With an uncertain economy continually looming over our heads, most Americans understandably are feeling stressed about money, so spending a ton of it to combat stress is probably not going to help the situation. Fortunately, stress relief doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. In fact, some of the most fun stress relievers don't cost anything at all.

Here are five fun ways to manage stress without breaking the bank:

1) Host a potluck dinner party. You have to have dinner anyway, so why not invite friends over? With everyone bringing a dish, it won't cost much and it's a great opportunity to connect with friends. 

2) Invite your favorite people over for a comedy movie night. There is no better stress reliever than laughter, and laughing with your BFFs makes it even better!

3) Vacation in places where you have family or friends that you really enjoy hanging out with. Staying with them instead of a hotel will save a ton of money, and reconnecting with friends or relatives who you don't get to see often can be very energizing and replenishing. 

4) Use free public facilities, such as parks, beaches, libraries, and local sports leagues, to get away from stress for little or no cost. If you're planning to make a day of it, pack a lunch to avoid the expense of eating out.

5) Reconnect with nature. A little sunlight, listening to the sounds of nature, breathing in the fresh air, feeling the wind on your face ... a great, cost-free and immediate way to reduce stress that sadly most people don't often think to do.

What are some fun, low-cost ways you reduce stress? Feel free to share them with readers below.

I hope you have a great 2013! Until next time, be well and stress less!

© 2013 Sherrie Bourg Carter, All Rights Reserved

Follow Dr. Bourg Carter on Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon's Author Page.

Sherrie Bourg Carter is the author of High Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout (Prometheus Books, 2011).

About the Author

Sherrie Bourg Carter Psy.D.

Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D., psychologist and author of "High Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout," specializes in the area of women and stress.

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