Despite awareness of self-care increasing online in recent years, how many of us can say we take it seriously? Up until a few months ago, I definitely didn’t.
Trying to dedicate time to yourself when life demands are piling up isn’t easy, but so necessary. It’s the perfect way to de-stress and remind yourself of what’s important. I’m not saying you should put your life aside for weeks at a time, don’t get me wrong. Try finding a few minutes, or hours, within a day where you can really sit down and focus on yourself. It’ll be worth it; trust me.
Admittedly, self-care can seem like an expensive way to take care of yourself, but it doesn’t have to be. While applying an expensive facemask or treating yourself are valid ways of self-care, there are cheaper ways to look after yourself. To demonstrate just how inexpensive this habit can be, I thought I’d create a list of the cheap-or-free self-care activities I take part in on a regular basis.
Binge Watch a Series
As much as we like to pretend we’re not obsessed with binge watching series, there’s nothing wrong with indulging occasionally. As a society, we’re obsessed with pushing ourselves to do more, even when our motivation’s running low. Even if we’ve just got home from a long day of work, we convince ourselves we need to do more. Why not try winding down with a few hours of a TV show instead? Here’s a list of my favourite series on Netflix from a couple of years ago if you need some recommendations to get you started.
This is probably my all time favourite form of self-care. It gives me an opportunity to be creative, and also vent about things that are worrying me. I stop thinking about what’s going on around me and take some time to focus on me. We all need to do that every now and again, don’t we? Better yet, a lot of the things I use in my journal are picked up cheaply, or even free. You don’t need money to be creative, after all.
Perhaps the best thing about a journal is that you can do whatever you want with it. Want to fill it completely with photos? You can do that. Are you one of those people who like to write out your frustrations until you stop thinking about them? You can do this to. You don’t have to show your journal to anyone, so go crazy, and do what feels right in the moment.
Take a Long Bath
If you’re stressed, or struggling with a mental health problem, maintaining good personal hygiene is difficult. It’s still just as important, though, and by turning it into a treat, the chances of completing it increase. You could even listen to music or light some candles if they’d help you to relax. My favourite is to combine two self-care activities into one, and binge watch a TV show or movie at the same time.
Does anyone else remember when adult colouring books were everywhere a few years ago? Although this self-care activity might not be as trendy as it one was, it’s still just as therapeutic. It’s also extremely affordable, as there’s nothing to say you can’t print adult colouring pages off the internet. Old pens will work just as well as new pens, too, if you can’t afford new ones.
Experiment With Makeup
If you wear makeup and you’re anything like me, you probably stick to the same few styles. It’s easy, and you know what you’re doing—both perfect for busy mornings before work or school. What about evenings, when you have a little more time to pamper yourself? Wearing makeup when you want to relax isn’t for everyone, but for those that do enjoy it, mix it up a bit. Try out a new eyeshadow palette, or a daring lipstick colour. What are you waiting for?
It’s amazing how a little bit of mess can bring your mood down and your stress levels up. When self-care is all about de-stressing, choosing to organise or declutter an area of your room can, therefore, make all the difference. Not everyone will have the time to clear their whole room, but even clearing off your desk, or the boxes of washing you’ve had piling up for weeks on end will work. You might even choose to organise an area of your life, decluttering anything unnecessary so you can focus on the things you enjoy. This activity may also go on to earn you money, which you can then use to treat yourself, or pay bills you’ve been stressing about!
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw this one coming. It’s fair to say I am book-obsessed. Even if you’re not that kind of person, though, reading a book can feel incredibly rewarding. Having the opportunity to escape into the life of your favourite character can give you a break from the stress in your own life. It may also offer you an alternative point of view and allow you to deal with your own problems more effectively.
If you want some advice about reading more—or fitting it into your busy schedule—I have just the blog post for you. You can view it here.
Learn Something New
If you’re currently reading this while in education, you might think I’m crazy. Who wants to learn something new and call it self-care? Trust me, it’s not what you think. I’m not talking about learning something you don’t want to learn. It might just be reading a blog post about a topic you’re interested in or taking a free online course. I’ve been learning Spanish on Duolingo sporadically, and the sense of pride I get when I realise how far I’ve come makes it all worth it.
Social Media Detox
As much as social media can be helpful, there are aspects to it we’d all rather do without. Comparing ourselves to celebrities and engaging in Twitter drama seems normal, but have you taken a moment to think about how much more relaxed you’d feel without it? Why not turn your phone off to destress and engage in some of the other self-care activities listed occasionally? It doesn’t have to be long periods of time, but a couple hours here and there can make a world of difference!
On a fundamental level, walking is a form of exercise, which will increase the production of endorphins, the happy hormone. Otherwise, though, walking gives you the chance to be at peace with yourself and the environment around you. It can give you time to think about your stresses in a self-care sense, as well as offering you an opportunity to process things. If you have one, taking a pet with you might offer you an opportunity to get to know other pet-owners in your local area.
What do you do for self-care? Have you tried any of the suggestions above? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading, and until next time,
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