De-Stress After Tax Day For $20 Or Less

De-Stress After Tax Day For $20 Or Less

Tax Day is over, and all of us are breathing a collective sigh of relief. Thank goodness we survived, but now we're exhausted. What we really need is to kick back and de-stress for a day.

But de-stressing doesn’t mean spending a lot of money. (Especially if you’ve just written a check to Uncle Sam.) Follow our guide for the five best ways to reward yourself for a job well done...for $20 or less:

Take A Day Trip To Nowhere.

Sometimes the best way to de-stress is to get out of town for the day--especially this time of year, when flowers are starting to bloom. So, choose an out-of-the-way location that's easily accessible by commuter bus, train route, or car. Pack a lunch and head for the open road, bicycle path, or beach for the day. If you don’t have a destination in mind, check out America’s Byways to find the most scenic places near you. For the most complete de-stressing, turn off your cell phone before you leave.

Spend An Hour In A Café With A Good Book.

A tall latte, a quiet corner, and a good mystery novel is all we need. Alibris is our favorite place to get used books at great prices. For e-books, we like Fictionwise, where every purchase earns you a credit (sometimes as much as 100%) that you can use to buy future books.

Give Yourself A Yummy Face Treatment.

You’ll not only feel refreshed but you'll also look refreshed. You can use simple household ingredients, many of which you probably already have, to create a great mask for your skin type. (If you try the clay mask recipe that includes cat litter, let us know how it turns out!) Though we generally stick to more traditional ingredients, we've done made great masks with grocery store ingredients including bananas, oatmeal, avocado, and honey. While you’re at the supermarket, pick up a paraffin block in the canning section, and make a paraffin wax treatment for your hands and feet.

Have An At-Home Movie Marathon.

You can brave the crowds and high prices at your local movie theater, or you can treat yourself to a double feature in your own home. We vote for home: Pop some microwave popcorn, turn out the lights, pull down the shades and prepare to tune out from the world. If you sign up for DVD rental service redbox, your first movie is free. We’re partial to Up in the Air.

Get A Fabulous Haircut.

Few things make us feel as treated as getting a nice hot shampoo and scalp massage, followed by a haircut that gives us a brand-new look. Gorgeous hair doesn’t have to set you back—you can often get an inexpensive haircut at a beauty school or newly opening salon, or by asking an established salon to have one of its junior staff cut your hair. We paid $18 to get our hair cut by a student at the Aveda Institute, and our friend (who was guinea pig for the style they were practicing that day) had her hair cut for free. A great article from NY Magazine lists lots of salons with training times.

Until then, enjoy the zen.

Minda is vice president of The American Society of Journalists and Authors, and co-author of The Geek Gap.

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