2020 has been one heck of a year. That’s fo sho. I’ve been feeling the push now more than ever to make sure my self-care game is on point, but the BF and I are saving up for a house and with the current economic climate I need rein in my spending and channel my inner Confessions of a Shopaholic and freeze those credit cards in ice blocks! That’s why I started these 10 budget-friendly ways to practice self-care.
These ways to practice self-care will give you a ton of different options for daily self-care without droppin’ dollas. Save some money AND increase your mental health, self-love, and handle stress better by practicing self-care regularly.
Self-care is like the catchiest of pop songs in 2020…it was fun at first but now you’re groaning and turning the radio whenever it comes on. You probably feel like “I get it already”, but it’s mentioned so often because it IS that important.
By practicing self-care daily, you are learning to manage stress better. Stress can come on so slowly that you don’t even notice it or it can come on all at once. It’s insidious.
Either way, stress can be manifested as pain: headaches, muscle tension/pain, digestion issues, etc. And I think we’ve all felt the effects of stress on our mood. We’re snapping at our loved ones, don’t have the motivation to do anything, or feel too overwhelmed to even get started. Stress can also lead to changes in behavior. I know I’m not the only one who can mindlessly put away a bag of Reece’s when I’m stressed out. It can impact alcohol/drug consumption and cause you to get out for your morning run less.
Self-care helps you be mindful of your stress levels when they start to rise and helps you bring them back down to healthier levels.
You can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself first!
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10 Budget-friendly Ways to Practice Self-care
This is one of my top ways to practice self-care. You can find so many good vids on YouTube to channel your inner zen. Here’s one of my faves!
Meditation doesn’t need to be a spiritual practice and there are so many ways to meditate besides just sitting in quiet. It can be done as a mindfulness technique to help calm down your nervous system and slow your mind. You can do walking meditations, journaling meditations, or guided visualizations. I found guided visualizations the easiest when I first started getting into meditation and the one I linked above fits the bill!
If you want more in-depth information on meditation check out my post here!
Get Enough Sleep
I am sooooo guilty of not putting enough importance on this one. I have so much I want to get done that I will caffeinate myself to Gilmore Girl’s levels to check everything off on my to-do list.
I used to think that as long as I didn’t feel tired that I was getting enough sleep.
Oh, Jen. You’re so cute!
And so wrong!
I was getting a lot done, but I was also acting like a huge betch. I was stressed constantly about never being able to do enough and I was snapping so often at my loved ones it was like Mean Girls up in here.
I was exercising, meditating, and journaling. I couldn’t figure out why I was so dang anxious all the time. One day I was looking through the email from Fitbit that sends me my weekly progress report and I realized I was only getting 5 hours of sleep on average.
Woof. I thought I was at least getting 6 and I didn’t feel tired. Wouldn’t my body be telling me if I wasn’t getting enough sleep?
So I did what I do best and turned to the research! It turns out that the baseline that triggers you to feel sleepy can be changed if you train yourself to only sleep for that certain amount of time, BUT your body is still fatigued. It just comes out in different ways.
Some symptoms of routine sleep deprivation: Weight gain, overeating, memory issues, stress, depression, irritability, raised levels of inflammation, anxiety, and the list goes on.
Well, crap. I had a like 3 of those symptoms going on.
Long story short, I made a concentrated effort on getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night, and my inner betch went back to hibernating until she’s needed to tell some Karen what’s what.
Journaling is one of my favorite ways to practice self-care. It’s right up there with meditation.
All you need is paper and a pen. It’s a cinch. And if you need some journaling prompts I got you, girl!
If you want to level up your journaling join my 7-day email series Journaling to Clarity. It’s a *BONUS* to my readers to help them gain clarity on who they really are, what they want, and what steps to take to make their dream life a reality!
Practicing gratitude on the reg helps train your brain to start looking for the positives instead of the negatives. After dealing with depression and chronic pain my brain was primed to spot those negatives, but by making a group with my friends where we shared what we’re grateful for each day I began to flip that mindset on its booty!
Try making a group with friends where you share 3 things you’re grateful for each day or just write it in your journal each night. Both work!
We are dealing with hella hard life stuff right now, but choosing to actively look for the positive can help keep the anxiety gremlins at bay.
Learn Something New
Leveling up your life by learning something new can help you feel empowered and successful. It doesn’t matter if it’s for your current career, size biz, or something just for fun. Add a new skill to your repertoire!
Right now I’m using SkillShare to learn SEO and creative writing so I can write that memoir that’s been catching cobwebs in my brain for the last year or so. Right now they give you the first two months free!
Coursera is another great option if you want classes that are more academic based. As long as you don’t want a certificate of completion you can sign up for free!
Dance Like Nobody’s Watching
Recently I was able to experience my friend Rachel’s Recharge Class that is a mix of meditation, HIIT, and dancing like you don’t give a sh*t. I got in a good workout, did my meditation for the day, and released some stress dancing however my body damn well felt like it.
Having the freedom to dance like that reminded me of when I was a kid and would just spin in circles to entertain myself. I felt free and completely aligned with myself.
Check her out if you want to join her virtual classes on Thursdays for $10!
You can also achieve this sense of freedom by just putting on your favorite feel-good song and dancing without thinking. Right now I’m feelin’ Physical by Dua Lipa! Sorry downstairs neighbors!
Spend Time With Loved Ones
Grab a quick phone call with your bestie or zoom with the fam.
When I’m feeling down grabbing brunch with my mom, cuddling with my BF, or chillin’ with friends is a surefire way to make me feel better.
I’ve made it a point to only surround myself with people I can trust enough to be vulnerable with. So when I turn to them in a moment of need I never feel like I have to hide my feelings.
The main thing here is that you want to make sure you’re turning to quality people. It’s perfectly fine to have that friend who’s great to go shopping with, but if she tends to be less than encouraging you might want to turn to someone else. If you’re spending time with someone for self-care you want to make sure you’re both filling each other’s buckets.
I wouldn’t call myself an outdoorsy person. I didn’t go camping for the first time until I was 29-years-old and I love indoor plumbing.
When I’m hiking out in nature, though, I feel so connected with everything. My mind is more peaceful, I feel more aligned with myself, and I feel restored by the end. I’m talking like away from everyone and everything hiking with just my BF, husky, and I.
There’s just that special something about getting back to your roots in nature. No computers, no phone calls, no worries.
Plus, a little dirt is great for your microbiome!
Clean aka. Marie Kondo that shit!
I get no joy from the actual act of cleaning and throwing things out can reduce me to tears. It’s like I can feel the inner betrayal my stuffed animals felt when I gave them away.
After everything is cleaned up and the garbage bags full of stuff have been donated or thrown out? I feel ah-mazing. It’s like I can breathe again!
The smell of clean is in the air!
Having a place for everything and being able to move around my living space is nothing short of life-changing for me. I’m more optimistic, positive, and grateful.
If you enjoy cleaning then great! Go do that. If you’re like me and you would rather do 100 burpees than clean out your closet then try and pay attention to how you feel after the cleaning is done. Ya feel?
You don’t need to get all Martha Stewart on me….although I can be bribed with gluten-free cookies any day….but just a little bit goes a long way.
Slow Down Your Workout
I am all about moving heavy barbells around. That’s my jam. Sometimes you gotta slow it down though.
I’m not talking about rest days, although those are important too!
Going balls to the wall during each workout can actually do more harm than good. More is not better and overtraining is real.
When you go hardcore mode for every workout you can decline in fitness levels, lack motivation, lower your immune system, cause chronic injuries, and a whole host of mood issues.
The best training plan involves rest days AND more zen type workouts like yoga or pilates. Yoga and Pilates can help you calm down your stress response, restore and recharge your body and cultivate a better mind/body connection.
I hope you found these 10 budget-friendly ways to practice self-care helpful and you don’t need to invest a lot (or any) money to start a self-care regimen now.
Share this post with someone you think deserves a little self-care and make sure to comment below with any budget-friendly ways to practice self-care you do below!
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