Reduce Stress Now! 5 Cheap And Easy Ways For Busy Moms To Feel Less Stressed!

2018 is here and if I could only have one goal for the new Year, I would have to choose to reduce stress. I know, who wouldn’t like to be less stressed, right? But, seriously, stress can affect your life in so many ways- think physical, mental, and emotional health- so aiming to reduce stress should be a lofty goal all of us strive for.

Feel Less Stressed! 5 Ways to Reduce Stress!

However, saying we should try to be less stressed is not as easy as it should be- especially for us busy mommas! Between family, work, and all of the other obligations I have, finding time for me is often more difficult than I like. This means that I let myself slip between the cracks more times than I should.

I figure that I’m not the only momma who feels this way, so I compiled a list of easy, and cheap, ways to reduce stress for busy mommas.

1. Learn to meditate.
Meditation can help reduce stress, help with concentration, help with self awareness, and increase happiness. That’s a lot of benefits! Plus, meditation does not have to take a lot of your time. I always thought that you needed to meditate for hours at a time in order for it to be effective (I have no idea why I thought that.). However, just setting aside a few minutes a day can help drastically change your mood.
Afraid that it wont work for you?   There are plenty of free resources online or at your local library and on Amazon Prime to help you determine if this is a way for you to reduce stress. I started my research online and then found some materials on Amazon.
Use meditation to reduce stress in your life.
Meditation is a great way to lower your stress level.
2. Exercise.
“Exercise gives you endorphins; endorphins make you happy.” Thank you Legally Blonde. There are several options to make this feasible for you. You can work out at home following different personalities on YouTube, Facebook, or even Amazon Prime for free. Or you can always go to your local library and check out workout DVD’s. Many gyms also give free memberships for a specific amount of time to lure customers in. You can try different gyms, machines, and routines to see what works for you without spending a dime. Plus- many gyms have free childcare for members! Your kids can be playing and socializing while you reduce stress! Win-win!
Exercise has been proven to be beneficial when trying to reduce stress.
Many gyms offer a free trial period giving you a chance to make sure it is a good fit before you are obligated to pay anything!
3. Find a hobby.
I know that it seems like I’m forgetting about the busy part but hear me out. I write when I’m stressed. Right now I’m writing this on my phone while my husband drives me to work. By the time I get there I will feel less stressed (even if it is minimally) and be able to focus on my job. I also write with my kiddos. Two of my girls are creating their own content because they want their own blogs. While I definitely don’t get as much written with my chatterboxes as I do when writing alone, it is a way to relax and bond with my babies.
Try making a list of activities you enjoy doing. They don’t have to be complicated or cost money to do. Do you enjoy reading? You can squeeze in 10-15 minutes to read before bed. What about skydiving? Schedule yourself a jump once a month. A hobby is not necessarily something you do every single day.
Sample ideas:
  • Horseback riding
  • Painting
  • Dancing
  • Coloring
  • Writing
  • Graphic design
  • Photography
Reduce stress by finding a hobby.
Even if it is trying something new, finding a hobby can greatly reduce stress in your life.
4. Take time for you.
The only thing this costs you is your time. Take a bath after the kids are down. Or, maybe you just need to go take a nap. Ooooh, a nap.
Want to read a book? Schedule yourself 15 minutes 3 times a week and take that time to read that book. Even if you are just doing it while you are sitting in the car line, or right after the kids go to bed take this time for yourself. I have even heard a rumor that some people are morning people and like to get up before the kids to do things for themselves! I’m not one of those people but I have met some.
Going back to the previous way to reduce stress,  perhaps you would like to take a class to develop a new hobby. Do it! Invest in yourself. Your family will thank you.
Reduce stress by taking time for yourself.
If you are stressed out it can be difficult to take care of those you love. Take some time for YOU.
5. Take time to enjoy your kiddos.
I remember that during a time we had something like 12 weeks in a row of not having a weekend that wasn’t booked solid with activities for the kids. One weekend we decided that we need to just take time for ourselves. After canceling any premade plans, we loaded the kids in the van and drove to the beach. My husband and I relaxed in the sun while the kids built sandcastles and soaked each other with squirt guns in the surf. We ate sandwiches and chips while our youngest marveled at the seagulls. Staying until the sun relaxed into the Gulf of Mexico, we felt refreshed as the kids fell asleep on the drive home.
Now, obviously not everyone lives within driving distance to the beach. Check out National Parks, or even city parks, near you. It doesn’t have to cost money or even be far to relax with your kids. Rent a movie and build a fort in your living room!
Lower stress levels by enjoying time with your kids.
Family time is a great (and fun) way to reduce your stress level.
Are there any other ways that you reduce stress in your life? Leave ideas in the comments!

Check out: My meal planning mini series to reduce stress when planning meals! Start with PART 1 HERE.

Sausage, Potatoes, and Onion- Quick, Easy, and Cheap Go-To Dinner

quick, easy, cheap, dinner, sausage, saving time, saving money, saving sanityMy usual requirements for a favorite dinner include easy, cheap, and fast. I mean, I’ll cook other meals, but those three boxes need to be checked if it is a meal that I’m going to cook often.

Last night we returned home after evacuating for eight days and needed a quick, easy, and cheap meal. Hurricane Irma ravaged my area but we were extremely lucky. Other than minor damage, our house was standing and our family was safe together. We did, however, lose power for 5 days causing everything in our fridge and freezers (we have a deep freezer as well) to expire.

To complicate things, the stores within a close proximity were either still out of power or recovering from losing power. The stores my husband ventured into were full of people even if many shelves were empty. Dinner was going to be a slight challenge.

empty shelves, Hurricane, no power, quick dinner, easy dinner, cheap dinner
Some of the empty shelves after Hurricane Irma.

While he was searching the stores, I was scouring the pantry. I found that somehow we still had potatoes and a couple of onions. Right then he called to say that he found some of the Hillshire Farms sausage that we like on sale- three of them for five bucks. Score!

I knew what we were going to have for dinner and it checked all three boxes. And it is delicious. Perfect for our first home cooked meal after an extended time away.

We are a family of seven, so if you are a smaller family you can obviously use less of the ingredients.

Ingredients

  • Beef smoked sausage (2 of them)
  • 6 large potatoes (I only had small potatoes and beggars can’t be choosers)
  • 1 large onion (again…you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit. Ignore my miniature onion.)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or grapeseed oil

Steps

  1. Slice up potatoes, onions, and sausage. 
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Place frying pan on stove and turn to medium high heat in order to preheat.
  4. Drizzle the oil into a glass pan.
  5. Add potatoes and onions.
  6. Toss with oil and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. 
  7. Place in oven at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.
  8. In the meantime, place sausage slices in the frying pan. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. Let cook for 4 minutes and check for desired doneness on the side that is down. My kiddos think that anything slightly dark is burnt; my hubby and I like crispy edges. If you are cooking for a small army, like me, you will need to do batches.
  9. Drain sausage on napkins.
  10. Add sausage to potatoes and mix.
  11. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through (tender enough for a fork to pierce through without mushing the potato)
  12. Top with sour cream if desired and enjoy!!!

Hopefully your family will enjoy this dinner as much as mine does. What are some of your go-to dinners? Leave me ideas in the comments!