Self-care is essential for our overall well-being, but it can often feel like a luxury that is out of reach. With the high cost of spa treatments, beauty products, and other self-care items, it can be difficult to find ways to take care of ourselves that fit within our budget. However, self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many ways to practice self-care without breaking the bank. In this post, we will explore some budget-friendly self-care tips and tricks that will help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated without spending a fortune. So, take a deep breath and let’s get started on our journey to affordable self-care.
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity a week. Now, it’s easier than ever to exercise in a way that fits your budget. There are even plenty of options to work out at home, no matter how small your space is including:
- Do three planks for up to 60 seconds each
- 8 minute abs on YouTube
- Yoga on YouTube including these videos from Brave Spaces Yoga
- Walk to get 10,000 steps / day
Fitness doesn’t have to mean the expensive gym membership. What is worth it really depends on the value it provides to you. The $200/ month gym membership is worth it if it motivates you to frequently work out and you feel better. The $10 / month gym membership is not worth it if you never go. Some companies even offer wellness benefits to help make exercise even more affordable.
Be Mindful of What You Eat
Part of self-care at home is eating well. Make the choice to eat healthier as often as you can. NBC News pulled together this list of what food to stock up on in your fridge and pantry. It’s healthier to eat at home than it is to eat out and you can control the amount of salt and butter you add to dishes. At the same time, when you’re stuck at home it’s easy to graze on unhealthy snacks all day instead of sticking to a healthy meal schedule.
Try your best to eat a regular meal schedule and not graze on snacks throughout the day. Since fresh fruit and vegetables are harder to come by with less frequent grocery shopping make sure to frozen fruits and veggies instead. Most are flash frozen instantly and are just as healthy as fresh fruit! There are also health benefits for drinking tea, especially green tea.
If you’re not sure what to cook, try these recipes using common pantry and fridge staples.
Have A Home Spa Day
Bring the spa to you! An at home spa day is a great way to practice affordable self-care. Taking a relaxing bath is a great cheap and easy way to start your at home spa day. I love to relax using Dr Teal’s Lavender Epsom Salt Bath. A 3 lb bag will normally cost between $5-6. Make sure to take a rinsing shower after taking an epsom salt bath as salt can dry out your skin. Light a nice candle and play music in the background.
Miss getting a mani/ pedi? A foot peel is a great activity for when you have to stay at home for a week or more because your feet may peel a lot. It removes dead skin and in my opinion is way more effective at removing the dead skin than a pedicure is. I’ve personally used the Baby Foot Peel. The price varies on Amazon, but I’ve usually found it for $20- $25. I found the reviews to be very helpful in making the peel most effective. This includes soaking your feet before you do the peel for at least 30 minutes, putting socks over the booties to help your feet absorb more product and soaking your feet every night for 10-15 min for the following week.
Step Outside and Enjoy the Sun
Spending some time in the sun has many benefits for our physical and mental health. One of the most well-known benefits is that the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can help our bodies produce vitamin D, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D also helps to regulate the immune system and may protect against certain cancers. Various studies have also linked low Vitamin D levels to diseases other than cancer, raising the possibility that vitamin D insufficiency is contributing to many major illnesses. Sun exposure can also improve mood and energy levels by increasing the production of endorphins, which are chemicals that make us feel good. Additionally, being in the sun can help to regulate our sleep patterns by resetting our circadian rhythm, which controls when we feel awake and sleepy. This can be particularly beneficial for people who have trouble sleeping or suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Read a Book or Listen to A Podcast
Reading, or listening to a podcast, can be a great way to practice affordable self-care. Not only is it an inexpensive activity, but it also can be a great way to relax and unwind after a long day. It can help distract us from our worries and provide a sense of calm. Reading can also be a great way to improve cognitive function, as it exercises our brains and helps to improve memory, focus, and concentration.
To practice self-care on a budget through reading, you can take advantage of your local library. Many libraries have a large collection of books in different formats, such as e-books and audiobooks, which can be borrowed for free or for a minimal fee. Kindle books can even be borrowed from your local library directly from your home. You can also find books for free online through Project Gutenberg.
Travel on a Budget
Traveling doesn’t mean spending thousands of dollars to get away. In fact, travel can mean driving an hour away to explore a local destination. Traveling on a budget can offer many benefits, both for our personal growth and for our wallets. Additionally, traveling on a budget can also be a great way to discover hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path destinations. You can enjoy local, authentic food, and meet new people. Instead of sticking to popular tourist hotspots, you’ll be able to explore more unique and authentic places. Make travel affordable by using these travel hacks to travel for less.
Practicing gratitude is a powerful way to improve mental and emotional well-being. Take the time to appreciate and acknowledge the good things in life, no matter how small. When you focus on the positive aspects of your life, you shift your attention away from negative thoughts and feelings. This can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s also a great way to build resilience and increase overall satisfaction with life. To practice gratitude, you can start a gratitude journal where you write down three things you are thankful for each day. You can also take time to reflect on the things you’re grateful for before going to sleep at night or when you wake up in the morning. Another option is to share your gratitude with others, whether it’s by expressing appreciation to a loved one or showing your appreciation through charity. Incorporating gratitude into your daily routine can help you to build a more positive mindset and live a more fulfilling life.
Spend Time With Family and Friends
Socializing with loved ones is a great way to boost your mood. Studies have shown that people who have strong social connections have a reduced risk of developing depression and anxiety, as well as lower rates of stress. Additionally, spending time with friends and family can provide a sense of belonging and community, which can be essential for our overall happiness and satisfaction with life. Plan activities like picnics or potlucks that are easy on the budget.
Affordable Self-Care Summary
In conclusion, self-care is an essential part of maintaining our overall well-being, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many ways to practice self-care on a budget, from taking a relaxing bath to going outside and soaking in the sun, exercising, reading a book, cooking a healthy meal, practicing gratitude, spending time with friends and family, having a spa day at home. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to take care of yourself, you just need to get creative and find ways to make self-care a priority in your life. Remember, self-care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. So, take the time to prioritize yourself and your well-being today, and you’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel.