With wellness and health being among the hottest topics today, it’s no surprise that the idea of self-care has really exploded in the last few years. More and more, people are looking for ways to improve their lives through meaningful and relaxing activities that help them feel less stress and more happiness. But if you’re on a limited budget, it can be tough to find ways to pamper yourself without overspending. Let’s take a look at some of the best options for affordable self-care that let you remain frugal while still feeling your best.
Get Outside & Disconnect
You don’t have to plan a trip to a seaside villa or escape to a breathtaking mountaintop chateau to experience the benefits of nature. Your own neighborhood is the best place to start if you want to decompress and relax. Go for a walk in your neighborhood to experience benefits like lower stress levels, improved mood and clearer thinking.
There’s one catch though—you can’t take your phone. These outdoor sessions, which can be as short as 15 to 30 minutes at a time, are best experienced when you unplug and limit distractions.
Unwind with a Relaxing TV Show
With so many great programs on just about every channel and platform, it really is the golden age of television right now. But despite the artistic merit of many of the top TV shows, they might not help you actually relax. Many deals with dark themes or thrilling stories that leave you on the edge of your seat but don’t exactly leave you feeling better afterwards. Even escapist shows like “Real Housewives” and “The Bachelor” can be filled with tension and drama.
Find a show that truly helps you unwind and which leaves you feeling uplifted rather than depressed or uneasy. Consider options like “Chef’s Table,” “The Great British Baking Show” or “Planet Earth.”
Listen to Motivational Content
You don’t need to attend a fancy wellness retreat to hear inspiring speeches and discussions. Instead, just pop in your earbuds and start listening to content right at home. One great source for motivational speeches is TED. There are thousands of TED talks featured on the website, and you can search by topic or duration to find one that suits your interests.
Another great way to incorporate inspiration content into your life is to start listening to some uplifting podcasts. Some examples include Hidden Brain, Inspire Nation, The School of Greatness, Good Life Project and TED Radio Hour.
Do One Thing at a Time
Multitasking can be a major obstacle to self-care. There’s a lot of pressure today to be as productive as possible during every waking moment of the day. However, that level of busyness can hamper your overall wellness by making you feel overwhelmed and stressed.
One simple solution is to focus on doing one thing at a time—preferably something you find calming or soothing. Instead of trying to watch TV while you paint your nails, listen to some soft music and slow down to enjoy this relaxing ritual. Instead of making a phone call or listening to the news while you cook dinner at night, pay attention to the preparation of each ingredient and turn this part of the day into your chance to decompress after work. Activities like these are so much more beneficial to your self-care efforts if you slow down and enjoy every moment.
You don’t need any fancy equipment or expensive guides to meditate. In fact, it’s one of the least time-consuming and most affordable ways to tend to yourself on a daily basis. In just 5 minutes, you can totally reset your mood and start or end the day on the right foot.
Try the free versions of apps like Headspace or Calm if you need a little guidance to get started. It does take some practice to learn to tune out distracting thoughts, but the benefits are incredible once you get the hang of it. All you need is a quiet place to sit where you can focus on your breath. Do you best to block out other thoughts that pop into your head and simply enjoy the present moment.
Write in a Journal
All you need is pen and paper and you’ve got everything you need to enjoy one of the best self-care practices in history: journaling. People have been writing about their thoughts and experiences for centuries, and it works just as well today to help you understand yourself and work through challenges.
If you’re new to journaling, don’t worry about how well or how much you write at first. Instead, start by jotting down a few thoughts at the beginning or end of each day. This activity can help you to reframe problems, remember important moments and recognize the good things you have going on in your life.
Use these tips to take better care of yourself without spending any extra money. These free self-care practices are perfect for budget-conscious folks who want to feel happier and more relaxed on a daily basis.