Refresh and unwind on a dime

Relaxation doesn’t require a tropical vacation. From a new do to a belly laugh, there are many inexpensive and fun ways to re-energize your life without wrecking your budget.

Take in the arts
Clear your head with comedy and culture at Nashville’s original Shakespeare in the Park.

“Nothing refreshes the body and spirit so thoroughly as a good belly laugh, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) is sure to elicit many,” said Denice Hicks, artistic director of the Festival.

Shakespeare in the Park is a great cheap date or affordable family outing that runs Thursdays through Sundays now through Sept. 13 at Centennial Park Bandshell.

Take in the sweet evening air, admire the glorious summer sky and laugh yourself silly at the show. And you can bring your dog, too!

Get a checkup from the neck up

A great way to perk yourself up is to shed a few layers with an updated hairdo according to Shana Taylor, owner of No Limits Salon on Church St. in Nashville.

"A haircut lets you shed layers literally and symbolically," Taylor said. "If you look great, you'll feel great. It's cyclical."

She recommends adding color to your hair to uplift your spirits and add pizazz to your life as the wild summer months fade into the calmer fall. "You want a look that's going to get comments. If someone says your hair looks great, that will make your whole day better."

Consider a hands-on approach

Is your stress causing your back ache or is it the other way around? If you’re not sure, then a holistic approach to finding ease in your life may be necessary.

Massage therapy is an obvious choice and many masseurs may be willing to come down a bit on their prices if their business is slow. Another way to work out your body’s kinks is chiropractic treatment.

“Nearly half of my patients come in regularly for a wellness visit,” said Christopher May, a licensed chiropractor in Nashville. “You never can tell how it’s going to improve things.”

He said chiro adjustments may help alleviate headaches and other aches and pains that prevent your from sleeping well – and that’s one less stress factor in your life.

Sweat away the stress

Nashville is brimming with funky fitness options that offer a fun way to get fit and de-stress. (See our related story about Pure Barre fitness classes.)

The Academy of Performing Arts in Donelson offers pilates classes for the GLBT community taught by instructor Megan Hall. "It's a safe, low-impact way to tone your muscles and lose weight," Hall said. "It's a bit more intense than regular yoga, but just as relaxing."

Other alternative fitness options in the Middle Tennessee area include pole dancing, hot yoga, hula-hoop classes and burlesque lessons.

Shake up your sanctuary
Your home is your castle and should be your favorite place to unwind. Making your abode feel like new again can awaken your space and your spirits.

“I find one of the best remedies to rearrange your home and refresh your life is to begin with de-cluttering,” said Gary Baugher, a home stager and owner of An Eye 4 Change in Nashville.

Remove and pack away items you haven’t used for a while, move furniture and accessories around the house to make a room feel like new, bring in warm, dark colors for fall and winter and let in the natural sunlight.

“Think minimalist,” Baugher said. “And sit back, take a deep breath and enjoy.”

Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

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