Manila is a city of contrasts. It can be, for you, either a hub of gourmet treats and stylish nights out, or it can be the city of hustle and bustle, of stress and overtime shifts—depending on the day. Whichever way you look at it, Manila can get you down and off your feet in an instant. When you’ve suddenly been hit by the Manila blues, here are five ways to pick yourself back up without breaking your budget—at least not by much.
Read a book
There’s no better way to escape the grime and stressors of your own life than to pick up a book and enter a whole new—sometimes better—world altogether. A book can be many things and it can be about many things so it’s perfect for whatever murderous mood you’re in.
You can either pick up a book from your own collection, perhaps a classic or one you’ve been raring to read, or you can head over to your nearest library. Try the Ortigas Library or the Goethe Institut Library if you have the time. Arguably the best part about going to a library is when the work nagging at the back of your mind gets too overwhelming. You can easily bring your laptop and other materials to work at a more focused and stress-free environment.
You’ve possibly heard all about the benefits of yoga on your stress-levels many times before. But otherwise, the news about yoga being a godsend on both your waistline and your health is no jest. If you need a day to flex your muscles and to calm both your mind and mood, practicing yoga can be an excellent choice.
You can take yoga classes at your preferred gym, but if that entails too much work for your wallet, you can always download or watch videos online. There are many great yoga videos for both experienced and basic practitioners on Youtube and other websites you can take advantage of. If you think working with an instructor is best, you can find deals on yoga sessions too. The best news? You can destress while getting in shape at the same time. Now that’s a treat.
Go to an art museum
Grey walls for breakfast, lunch, and dinner can make even the most positive of us grumpy. In this case, the common idea ‘to spice things up’ may be of some use to you. If you’re a certified culture vulture, a connoisseur of all things beautiful, or even if you’re new to the art scene, here’s a way to get color back into your face.
Going to an art museum can be both enjoyable and cheap—in the most high brow sense possible. If you do have a handful more in your budget, you have spectacular options to choose from like the Mind Museum in Taguig or the Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo. If, however, you want something that won’t cost a cent, you can choose to visit the Cultural Center of the Philippines art gallery which is free of charge.
Watch a movie
There are few words that can describe the comfort of watching a film favorite while curled up beside the air conditioner on your comfortable mattress. Watching a movie doesn’t always have to be a big production—popcorn and a date in tow. It can be a relaxing evening by yourself with Elizabeth Bennet or The Avengers. If your future stressed-out self ever craves for a relaxing evening, you know what to do.
If you think watching television by yourself is too pathetic, then you must try catching the free film showings all over the metro. If you didn’t know, film festivals are quite popular. The French Film Festival, the Chinese Film Festival, and many others like it tend to pop-up out of the blue. Best to keep abreast of these showings for future reference.
Go to a park
Studies have shown that looking at the environment for a portion of your day can relax your senses and increase your focus. As work cubicles in the city aren’t very easy on the eyes, you may need to head elsewhere for your daily dose of green.
Ever get the feeling that breathing becomes difficult when you’re stressed? If this happens to you—or even if it doesn’t—try heading to the park nearest you for a soothing afternoon. There are a number of clean and interesting parks in the city where you can visit when you’re simply too tired or too frustrated. Visiting parks can also be an avenue for more activities you can do. Flying a kite, riding a bike, or having a picnic are all good examples to calm your nerves.
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