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When we practice self-care, we are taking time for ourselves to nurture our mental health. We are affirming that we are people deserving of rest, relaxation, and pleasure. We’re also becoming more resilient against the inevitable stressors that life brings. This practice doesn’t need to break the bank! There are a lot of ways to practice self-care that are free (or low cost).
Why is self-care important?
Self-care is important because it allows you to care for yourself, not just others. When you practice self-care, you are showing yourself love and developing an awareness of your own needs. You are taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. When you take care of yourself, you take care of the people around you better, too.
At first glance, self-care can seem overwhelming. It feels like it should be a luxury and we don’t think we can practice it unless we have a lot of money. The truth is, you can take care of yourself and practice self-care in very simple ways.
Here are some free (or inexpensive) ways to practice self-care!
Meditating is one of the simplest ways to practice self-care. You can do it sitting, laying down, or even on your feet. It doesn’t matter where you do it or how long you do it for; all that matters is that you take the time out of your day to meditate and be present. You can try this for as little as 5 minutes a day, and it is completely free! There are many free guided meditations available on YouTube and Spotify.
2. Practice Yoga
Yoga is a great way to relax, stretch, and strengthen your body. There are many types of yoga, so you could try something new every day if you wanted to! You don’t need to invest in expensive yoga classes. All you need is a towel and some open space in the comfort of your home. You can even make it a family activity! There are plenty of free classes available online to choose from.
3. Take a break from technology
An easy way to practice self-care is to take a break from screens for a short while. This can be as simple as turning off your phone or computer for a few hours. You can also practice mindful internet usage, which helps you to only use your computer or phone when you really need to. When you’re done with your internet session, give yourself a break and don’t check it again until you’re ready.
4. Take a nap or go to sleep early
Getting enough sleep is one of the most important parts of practicing self-care. You need adequate rest to function and feel well for the day ahead. Try taking a well-deserved afternoon nap or going to bed a little early. Your body and mind will thank you.
Spending time doing something you love is a great way to practice self-care. You can read for as little or as long as you wish. Reading is a great self-care practice because it lets you explore different worlds and see life from someone else’s perspective. It gives you a chance to step out of the real world and relax. It’s easy to find free books online, and it’s a great way to practice self-care without spending any money.
Journaling is a great way to get in touch with your thoughts and feelings. It’s also a great way to practice self-care! You can journal in any setting, at any time you like. You get to focus on yourself, release emotions, and reflect on past events. During a journal session, you can let out emotions that have been bottled up or just focus on one thing that’s been on your mind recently.
There are many different types of journals you can choose from. You can write in a simple paper notebook, or on the computer. You can even get creative and decorate your journal with stickers, washi tape, and colorful pens. There are no rules to journaling, and you can start with a few items you have lying around your house!
7. Get some fresh air
When we spend too much time staring at screens, it’s easy to forget that the outside world is still there. A great way to practice self-care is to get out into nature. Take a walk through the park, go to the beach, or just relax in your backyard. Even if you live in an urban area, you can probably find a local park or walking trail. Not only will you spend time outside, but you’ll also get to enjoy the scenery.
8. Nurture a hobby
Whether it’s knitting or playing the piano, it’s important to nurture hobbies we are passionate about. Your hobby is a way to express yourself in the world, and it can also help relax you during stressful times. It’s a fun and easy way to practice self-care while also taking a break from your day-to-day routine.
9. Take a bath
Taking a bath is a wonderful way to practice self-care. It’s easy, free, and relaxing! You can add in some oil or bubble bath, or light scented soy wax candles to make it more relaxing. If you have a bathtub, this is a perfect way to spend part of your day. You can easily turn a bath into a meditation or quiet moment for little to no cost.
10. Create art
There are so many fun ways to create art, and you’ll be surprised by how calming it can be. You could paint, draw, color in a coloring book, use pastels or crayons, or even create a scrapbook. You can do this alone or with friends. Being creative is a unique and easy way to practice self-care and express yourself.
11. Eat a healthy meal or snack
When you’re hungry, it’s easy to get distracted and forget that you need to take care of yourself. Eating a healthy meal or snack is a simple way to practice self-care. Paying attention to what you’re eating can help you gain a better understanding of your body. You can also try new foods that you’ve never tried before or look up recipes online.
12. Spend time with friends and family
Sometimes, practicing self-care means surrounding yourself with good energy. Take some time to enjoy the company of your friends and family. You’ll feel better around the people you love, and it’s always nice to have some good laughs with the people you feel most connected to. You can even reach out to an old friend or relative you haven’t spoken to in a long time.
Self-care is a tool we can use to navigate through life. It isn’t a luxury, but a necessity to staying healthy and happy. Practicing self-care doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. You can take little moments throughout your day to practice self-care and find peace.
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What is your favorite self-care activity? How does it help you feel better? Let us know in the comments!
Crystalyn is a freelance writer that is passionate about wellness and self-care. When she isn’t writing, she’s gardening or spending time with the people she loves. You can read more from her over on her blog, Mello Woman.