Self-care is one of the best time investments you can make. In our consumer-driven world, we tend to mistake acquiring things for looking after ourselves, neglecting our well-being in the process. Self-care is a relatively new phrase based on a much older concept, because in the world we live in that is full of distractions, notifications, content and things trying to grab your attention, simply being at peace is much harder to do achieve than it used to be.
Before paying off debt, I took care of myself through buying things. I would convince myself that I needed something in particular in order to be happy, complete or to give myself permission to relax, whether it was a new dress, a new car, a holiday. After the excitement wore off, I found myself in more debt than I started with, with the purchase never gave me the happiness I thought it would. The reason for this is that your body and mind tells you what it needs, and purchases generally act as a distraction. When you de-clutter your mind from those distractions, you are able to simplify your thoughts and understand what it really is that you are craving.
How to do Self-Care on a Budget
Turn Off Your Electronics
Do you ever find yourself scrolling mindlessly through pages and pages of internet content or social media feeds, bored but feeling at the same time that you can’t stop? Doing this daily can burn out your mind while your body struggles with restlessness, and no-one benefits from being knee-deep in someone else’s Facebook feed. Setting boundaries with your technology, like banning phones at bedtime, taking a weekend off from your devices or leaving them at home occasionally, is the easiest way to switch off the incessant online chaos.
I am a massive advocate for journalling because it is the single most effective thing I do to manage my anxiety. Recommended to me by my doctor, I have kept a journal for a few years now and find it so useful for clarifying my feelings and releasing my thoughts. If you mind tends to chatter on loop, journalling helps to address your feelings and get those thoughts out, and unlike a wellness retreat, it won’t cost you more than the price of a notebook, pen and half an hour of your time.
Make Time For Nothing
The beauty of living frugally is that you don’t have room in your budget for frivolous spending, and suddenly, you find you have more time on your hands. Instead of wasting your extra time online or watching TV, taking a little bit of time to do nothing is such an excellent way to recharge and refocus. One of the best ways to practice mindfulness is to sit and listen to your surroundings; the cars driving by, the birds singing, the rain. Taking some time to do this every day costs nothing and will do absolute wonders for anxiety triggered by piling on too many priorities. I recommend downloading Spotify for free and listening some mindfulness music if you really want to let your mind drift off.
Treat yourself to a few inexpensive beauty products and have a spa day
This is one of my all-time favourite ways to chill out! A spa day at home doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are so many great products out there that cost very little. My favourite beauty brand is Soap and Glory (check out this great post about their latest product from MakeUpMuddle.com!).
Incorporate Yoga/Meditation into your daily routine
I swear by yoga as a mechanism to aid anxiety flare-ups and am starting to practice meditation, with great results. Taking classes can be expensive but you can start these activities without spending anything, all you need to do is get started at home. There are so many free resources online, such as the Yoga with Adrienne series on Youtube or one of the many mindfulness apps available, that you are spoilt for choice without spending a penny.
For more self-care ideas, here are some great suggestions from the Home of Seven blog.
I hope some of these simple tips help you to reclaim some time this week for self-care, and please share with me your own tips in the comments below 🙂