Nowadays, the stigma surrounding self-care has almost entirely disappeared. As a society, we understand the importance of taking care of one’s own mental and physical health. We also appreciate that doing so doesn’t just help ourselves – that those who practice self-care are better able to give back and contribute to the world around them.
However, many feel like they don’t have the time or money for self-care. This is absolutely never the case. Self-care isn’t inherently difficult, time-consuming, or expensive.
Here are just a few ways to practice self-care, and how to keep them practical and affordable.
Yoga is one of the best tools out there for self-care. It promotes flexibility, strength, balance, and mind-body connection while providing meditative, stress-relieving benefits. And this isn’t just lip service – many benefits of yoga are supported by science.
It is also cheap and easy to fit into any schedule. There are memberships that are pay-as-you-wish, so you only spend what you can afford. You can also join online classes, or just engage through YouTube videos.
For saving money and time on food, there is much to be said for the good old slow cooker. Just throw in ingredients at the start of the day and come home to a nutritious meal. It’s not all heavy winter stews, either – there are plenty of summer recipes you can make for hot days, like lemon-basil ratatouille or crockpot vegan barbecue.
There are also plenty of delicious and handy low-cost snacks that are also nutritious, so try to keep a few of them at the ready. For instance, fresh apples paired with nut butter are perfect when you’re craving something sweet, and hard-boiled eggs provide a satisfying, protein-packed pick-me-up.
Vacations are good for your health: they reduce depression and heart disease, increase life satisfaction, and boost productivity. If you’re a busy entrepreneur or manage a sizable staff, ZenBusiness also notes that vacation time is one of the most effective ways to combat stress. With all of these wellness benefits, taking time off should be a priority — especially if you have vacation days in the bank.
Sure, not everyone can afford an expensive overseas trip, but there are plenty of other options.
For example, you can take a staycation in your hometown and do all the things you wouldn’t normally do; visit museums or historical sites, go for a picnic in the park, shop at farmers markets or art galleries. Or perhaps you can take a long weekend in a nearby city that you’ve always wanted to visit. It doesn’t have to be extravagant to be fun, and breaking your routine is the secret to feeling refreshed.
Relaxation isn’t all about expensive spa getaways. It’s also about the ways you choose to cope when things feel like too much. When feeling overwhelmed, take a 5-minute breather doing something soothing. This could be as simple as having a cup of tea, meditating, or heading out into the sunshine.
Living in a tidy, clean house is good for the mind and body, and it allows you to truly relax and flourish within your home. A messy and cluttered home, on the other hand, is a constant source of stress and anxiety.
The best place to start is a good old-fashioned decluttering session: get rid of all the stuff you don’t want, need, or use. The KonMari method is a common choice; it was popularized by her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and subsequent Netflix series – but you can design your own strategy, too. The great thing about this is that you could even make money if you have some valuable items to sell.
On a day-to-day basis, set a regular schedule for cleaning and tidying. It’s easier to stay consistent if you break it down into small, daily tasks. The Spruce recommends breaking things down into a different type of task for every day of the week.
These are just some of the ways to incorporate self-care into your life, but there are many others. The important thing is to design self-care habits that fit into your life, not try to shape your life around new habits. As long as you combine this approach with a true commitment to making self-care a priority, your own ideal self-care routine will soon become clear.