Sometimes life just gets so hard and stressful and hopefully during those rough times, it will be a reminder to stop and remember to take some time for yourself and do something good for yourself, whether it be physically, emotionally or mentally. This leads to what the practice of self care is: the practice of taking care of your physical, emotional and mental well-being.
I used to think taking time for myself needed to be this extravagant and expensive thing, don’t get me wrong, it definitely can be, but self care is so important and it doesn’t have to be expensive at all. It can actually be pretty affordable and simple!
Below are 10 affordable self care ideas anyone can do!
1. DIY Spa Day
There’s something so relaxing about taking a nice bath with some Epsom salts and drops of essential oil. You can also do a nice face mask during or after the bath. And I love picking up Dollar Tree nail filers and nail polish (so inexpensive) to do a nice manicure and/or pedicure. You can also light your favorite candles to go along with the whole at-home spa experience too.
2. Socialize with Loved Ones
Spend some quality time with family members and friends. I love the energy I always get after hanging out with people who I know genuinely love and support me. I love to drop by my mom’s garden to hang out and talk with her while she does her thing. Or sometimes just a Zoom call or FaceTime call can help me feel better too. Hanging out with people who care about you can help you feel like you belong and that you are loved no matter what.
Journaling can be so therapeutic and it has so many other benefits too — it allows you to release emotions and gain a better understanding of who you are. You can start by writing down your thoughts, your feelings, or really anything that comes to your mind, there really are no rules to journaling. Put pen to paper and express yourself as you wish.
4. Indulge In Your Favorite Meal
You can prepare a nutritious and delicious home cooked meal or order take out on something delicious. Find somewhere cozy to eat your meal, whether that be in your backyard, picnic style or in your bed with a nice movie or some good music on, it’ll for sure feel like such a treat.
There’s nothing quite like unwinding with a good book or audiobook that interests you. Whichever you choose, it’s a good way to escape from every day stressors.
I love seeing my favorite book, it’s like seeing someone who brings you comfort after a long day. I love getting comfortable in my favorite reading spot and getting lost in a book.
6. Listen To Music
I love creating a playlist with all of my favorite songs and listening and singing along to them. If I’m too lazy to create a playlist, I always start with my favorite Disney songs, they always put me in a good mood and make me feel like a little kid again. It’s a bit silly, but it works and you really just need any music that will bring you joy!
7. Create Art
Do any form of art — my favorite is just to free paint, color or draw something. Creating art allows you to express yourself and there’s nothing more freeing than that. It’s such a satisfying and fulfilling process to just be absorbed in the present moment and it’s also a great stress reliever because it provides a good mental break.
8. Go Be Outside In Nature
There’s so much you can do outside. My favorite thing to do is to just take a quick stroll around the block. I also like to go walking on a new trail where I feel like I am more aware of my surroundings and am able to appreciate nature even more. I also love an excuse to pick up my favorite snacks or meal and head out for a picnic under a shaded tree and just enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.
9. Do Something Kind For Others
Have you ever noticed that doing something nice for others makes you feel better? It doesn’t have to be complicated or a huge commitment. You can find some sort of a volunteer opportunity such as at a local animal shelter, or volunteering at a food pantry. Or it can just be maybe baking some treats for a neighbor. A small act of kindness can help you and those around you feel better which can help with your self care.
10. Take A Digital Detox
I know this one can be hard (speaking from experience here), but start small and slow without your phone for just an hour and work your way up to hopefully a whole day of no technology and screens. When I started, I would start by just not taking my phone on our family walks around the block, then I would leave my phone at home while we went to the playground and you can slowly build up from there. If I don’t have it on me, I won’t touch it and I find that I am so much more present and happy about it afterwards, too.
Remember that you are worthy of taking time to take care of yourself however you see fit and that it you can do it in an affordable way too. Hopefully the activities that you choose to do will help you to feel less stressed, feel more balanced and to be a happier you.