Self-Care on a Budget
Self-care is "any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control" and if you haven’t noticed, it’s having a huge moment in 2018. Self-care is all about giving yourself the best tools to be your best self, but we can't help but notice that often times it can be expensive.
This post is to help you keep in mind that self-care doesn’t have to mean expensive facials or a monthly yoga membership that might strain your budget. Keep reading for 5 self-care tips, tricks and ideas that will actually save you money.
"You need to have self-awareness too. Self-care plus self-awareness equals self-love."
Don't be afraid to say no to your friends.
Yes, spending time with your friends and loved ones can add to your happiness but don’t be afraid to set some boundaries. It feels good to be a reliable friend, but if the constant invitations to dinner, shopping, brunches or other activities is weighing you down emotionally and monetarily, it’s time to have a conversation. Let your friends know you love them but need more time to yourself. This will save your wallet from overspending on frivolous things or events and you'll start to find yourself genuinely enjoying the more limited time that you spend with your friends.
The hustle and bustle of everyday life can put a serious damper on your health when it comes to nourishment! It’s so easy to go for convenience over health. Eating out, sugary drinks and food-coma inducing lunches in the middle of your work day can leave your body and your mind feeling sluggish. Set out a realistic plan when it comes to your diet, plan some affordable at-home dinners and skip your afternoon trip to your office’s vending machine! Proper hydration and nourishment will save your bank account from small fast food and vending machine charges that are sure to rack up over time.
Go to bed.
Okay, going to bed sounds like a cop-out for a "tip or trick," but if you think about it, an unhealthy and mindless sleep schedule could really be messing with your health and bank account. Setting up a sleep schedule and sticking to it is one of the cheapest (literally free) and most important self-care tools! After looking at all the benefits of a good night's sleep you'll be wondering why you didn't get more Zs sooner. Expect to find yourself more refreshed in the mornings, rushing to fewer drive-thru breakfast spots and having time to make your coffee at home, saving you from the convenient $5 coffee.
Turning off your smartphone and enjoying your surroundings is a great way to practice self-care, and while you might not notice at first, it will help you spend less! The constant stream of information, images and "one-click purchases" online and within apps can often times have people “keeping up with the Jones’s” even if the Jones’s in the pictures are total strangers. According to one study, 63% of millennials feel "attached" to their phone or tablets. The scrolling can become somewhat of an obsessive behavior and some people will find themselves looking on social media without even realizing the face-to-face interactions they're missing out on. This can get dangerous for a budget especially if your debit card or bank account information is linked to your phone. Put your phone down and take some deep breaths before you make purchases that are impulsive. Your budget will thank you later and your mind will thank you immediately when you start enjoying yourself more thoroughly after taking your eyes off your phone.
This sounds cliché but spending a little extra time outside each day can do wonders for your mood and mindset. Take your dog out for a walk, find a new hiking trail, or even set up a little Instagram photo shoot outside and you might just find yourself more in tune with what your mind and body are looking for. By spending time outside and accepting the tranquility of nature, you might be less tempted to fill your time with "things to do." Most things to do cost money, the great outdoors is free.
At the end of the day there's no picture perfect way to describe self-care, but the one thing that's for sure is that you don’t need to spend a penny in order to indulge in these healthy practices!