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Three simple, inexpensive DIY ways to help you relax.

Everyday life can be hectic, and sometimes you need to focus on you. If you need to, give one (or all) of these DIY stress-relieving activities a try. They’re budget-friendly, easy ways to unwind and clear your mind.

Get creative and make some art

Remember when you were younger, and one of your favorite things was pulling out art supplies and letting your imagination run wild? Who says that as an adult you can’t do the same thing? Any kind of art can be a soothing and relaxing activity, and you probably have supplies already laying around your house. Some fun activities include:

1.  Grab an adult coloring book (or your kids might even have one for you to use!). All you need are markers, colored pencils or crayons, and you’re ready to go. You don’t even need a coloring book – any sort of paper will do.

2. You probably have a stack of magazines somewhere. Use these, some scissors and glue, and create a collage, a mood board or a vision board. These are all great ways to show your creativity and focus your thoughts.

3. Become a sculptor with modeling clay or even play dough. If you don’t have any, you can make your own play dough at home. A simple online search shows tons of recipes with ingredients that may already be in your kitchen.

Create a tabletop Zen garden

You may be asking yourself, what exactly is a tabletop Zen garden? They’re dry-landscaped, miniature versions of large Japanese outdoor gardens. Their purpose? To help relax you by “tending” to it. Here’s what you can do to create one:

1. Find a shallow bowl, box or plate. This doesn’t have to be fancy or big. You just want to ensure the sides are high enough to keep everything in.

2. Fill the container with fine sand. Any color is fine, and most craft stores have sand available for cheap. The finer the sand, the better you can see your Zen designs!

3. Add rocks, trinkets, small plants that don’t require much care, or whatever you want. If you add plants, make sure you put some soil under the sand.

4. Find a small wooden rake at a craft store, a small wooden skewer, or even a fork, and start swirling through the sand to make cool designs. The best part? If you don’t like what you’ve done, gently shake the box and start over.

Flex your green thumb with indoor plants

Gardening a pretty relaxing activity, so why not bring it indoors? The options are pretty much endless with what you can do, and it definitely doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some options for any kind of space:

1. If you have the space, you could go big with a variety of potted plants. Head to any garden or hardware store and pick up already grown plants that do well indoors. These could include Pothos, a Jade plant, air plants, spider plants, aloe… there are tons of options. Just remember, if you have pets, some plants may not be safe for them, so do your research. For planters, you could either buy them, or find free or cheap planters on any number of freecycle websites.

2. If you don’t have a ton of space, a windowsill herb garden is a great option. Herbs and herb seeds are pretty cheap and easy to grow. Again, you could find inexpensive, small planters at hardware or garden stores, or free or cheap online. Some of the easiest herbs to grow indoors are basil, rosemary, oregano and chives – all delicious options to add to your cooking and baking!

3. If you don’t really have a green thumb, a succulent or cactus garden is the way to go. These plants require minimal water and can tolerate all levels of sunlight. Using any kind of planter, fill it with dirt and whatever small succulents or cacti you choose. Some of the easiest ones to grow indoors include the Zebra cactus, lithops, Hen and Chicks, Jade and the star cactus. Water it and let it grow – this type of garden is pretty hands off.

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