In recent years, there have been more and more discussions about the importance and practice of self care. Psychologists, employers and motivational speakers are among the professionals who have encouraged individuals to take a break from the chaos of daily stress to focus on their physical and emotional well-being.
However, some common self-care practices like pampering at salons, relaxing massages and lavish spa treatments often come at a high cost. These activities could be remarkable for a ‘treat’ day; however, there are a number of other ways to practice self-care. Below are some tips on practicing self care on a budget:
1. Take Small Steps to a Healthier You
Drink a lot of water and strive to eat mainly healthy foods. Not only does this improve the appearance of your skin, but it contributes to you looking and feeling better both emotionally and physically. What goes into your body is extremely essential; therefore, if you are unable to eat healthily on an ongoing basis, still consume as much water as possible. If this is the only thing you can do right now, it will still make a significant difference towards becoming a healthier version of yourself.
2. Engage in Physical Activities
Studies have revealed that becoming physically active can assist in positively changing your mood and by extension, enhancing your general well-being. Human beings were created to exercise and regularly move our body; however, some of us are good at coming up with excuses not to.
While working out might not sound as pleasing as sitting down and relaxing, it is something to try and see how it works for you. As a self-care practice, you can consider going for a walk alone or with the family at a park or on the beach, participating in ball games or chasing the children around the park. Additionally, you could also engage in swimming as it is low impact, remarkable and does not have to be as exhausting as other sports since you can benefit from a gentle, mindful swim.
3. Invest Some Time Into Cooking Your Favorite Meal
If you have been cooking only quick and easy meals lately, you can break out a favorite recipe, go shopping for the ingredients and spend some time cooking one of your most-beloved meals. It could be something filling and hearty or a baked treat you haven’t had in a while.
If you can’t think of something you would like to treat yourself with, you could use this as an opportunity to research exciting new recipes. This could also be rolled into a productivity victory by prepping your meals or creating a meal plan for the upcoming week.
4. Do At-home or Skincare Beauty Treatment
The responsibilities of life and the price tag of certain treatments can make it quite difficult to go to the spa or salon to be pampered. This makes it easier for these little indulgent treatments to fall by the wayside for either financial or practical reasons.
To successfully execute a pampering treatment at home, you can paint your nails, use a relaxing face mask (the peel off versions are less messy) or take a little more time to enjoy a more indulgent skincare routine. This doesn’t only provide you with that self-care experience, but it is an investment in looking and feeling better for many days.
5. De-clutter Your Wardrobe
Doing this is among those self-care guidelines that have a double positive effect; you are taking time out to do something for yourself but your space will also benefit from its lasting effect. De-cluttering and sorting through your wardrobe can be remarkably transformative. This is because you get dressed every day and this could provide a way of making those moments more positive. In addition, there is the feel-good bonus you can get from recycling clothing or donating items you no longer need.
6. Read a New Book
Similar to other activities, reading is among those interests that you seemingly never have enough time to enjoy. There is always someone or something else calling for your attention.
You can develop or rekindle your love for reading by buying or borrowing a new book. Visit your local library (you could perhaps combine this with a stop at the coffee shop) and get something new to read. There is also the option of downloading an eBook to your eReader or phone.
7. Watch or Do Something That Ignites Laughter
Most self-care activities or moments involve feeling relaxed and calm; however, laughter provides another way by which you can take care of your soul. Binge-watching shows is not exactly the best self-care activity but you can sit down, get cozy and watch a couple of sitcoms or funny movie.
If you prefer a more active experience, you can load up your playlist and have a dance party around the living room. If you do this with the kids, it is almost guaranteed that you will all end up laughing and enjoying a feel-good moment.
8. Rearrange a Room
Whether or not you are into interior design and décor, this could be a great way to lift your spirits and give your space an updated look. You can consider giving a room a makeover to produce more comfort and relaxation. Not only is this fun, but it is also an investment in your well-being.
9. Paint, Draw or Be Creative
There is a reason adult coloring has become more and more popular; being creative has a way of providing relaxation. Whether you are enjoying coloring in a scene or consciously creating a masterpiece, spending some time with no distractions and art materials is an incredible way to relax and unwind.
If you don’t know where to start or you don’t feel as if you are a naturally creative person, you can consider enrolling in online courses and learning new things.
10. Have a Specialty Tea or Coffee as a Treat
If you are a tea or coffee drinker, this is something that is regularly featured in your daily life. The first cup of coffee in the morning or that cup of tea before bedtime becomes part of your routine. To turn that moment into something special, you should consider treating yourself to a specialty hot drink every so often. This could be a seasonal drink at your favorite spot or make a flavored coffee drink at home. You can find plenty of coffee recipes online. For some additional self-care points, take a friend or sit, sip slowly and enjoy by yourself with a good book.
11. Make Journal Entries or Write in Your Blog
Writing can be quite a rewarding and relaxing way to relish in a bit of self care. When you are feeling burned out or overwhelmed, you can make journal entries or create a blog post. Sitting down and transferring your thoughts to notes is almost therapeutic, whether digitally or by hand. Your writing could have a purpose like starting a gratitude list or writing down goals. Otherwise, it could be free writing that involves writing about whatever comes to mind without any plan or agenda.
12. Listen to Empowering Podcasts
There is no denying the busyness of life these days as there are lots of batons to juggle. It seems as if there is always somewhere that needs tidying or cleaning and it can feel like no time is left to learn or read. Podcasts provide a remarkable way of introducing or re-introducing learning, skills development or positivity back into your life.
You can play an episode while exercising, commuting or doing chores. You could also consider listening to a podcast that relates to a task you are undertaking as that could motivate you to get it done. It could also provide inspiration for the rest of the day.
13. Watch Your Favorite YouTubers
Watching a few of your favorites on YouTube is a great way to take a break and refresh your mind. Doing this provides an easy route for a temporary escape, opens up an avenue to learn something new or to get motivation to take on a task you have been putting off. You can find channels that deal with your hobbies and other areas of interest.
14. Add Some Florals or Greenery
Indoor plants provide a remarkable way to transform the look and feel of different spaces around the home. Adding this greenery can really add interest, brighten up a space and provide you with something to take care of.
Pick a few flowers from your garden. You can also find affordable places to purchase new plants or buy a bouquet of fresh flowers from your local grocery store or market. For an extra dose of self care, you can also walk around the local garden center and take in the sights and aromas.
15. Write a ‘Gratefulness’ List
Often, there are lots of little and big things for which to be grateful that we fail to acknowledge because of the busyness of life. Writing a list of things for which you are thankful is an easy way to appreciate the people, moments and things in your life. Put whatever you are grateful for on the list and think about each item for a few moments before proceeding on to the next. You can even keep your gratefulness lists together in a single book and flick through it as a way of centering yourself whenever you feel overwhelmed.
16. Take a ‘Digital Break’
Nowadays, it is almost impossible to fully escape the digital world. In fact, a number of individuals earn a living and keep connected to family, friends, colleagues and customers through digital platforms. However, taking an intentional break from social media and other forms of digital technology every now and again is a good self-care practice.
Taking a little break from your digital devices might mean putting away your computer, TV remote and even your phone for a designated period. This ‘digital detox’ can assist you in feeling more present in your own life. This could be made into a daily habit; for example, no digital technology first thing in the morning or for an hour or so before bedtime.
17. Organize a Project You Have Been Longing To Do
If you have a project you have been putting off because it’s a huge task, you can plan the project in a way that will use smaller steps to get the job done. This can be quite an uplifting experience, especially if the project is a goal you want to achieve or something you are really excited about. This could include making a career change, planning a dream holiday or writing a book.
18. Revisit Somewhere You Enjoyed Visiting
Budget-friendly self-care activities are often viewed as things done in the home. The clichés include things like lighting a candle and taking a bath. While these are great activities, one of the most relaxing methods of topping up your self-care mug is by stepping outdoors and revisiting a place you love.
19. Generate and Listen to a Playlist
Music can be used to change how we view what we are doing or even how we are living. Grooving to or singing along with music on your playlists can be very motivating, particularly if you are struggling with getting a task done.
Browse through the existing playlists or create your own by finding songs you love that speak to the different moments and moods of your life. For example, a throwback playlist can remind you of moments and memories you previously enjoyed.
20. Call a Friend or Send Him/Her a Message
If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed or lost, getting in touch with a friend can significantly improve your mood. There is just something about being able to catch up with someone who cares, make plans, have coffee or simply chat about a favorite TV show or book. If your friends are not available for a chat, you could join a social media group that is centered around one of your hobbies and engage in conversation with its members.
21. Relish in Rest and Relaxation
Throughout your lifetime, sleep plays a pivotal role in achieving good health and well-being. Getting a sufficient amount of quality sleep can assist in protecting your physical health, mental health, safety and overall quality of life.
You could also consider having one day to sleep in by disarming your alarm. Having an alarm go off on week days can be quite exhausting. If you don’t work on the weekend or have a day off during the week, keep the alarm off and wake up when your body tells you to.
22. Enjoy Nature and Its Offering
Go outside and spend as much time as possible in nature. There is nothing quite like winding down with a picturesque hike after a long, hard day. The same is true for sitting on the beach and listening to the sound of the waves. Nature has a way of reminding us of the beauty by which we are surrounded and how blessed we are to be able to engage all our senses in the offerings of nature. Spending time in nature can be quite a therapeutic experience as well.
If you are unable to go outside and explore nature, weather permitting, you should consider opening up the windows and letting the sounds of nature and some fresh air fill the space. Just sitting in your yard and breathing in some fresh air for a period of time each day can assist in calming your nerves.
23. Don’t Feel Guilty About Practicing Self Care
Some people view taking time for themselves to be a pretty selfish thing to do; however, it’s not. It is a necessary aspect of self care in which you should participate from time to time, without feeling guilty.
When we invest time in caring for ourselves, everyone else will benefit as well. Self care is our fuel. Essentially, taking a break from our regular duties enables us to more clearly see things and not an act of procrastination.