Many of us simply don’t recognize just how important self-care is. While the idea of applying a face mask or getting in an hour of yoga doesn’t seem like it would be that beneficial, you’re wrong. In fact, studies have shown that those who practice self-care experience a number of benefits, including improved sleep and higher self-esteem.
If you’re in need of some self-care and you’re not sure where to start, the guide below is going to give you all the ideas for self-care on a budget. Because we shouldn’t have to spend lots to take care of ourselves, right? From running a hot bath at the end of a stressful day to taking an hour away from screens to read a self-improvement book, there are many ways to better your mental health with self-care.
Ready to learn more about self-care on a budget? We have you covered with so many great, budget-friendly ideas that are going to make you feel so good! Let’s take a look at how you can practice self-care without spending lots of money.
Tips To Practice Self Care On A Budget
There are so many ways you can practice self-care directly from the comfort of your home. Setting aside a certain amount of time each week to do something good for yourself not only makes you feel better in the short-term (and long-run) but you’ll discover new things too.
Many people use the age-old excuse that they don’t have time to do something, but taking the time to practice self-care is super important. Here are 10 tips on how you can create a self-care routine while working with a budget.
1. Go outdoors
Getting outside is beneficial for our health and especially our state of mind. Spending time in nature has been found to help with a number of mental health issues inclusive of depression and anxiety. Especially during the winter months, we can get really affected by the lack of sunlight which can develop into SAD (seasonal affective disorder), so getting out into the sunshine where possible is a great way to practice self-care. Nature can be highly effective in helping to reduce stress, too, from the sights to the sounds of birds chirping; there are lots to take in when outside.
If you can, try to get outside for a short walk at least every day. Longer walks can be a great unwinding activity over the weekend and contribute to the well-being and better sleep. You’ll also tire your body out if you’re more active too as well as lose weight if you often walk enough, which can be an excellent confident-booster.
2. Clean your space
Having a clean and decluttered space can contribute to a better state of mind and allows you to think more clearly. Studies have shown that those who have messy homes or more things laying around are more prone to stress. While the idea of cleaning your home or bedroom may seem like a chore, you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction by the end, and you will benefit with a relaxing space to retreat to.
You don’t need any fancy cleaning products to give your home space a bit of a makeover. In fact, regular cleaning spray will do and a hoover for any carpets. This is one of the best self-care ideas for anyone who is looking to bring about a better state of mind. Make a habit of cleaning your home regularly, and before you know it, you’ll be feeling a lot better about things.
Drinking water is so vital, but many of us neglect our hydration needs as one of the simplest ways in which you can take care of your body, drinking the recommended amount of water daily (around 2 litres) is going to improve your health. Though staying hydrated is far from a self-care activity, it will help to reduce headaches and feeling tired over the duration of the day. And, when you’re well-hydrated, you’ll be able to focus better on tasks and will probably feel more energized too.
One of the ways you can ensure that you get enough water is by carrying a bottle around with you and set reminders every day to drink. Place a glass of water on your bedside table before sleeping to drink as soon as you wake up, and you’ll have a good routine in place.
4. Turn off your phone
So many of us are unaware of JUST how much time we spend looking at our phone screens. As an everyday device, we use phones for socializing, work purposes, and of course, social media. However, phones can be extremely detrimental to our mental health, and they’re addictive too. Putting down our phones to give our eyes a break and choose another screen-free activity can be a great way to practice self-care. Why not read a book or write your own short story if you enjoy writing? There are so many different things you could be doing without spending hours on your phone each day.
It can be difficult to break the habit of reaching for your phone as soon as you wake but try to get up and out of bed before scrolling social media. There are lots of great things to do in the morning to contribute to self-care, such as having a filling and healthy breakfast or going for a morning walk.
5. Try yoga
To practice yoga at home, you don’t need anything other than a yoga mat which can be bought on a budget. This is one of the best ways to practice self-care, improve balance, and stretch out your muscles too. Yoga can help improve your connection to the outside world and alter your perception on a daily basis in a positive manner. There are lots of amazing tutorials available across YouTube to take advantage of where you can follow along without any pressure. Many people find yoga to be a great way of taking care of themselves at home, and it can help to boost your mood too!
If you are trying to keep away from screens as advised above, you could attend a local yoga class on a weekly basis or find a good book. Yoga books are packed full of poses that you can practice at home without spending a penny at a class.
6. Give meditation a go
Much like yoga, meditation can help to massively reduce stress and is one of the best ways to practice self-care on a budget. There are plenty of free apps available with guided meditations for beginners and YouTube videos to follow too. By setting aside time to meditate each day, you will experience improved moods and help to clear your mind so you can tackle the day ahead with confidence. Most enjoy practising meditation on a morning and before bed though there is no specific time of the day which you must practice.
Meditation can be difficult at first, and your mind will wander. But with a bit of persistence each day, your patience and mediation skills will improve. Self-care on a budget can be something as simple as meditation every morning, and this activity makes you feel more at peace for sure.
7. Write in a journal
Journals are very cheap to buy when on a budget, and they’re a great reflection tool. Many people find that writing on a daily basis helps them to improve their self-care as they vent their emotions or simply get thoughts down onto paper. Anxiety can cause a lot of issues that, in fact, a bit of reflection can help with, but for most people gathering thoughts is difficult. By buying a journal and setting aside a bit of time each day to write about anxieties and other thoughts, you will find you feel better upon reflection.
Make it a habit to sit and spend 20 minutes exploring your emotions and writing about them. Identifying triggers that cause negative emotions can be difficult to do initially, but this is a great way to practice self-care on a budget. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t spend time writing ever, putting pen to paper can be daunting at first. We advise you to practice each day and don’t think too much into what you’re writing.
8. Nap if you need to
If you’re feeling tired, don’t put off having a nap. A short nap can be extremely productive though many of us think they’re counter-productive. As long as you snooze for less than an hour, with the optimum nap time set to 20 minutes, you’ll wake up more energized. Though it is tempting to reach for energy in the form of coffee or a power drink, a nap is a far more natural way to bring about a spike in energy levels. Short naps have also been found to improve your mood, alertness, and memory and shouldn’t interfere with your night-time sleep routine so long as they are kept to less than 40 minutes.
Napping may not come to mind when you’re thinking about self-care on a budget, but a lack of sleep can be terrible for us both physically and mentally. Taking care of yourself doesn’t need to feel like a chore; it can be something as simple as making sure you get some extra shut-eye where you can.
9. Take a bath
If you have a bathtub in your home, consider yourself extremely lucky! A hot bubble bath is one of the easiest ways to bring about self-care on a budget and is the ultimate relaxation ritual. After a long day at work, a bath can help to alleviate muscle tension and can be very soothing for the senses. If your budget allows, take your bathing a step further with some bath products such as Epsom salts or essential oils. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your bath feel luxurious, and it’s a great way to reduce stress. The warm water, coupled with some candles and music is a sure way to practice self-care.
Lots of people include baths as part of their self-care routine, though you don’t need to have one daily (as this will rack up quite a water bill). Instead, choose a day of the week where you make a habit of having a bath and practising self-care while doing so.
10. Don’t burn yourself out
In today’s day and age, it’s easy to say yes to everyone, and before you know it, you’re left with little to no time for any self-care practices. If you’re someone who just can’t say no, you should practice setting boundaries in this way. Make sure you are communicating why you have said no, it can be as simple as “I want to take some time for myself tonight”. Saying no to other people is a really important self-care habit as many people end up burning themselves out because they are so focused on pleasing others.
You’ll feel far more content if you can take some time for yourself and learn to say no to your family and friends. Even at work, many of us commit to additional projects without factoring in the time it takes to complete them. This time can be spent doing something special for yourself even in the case of self-care on a budget.
Self Care Without Breaking The Bank: FAQ
Do you still have some questions about practising self-care without spending too much money? If you’re looking for self-care ideas that aren’t going to break the bank, we have lots of great ideas above. Otherwise, read on to find out the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about budget-friendly self-care ideas.
How Much Should You Spend On Self Care?
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to working out how much money you should be spending on self-care. As the advice above demonstrates, there are plenty of ways to practice self-care without burning all your cash; in fact, some of the ideas above will cost you nothing at all. Some people set aside more money to spend on themselves and may make it a habit to get a professional massage each month. On the other hand, many people can find free activities such as walking in nature to be extremely beneficial and save money by doing so. There are plenty of choices when it comes to ways to practice self-care, and no two people will have the exact same routines.
If you’re looking to save money, why not try your hand at yoga or practise meditation to reduce stress and bring about peace of mind? A lot of the self-care ideas listed above can be done alone or with friends, depending on your preferences. But, the most important thing is to not make an excuse to not practise self-care because you don’t have the money!
What Should You Include In A Self Care Package?
Is there somebody in your life who you think would benefit from a self-care package? It can be a lovely gesture to put together a package for a person close to you, such as a family member or friend who could do with some TLC. Self-care packages can include all sorts of cheap products such as bubble bath so that a nice relaxing soak can be enjoyed or even a small book about meditation. You may consider making your own affirmation cards which can help to bring about a better sense of self and you can find free ideas online for this.
Other great self-care items include things such as face masks, or a motivational book which will encourage your friend to take a time out for themselves. Don’t feel too much pressure to pack the box full of expensive items; the recipient is sure to appreciate the thought more than anything else. You could also add a personal touch such as a handwritten message or art postcard too.
What Are The Four Categories Of Self Care?
Self-renewal should be a part of your everyday life, and it can be useful to know the four areas to focus on. Below we’ve listed the four different areas of self-care that you should focus on fulfilling to bring about content in the long-run.
Physical care consists of looking after your self, and there are plenty of ways to practice self-care in this way. If you’re looking for inspiration as to how to care for your physical self here are our top tips:
- Be sure to be kind to yourself on a daily basis and appreciate it. Lots of people unknowingly create a negative body image by failing to recognize they’re beautiful. Though it can be uncomfortable to look at yourself in the mirror, this can help massively to boost your confidence and make you feel comfortable in your own skin.
- Eat healthily to nourish your body with the good stuff. Our bodies rely on vitamins to keep us healthy, and there are plenty of energizing foods that you should try to include in your diet. If you don’t have time to cook, pick yourself up some vitamins from a health shop and make a habit of taking one each day.
- Get enough sleep each night to ensure that you’re going to be energized for the next day. As mentioned above, don’t feel defeated if you need to have a short nap in the afternoon. Drinking water throughout the day will keep you hydrated and will contribute to your overall energy levels too.
- Take regular exercise where you can as it helps to reduce stress and depression while energizing your system at the same time. You’ll feel a greater ability to focus and can benefit from improved memory in the long-term too. If you’re someone prone to low moods, running or even walking is sure to help you feel better.
- Talking to your friends or family about things that are on your mind can help you to feel less alone and more connected. Many of us think that we are burdening others when we do this, but it’s simply not the case.
- Try to stop self-criticism and judgement and focus on the positives. It’s easy to be negative and less easy to be positive, but by practising every day, it’ll soon become a habit, and before you know it you’ll be celebrating everything you!
- Seek out support from a therapist or counsellor if you feel you need help. There is nothing wrong with attending therapy, and there are probably lots of services available to you no matter where you live. Talk to a GP if you are feeling overwhelmed to learn about what therapy you can go to.
- Take time away from screens and read a book or go outdoors. Spending too much time on our phones is detrimental to our mental health and places a great amount of strain on our eyes. If you’re not much of a book reader, choose to watch a film or do something creative instead.
- Learn a new hobby or skill and dedicate practising it each week. Before you know it, you’ll be a pro at knitting or be the best baker in the neighbourhood!
- Sign up for a local class to meet new friends and practice something that you enjoy. There are plenty of inexpensive workshops or classes that you can take part in while learning something along the way.
- Take the time to be by yourself and practise saying no to commitments that are going to burn you out. Even if you spend an hour having a bath and relaxing, you’ll feel more relaxed for it in the long-run.
- Walk regularly and reflect on your thoughts where you can. Sometimes, it’s hard to remain calm in stressful situations, but a walk can help to clear the mind and put things into perspective. If you’re someone who feels often stressed, be sure to get out and enjoy the fresh air from time to time.
- Practice meditation or take time each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for. It’s easy to take things for granted on a daily basis, but there are lots to be content about.
- Do creative activities as a form of therapy. Painting, drawing, playing guitar and writing are all really relaxing activities that are good for your mind. Find free time to unwind and let your creative juices flow; you probably have lots of ideas waiting to come to life.
- Volunteer for a cause that you care about and feel a greater sense of self. Doing good for others can make you feel like you’re doing something valuable and it’ll keep you busy too if you have extra time on your hands. There are many charities that require volunteers and extra hands to assist with tasks.