Free self-care? Seems pretty basic, but the modern world will tell you that you have to spend a ton of money, go away or at least go to a spa to enjoy the benefits of a little self-care. But I have 7 free and simple ideas for self-care on a budget; and you can start them right now!
I’ve included a few of my favorite quotes on taking care of yourself throughout the article too.
What is self-care?
Self-care is an extremely popular topic right now, as people learn the importance of taking care of themselves in mind, body, and spirit. This is a chance to reduce stress my friends, and we all need that. The first thing you need to know is that “self-care” is very personal and will look different for each person. For many self-care means an expensive trip to the spa or a weekend retreat. But, self-care can be completely free little things that make a big difference. So if you’re on a tight budget or the foo-foo spas aren’t your cup of tea, I have you covered. Here are a few ideas for self-care without spending money.
Free Self-Care Ideas on a Budget
“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”
Take a Bubble Bath
Most of us have loved bubble baths since our childhood; but we rarely make time for them anymore. But a simple warm bubble bath is practically free and can whisk away your worries for a time. First, make sure the kids and the pets are all busy, or if you can manage it, out of the house. Then draw yourself a bath and add your favorite bubbles for a relaxing time (or as long as the bubble last and the water stays warm). I recommend budgeting for some quality organic bubble bath, if you can. If you don’t have any bubbles, a bit of shampoo will work too. Consider lighting a candle, putting on some relaxing music, or reading a good book (consider a bath tray to hold your books, etc). Another option, if you want to spend a little bit is to add a bath bomb or make your own sugar scrub. If you’re feeling under the weather add some Epsom salts to the bath for a little pick me up.
Take a Walk
Taking a walk is the perfect free self-care; and it is totally free. It might seem a little strange but the mind gets tired of seeing the same scenery all the time the same way you get tired of eating the same thing. Getting a change of scenery, even for as little as 15 minutes can do wonders for your mental fatigue. Taking a walk somewhere new not only gives your brain new stimulus it also gives you the opportunity to get fresh air and, if it’s sunny you’ll get some much-needed vitamin D. All of these will help boost your mood and melt your stress away. I recommend you take that walk in a local park or in the woods, somewhere away from the sounds of the modern world; a walk where you can enjoy the pure nature. Remember, take plenty of water with you, especially in the warmer months.
“When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Pray, Meditate and Try Yoga with a Youtube Video
You don’t have to go on an expensive retreat or spend a ton on a yoga class to get the amazing stress-relieving benefits of prayer, meditation and yoga. These days you can find it completely free on Youtube. That’s right; you don’t even have to leave your house to give it a try! You may have to do a bit of searching to find the video and creator that best fits your needs and desires, but with thousands of videos available it won’t be hard to find a video that vibes.
“An empty lantern provides no light.
Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.”
Invite Your Best Friend Over
When was the last time you sat around the living room with your bestie chatting or contemplating the universe? Brew a pot of coffee, set the tea kettle on or pour a glass of wine, if that’s your thing; enjoy a mug or a glass with your favorite friend. Is your friend not local? How about calling a friend? Set aside some time to give them a call; make sure they have time to chat first. I have found that setting some time aside to catch up with your best friend does amazing things for your heart and mind.
Alternative? If you don’t have a best friend, consider a close family member.
Unplug from Electronics
I love social media but computers, phones, tablets and TV shouldn’t be invading every hour of our day! Even if you can’t step away for hours, for some fresh air; you can step away from the electronics. Turn off your cell phone / tablet, step away from social media, and unplug. You’ll find your stress levels go down and you won’t feel like you’re in such a rush anymore. Plus there won’t be any “keeping up with the Jones’” to do.
Do Some Gardening
Finally, I couldn’t talk about self-care without at least mentioning gardening; a personal favorite! What’s the say? Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. With a garden, you get all the benefits of being outdoors plus so much more. Studies have shown that gardening can decrease depression and anxiety, teach mindfulness, while also boosting your mood! It also gets your body moving in new and interesting ways. Even if your garden is just a few pots in your window sill, taking care of your garden means taking care of yourself.
Make a List
One of the ways I self-care is to write a list of blessings. This helps me to focus on all the good things going on in my life, instead of the stresses. You just need a pen a paper (or use a word program on your computer). I like to play some happy music during this time too. Some will go as far as creating a gratitude journal; something to do if you have this mental exercise rewarding. Spending time and energy on the good things in your life help you regain a positive outlook without costing you anything financially. It is definitely worth the time and energy.
Self-care isn’t selfish! Take time out each day for a little free self-care with these ideas. And don’t be afraid to take time away when your budget and schedule allows for it. And, hey, if your budget allows for a weekend trip to the spa…go for it!
And hey, guys, self-care isn’t just for the ladies!
How do you take care of yourself? Leave your homemade self care ideas in the comments.
Love yourself enough to set boundaries.
Your time and energy are precious.
You get to choose how you use it.
You teach people how to treat you by deciding
what you will and won’t accept.”
– Anna Taylor