It’s quite a common misconception that in order to take care of yourself, it’s imperative that you shell out a good amount of money. There’s a belief that one should be able to afford certain things in order to pamper their body. From taking yourself out on a trip to hanging out with friends, you end up thinking that self-love requires money. But the truth is, having no money is nothing but an excuse that you might have been making to escape the need to practice self-care every day.
Taking care of yourself is a therapy rather than an expense. And that therapy need not include getting a good massage, spending a week on cruise or gifting yourself a luxury car. Self-care is more about treating yourself with enough me-time and creating for yourself a life worth living.
So if you’ve been delaying on showing yourself some love and care because you don’t have enough money, it’s time that you resorted to some budget friendly ways to practice self-care starting today:
1. Cook for yourself: Dig out the recipe of your favorite dish from the internet and try cooking it at home. Treating yourself with a self-cooked meal is the most inexpensive and fun way to show yourself some love. You will not only be saving a few dollars on food but will also be getting to spend time with yourself which is a much needed form of self-care.
2. Go for a long walk: Put in those earphones, start playing some loud music and take yourself out on a walk. Music helps distract your mind from all those disturbing thoughts and you won’t even feel how time would go by as you walk. A walk outside also means that you will be spending time in nature which in itself is a therapy that can calm your mind and body.
3. Journaling: Maintain a journal to scribble down your thoughts on. Make that journal your friend who you can vent out to. Write down everything that you wish to accomplish in your life and what you wish to change to be able to reach your goals. You can maintain a gratitude section in the same journal to write down about the things that you are happy and grateful for.
4. Practice yoga and meditation: Yoga is the new age way to take care of your mind, body and soul and is known to keep you calm and relaxed throughout the day. Not just yoga, any form of meditation or focus exercise can bring you a sense of immense peace and happiness. Practicing yoga every day can initially look like a time-consuming task but once you get a taste of the satisfaction it will give you, you won’t mind waking up half an hour earlier to do it.
5. Take a nap: Taking small naps between your day-to-day tasks can be a great way to charge yourself up and be more alert while going through your daily activities. A nap as short as 15 minutes can help relax your mind and do wonders for your physical and mental health. Taking daily naps should be a part of your self-care routine regardless of how busy your schedule gets.
6. Go on a digital detox: I can’t stress enough upon the need to have a healthy relationship with social media. If the idea of being away from your phone for a few seconds makes you cringe, you need to figure out a few things first in order to take better care of yourself. Social media, if used in an unhealthy way, can easily get to your head and can affect your self-worth. Try going on a digital detox or set a cap on your social media use but don’t forget that it’s essential to take care of yourself in a world where seeking validation online looks like the easy way out of your worries.
7. Clean your living space: A clutter-free space is bound to make you feel crazy. Imagine coming back from work only to feel more overwhelmed with all the mess and clutter at your home. A clean living space can be extremely calming for your mind besides making way for new ideas and things.
8. Call a friend or a family member: That’s my favorite form of self-care that gets me going every time I feel low. While living away from home, my Mom used to be my go-to person when I wanted to speak to someone. Talking with people you care for is a great way to remind yourself that you are loved. Moreover, you feel strong when you are there for people you love and value even if it’s not face-to-face.
9. Opt for some in-home entertainment: You need not go out for a movie night when you can bring in some CD’s or DVD’s and have an awesome movie night alone at home. Alternately, you can binge watch an episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S from your couch while enjoying some self-cooked meal.
10. Read a book: Reading can be a great way to take yourself on a fun ride to a totally different world of fantasies. Pick a genre that’s fun and can take your imagination to a whole new level. I love adventure, romance and mystery novels and can keep reading them the entire day when I want to do nothing but spend time with myself.
11. Pamper yourself: Do your hair, take a long shower and put on your favorite dress. Serve yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea in your favorite coffee mug and enjoy it sitting on your couch. Everything that brings in a smile on your face is worth doing every day, again and again.
Speaking of self-love, a friend of mine always used to carry a bar of chocolate with her and would keep eating it at intervals. When asked about the reason for the same, she told me how a chocolate can help calm your mind and take all the stress off for some time. As contagious as it sounds, I started eating more chocolates that day on. Not sure if it really helps calm my mind, but the fact that I’m always eating what I love surely makes me happy.
Remember that self-love doesn’t mean you are being selfish. It’s rather a way to prioritize your physical and mental health above everything else and a mode to remind yourself that you can’t be in a position to love others if you aren’t loving yourself.