5 Budget-Friendly Ways to Practice Self-Care
Too often we can believe that self-care can only happen when the universe, stars, and our wallets align to allow us to be able to go to the places, and do the things, we most desire. While spa days, beach trips, lavish dinners and the like can be forms of self-care they’re certainly not the only way to #treatyourself. In fact, many of the most sustainable ways to practice self-care can be done if you’re on a tight budget or have no extra money to devote to your self-care efforts. Here’s 5 budget-friendly ways to practice self-care.
1. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
One of the best ways to start, end, and get through your day is to meditate. Meditation is a technique for quieting the mind, blocking out the external world, and turning your consciousness inward. In my opinion it is the foundation for self-understanding and self-identification, and is one of the best ways to reduce stress. In a fast paced society it can be hard to steal away for a few quiet moments. If you find it hard to break away from the busyness of life or are new to meditation, try carving out as little as 2 minutes each day to meditate. Not sure what to do? There are a number of free apps out there with guided meditation exercises. My go to is Stop, Breathe & Think.
2. Get a Little #SheTime With a Girlfriend (or Girlfriends)
Taking time to connect with friends can be rejuvenating. Remember, self-care includes taking care of your relationships. Meet up with a friend at a coffeehouse or lounge to chat and catch-up over drinks. Or get the gals together for a potluck brunch or dinner. Often times a good belly laugh, reliving fond memories, or venting about the latest challenge or struggle can go a long way in helping to restore a sense of balance in our lives.
3. Review Your Finances
Okay, okay. I know this one doesn’t sound like fun! However, self-care isn’t always about doing the things that feel good in the moment. Sometimes taking care of ourselves requires doing some not-so-fun tasks that will bring about positive, long-term results. If you’re having budget woes (and even if you're not), one great way to practice self-care is to do a financial check-up. Review your budget. Are there line items that need to be tweaked? Are you on track for your savings goals? And if you don’t have a budget, use the resources out there to track your spending and put one in place (Mint is a great free budgeting / financial management resource if you're just starting out). If you're on top of budgeting and saving, meet with a financial adviser to determine other ways to improve or take care of your financial health.
4. Create An At-Home Spa or Beauty Experience
Can’t afford to go to the spa? Bring the spa to you! You can create a spa-like experience with a few ingredients from your kitchen, some candles, and soft music from your favorite music streaming service. Try carving out time to take a nice long bath infused with olive or coconut oil. Or give yourself a facial using an avocado as the base. Touch up your finger and/or toe nails with a nice coat of polish and voila – just like that you’ll feel like a new woman!
5. Get Physical
Physical activity and exercise is always a good way to reduce stress. When you exercise your body releases chemicals called endorphins that, among other things, trigger a positive feeling in the body. As a group fitness instructor, exercise tends to be my go-to for relieving feelings of stress. Try incorporating more physical activity into your week. If you can’t make it to the gym, or don’t have a membership consider going for a mind-clearing run or walk outside. Or get the family involved with a family outdoor game or sporting activity. When we are good to our bodies, our bodies will be good to us.
About the Author. Alexandra Sampson is a wife, mother, lawyer, fitness guru and the founder of The SheFirst Project. She is on a quest to live her best life possible by remaining true to her faith, savoring life, and putting self-care first!