Self-Care Doesn't Have to Bankrupt You

Hello again friends. You know what really grinds my gears? The way the term “self-care” has become synonymous with things like extravagant spa days, luxurious massages, weekend getaways and the occasional shopping spree or indulgent treat. While of course, those things can be wonderful and make us feel good, they are not some protocol for self-care. What does self-care actually entail? It includes taking care of our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. It may mean things like therapy and mental health counseling, eating in a way that actually nourishes our body, spending time with people who nourish our souls. But if you’ve been struggling more than usual and having a rough time, here are some ways you can fight the extra funk for $10 or less:

Reclaim your time. When you are dealing with burnout, from working too many hours, or managing a house with 3 sick kids, or finishing your thesis, carve out some time for yourself. Alone time. Quiet time. Time to decompress. Whether you fill that time with a trip to the park, take the morning to sleep in and make yourself a nice, healthy breakfast, or take yourself to a movie. YOU TIME is important. Take it before it’s too late!

Spend some time in nature. Go take a walk in the woods, spend a few hours at the beach, or if you want to go big - spend the night camping out under the stars. Seeing the ocean, breathing in fresh air, and just relishing in the awe of creation can be truly healing and help give us the reset we need to move forward.

Resist the urge to indulge in things like alcohol and sugar to drown your sorrows, and instead find some affordable wellness activities you can do. Look online for a free or cheap yoga class, take a dance class, or just find a youtube video so you can find a way to move at home. Physical activity and movement can be truly cathartic and are a big part of self-care.

Find your Zen Zone. What makes you feel relaxed, zenned out, and happy? Is it meditation? Watching a comedy show or movie? Doing some coloring? Cooking? Whatever helps you cultivate peace, make time for it and commit to doing it. Choose the time, date, place and treat it like an appointment that can’t be broken.

Turn off the technology. This tip is pretty personal, but I find that the overwhelm that comes from constantly being connected to our devices, scrolling through social media every hour or more, can be so draining and exhaust me to no end. We bury ourselves in the lives of celebrities on Instagram, compare ourselves to our old nemeses from High School on Facebook, and don’t allow ourselves to experience our own lives, for better or worse. Establish some screen-free time for yourself everyday if possible. Even if it just means putting your phone on airplane mode at 10 p.m., make it a habit and stick to it. Your self-esteem and sanity will thank you!

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