Self-care on a budget
Over the last few years our lives have become undeniably stressful, and finances are a great contributor to the added pressure. Family and work-related pressures are also just part of the adult experience. This is why self-care is vital! If we do not take care to pamper ourselves or just to take a breather every once in a while, our health will start to suffer.
As we get older, we tend to neglect ourselves. Self-care sometimes leads to guilt.
However, self-care does not have to be about spa days and salon pampering only, which are not only costly but require you to donate time and travelling, which place you in a stressful position already. Below, we have compiled a list of self-care budget-friendly activities, some of which are even free.
Eight budget-friendly self-care practices
Moving your body
There is no doubt that exercise is vital. Research has proven that exercise not only lowers depression but increases your ‘happy’ hormones leading to a better you. Regrettably, exercise is the first activity that we sacrifice when life is too busy and the costs of gym memberships and personal trainers can be out of reach of most people.
Fortunately, there are ways to exercise without breaking the bank, from going for long walks to running, hiking and exercising in your home with no gym equipment. Making this a priority is a form of self-care.
Spring cleaning is not for Spring
Your environment is equally as important when taking your stress levels into consideration. According to studies in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, people in cluttered homes suffer higher levels of stress than their neater counterparts. A simple act like taking an hour out of your week to clean your space could place you in a relaxed state of mind.
So put on your apron and tackle that dust to sweep your stress away.
Need for Sleep
Recharging yourself is yet another form of self-care. The National Sleep Foundation promotes taking a short nap to improve your energy. This only requires you to make your sleep space dark and quiet.
Getting enough sleep increases brain activity, mental clarity and has even been linked to weight loss.
Hydration is the key
Undeniably, the most cost-effective, healthiest and easiest method of self-care is staying hydrated by drinking water. This practice, done often, ensures that your body functions optimally.
However, if you want to treat yourself, get creative by making simple iced teas and storing them for quick access.
Self-care and Play
Being present with your family is a time-out that alleviates stress. As challenging as it sounds, put your phone away for an hour every day and simply play with your children. Our phones have become a constant source of distraction, which prevents us from handling important tasks, or even just ‘living in the moment’.
Feeling needed by our peers, family and friends give us a sense of belonging. However, when we allow this to become an obligation and we neglect to set the required boundaries, we can develop high-stress levels that may cause burnout.
Saying no is not a selfish act, quite the opposite. It also enables you to prioritise your time and attend to matters already presented to you. Saying no leaves you feeling empowered by taking control of your situation and/or tasks.
Try sticking to the boundaries you have set as a form of self-care.
Reading for self-care
Reading does not only broaden our knowledge but also serves as a relaxation technique. For this, the cost of books and magazines should not be a deterrent. Join your local library, which will provide you with an array of books that you can enjoy while taking a long bath.
Documenting your thoughts and milestones
Writing for relaxation purposes will not only relieve stress but anxiety as well. Keeping a journal of your children’s milestones, planning your goals or simply diarising your day, can create a positive boost once re-visited.
Not only will this keep you relaxed, but it will also assist to keep you focused by tracking your goals and accomplishments.
Self-care is being happy, and regardless of your financial situation or which stage in your life you are, taking care of yourself should not be neglected. By following the above steps on a regular basis, you will not only be improving your health, but it will enable you to take better care of those around you.
Self-care is also taking care of your health and getting a check-up by a medical professional. Get peace of mind with an Affinity Health combined plan where you benefit from all the out-of-hospital benefits as well as private hospitalisation cover to make sure you are 100% taken care of.