and we all had to make the book of humpty dumpty and then share. It was fun!



answers from Atlanta on

My family an i play video games, you can get a cheap older system, and games to go with it, and the whole family can enjoy. I also used to go to a gym, but due to time and money i stopped. I now have a Wii Fit and use that to work out.



answers from San Francisco on

A free way to get exercise is to use the OnDemand feature if you have cable. I think they do it on both Comcast and AT&T. I LOVE Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, that thing will kick your butt and it's only 27 minutes from warm up to cool down.
As far as inexpensive things to do with kids. We got a year pass to the Oakland Zoo, which was about $80. We pack our lunches and my daughter and I can go any time for free (besides gas and bridge toll).
Best of luck!



answers from Boise on

Fall is a great time for festivals and craft fairs. I would look to see what is happening around there. It is a cheap outing.

For exercise, what about starting with just stretching while watching tv at night? maybe get a dvd?



answers from San Francisco on

I can speak on the the exercise portion of your question. You can tape the different exercise shows that come on and do them when it's a convenient time for you. There are good ones on Tv and they have plenty of variety day to day. Or you can get heaps of different exercise DVDs from Netflix. have a netflix acct just for that.



answers from Colorado Springs on

Um, what Kathy Z. said. She said a lot.

You don't need to be in a gym to move your body, and that's what you want to do.

Oh, and there are many cats in your area in desperate need of a good home, so take that suggestion seriously if you can!


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