Learning to practice self care on a budget is something we should all learn to do.  Many people think that self care is an indulgence, but the truth is that everyone should be practicing self care in some way, shape, or form. However, if you’re in the process of trying to save money or repair your credit, you may be wondering how you can do self care on a budget. Not everyone can afford massages, gel manicures, gourmet meals and spa getaways. 

However, you can afford self care, as long as you put some thought into how your going to treat yourself. In this article, we share some of our favorite tips that will help you feel inspired practice self care on a budget.  Remember, one of the best investments you can make is the one in yourself.

Below are seven ways you can practice self care on a budget

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

According to a recent study commissioned by the National Trust, woodland sounds like singing birds and trickling streams can increase feelings of relaxation by 30%. When was the last time you took a walk in your neighborhood or explored a local park or nature preserve? Enjoying the great outdoors can cost nothing, yet the benefits are numerous. Not only will you be calming your central nervous system, but you’ll also be getting some exercise and seeing new sights.

Write in a Journal

If you often feel like you have many feelings you simply can’t or don’t know how to express, you may want to consider writing in a journal. The journal itself doesn’t have to cost much money – simply reuse an old notebook or pick up a new one from the dollar store! Then, spend a few minutes each day jotting down your thoughts and ideas. You may even discover that you really enjoy writing, and you can turn book writing into a lucrative side hustle!

Disconnect From Your Phone

self care on a budget

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Did you know that interruptions from smartphone notifications can trigger high levels of the stress hormone cortisol? Powering down your phone and other digital devices costs nothing, but disconnecting can help your brain relax and recharge. At first, you may feel more anxious and like you’re missing out on life. However, if you practice shutting off your phone regularly, you’ll gradually feel better and more liberated.

Begin a Yoga Practice

Are you under the impression that yoga is expensive? Not only is yoga affordable, but it’s also easy to do at home for any amount of time. You can actually begin a solid yoga practice simply by following YouTube yoga instruction videos, which cover every skill level and mood. You don’t need any fancy props or clothing, and you can even buy an inexpensive exercise mat at a discount store like Marshalls or TJ Maxx.

Learn to Say No

Many people are what they call “people pleasers”.  They always feel the need to say yes to every request that is asked of them.  Although we may feel a sense of obligation when someone calls upon us for a favor or for help, this may come at the cost of creating a sense of burnout or stress for yourself.  Learning to say no will help you prioritize your current list of to-do list and even help you feel empowered.

Get up an hour earlier

Waking up in the morning can be a struggle for some people.  Whether you are a night owl who goes to bed at 2 or you just don’t consider yourself a morning person, getting up an hour earlier before the grind of your day starts can have remarkable effects on the way your day unfolds.

So what can you do to make rising early a little bit easier?  For one, learn to go to bed earlier.  Take stock in how you spend your time throughout the day and re-prioritize if necessary.  Are you zoning out at night just to get a “break” from the day? Well guess what, that extra hour in the morning can be just for you!  Take that time to do the things you often feel you just don’t have the time to do.  Exercise, journal, meditate, read…what you enjoy is up to you.  Before you know it, you will be craving going to bed earlier so you can wake up to enjoy your “me” time.

Start a Gratitude Practice

self care on a budget

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If you haven’t heard people say the phrase “attitude of gratitude”, take note of it now.  Actively practicing gratitude on a regular basis can do wonders for how you experience life.  So grab a journal and think about your last 24 hours and what you are grateful for.  Do this everyday..yes everyday.  Consistency is key.  We are talking about the little things.  That great cup of coffee with a friend, the breeze hitting your face, that person who smiled at you at just the right time.  Yes, we are grateful for our family and job and children, but it’s all the things we experience throughout our day that you need to place more focus on.  When Learning to go throughout your day looking for things to be grateful for, you feel your cup is that much more full.  That sense of fullness allows you to pour over into the other areas of your life with a sense of calm.