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19 Ways to Practice Self-Care on a Budget

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“Self-care” has become a term that conjures up images of Instagram influencers catching flights to exotic destinations or purchasing a several hundred-dollar pair of shoes. But self-care doesn’t need to be expensive, and probably shouldn’t be. It’s so easy to get caught up in work obligations or the craziness of life, but it’s crucial to take time for yourself.

Practicing self-care on a budget may be easier than you think. At its core, self-care is simply taking care of yourself so that you can achieve well-balanced health — that doesn’t just mean on the physical side, but in terms of your mental and spiritual health as well.

“Taking care of yourself” can mean any number of things, and maybe for you that does entail purchasing something, but it’s important to engage in self-care within your means so that you don’t add any unnecessary stress to your life.

We’ve put together 19 ways to practice self-care on a budget to help you prioritize yourself and feel fulfilled. It’s important to note that self-care is not one-size-fits-all, so go ahead and take time to do whatever makes you feel happiest!

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A restless mind means that you probably have a lot going on, and you may be feeling overwhelmed or stressed. These ideas will help put you at ease and get your mental state to a calmer place.

1. Read a Book

It seems like we’re always on our phones or have our eyes on one device or another. Too much screen time can lead to eye fatigue and cause retinal damage, so unplug for a while and pick up a new book, or even an old favorite. When you’re done, and then start reading a new one. (Editor’s tip: Find your next favorite book with these Book Outlet coupons!)

2. Write in a Journal

Journaling can be very therapeutic, and all you need to get started is a pen and paper! Jot down some of your favorite memories from your day or week so that you can look back on them later, or write about something that’s troubling you. Putting all your thoughts on paper can help you work through whatever emotions you’re experiencing.

3. Create a Gratitude List

It’s super easy to get caught up in all the stressful or negative things going on in your life, and that can take a toll on your mental health. Take a few moments to write down some things you’re grateful for to refocus your energy on the positive things around you. It can be anything from watching a movie with your pet to that amazing meal you had the other day — just be sure to write it down so you can look back on it later!

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4. Do a Craft

Crafting is a great way to get your mind off of everyday life, and it’s fun to boot! Make your own candles or try your hand at embroidery — the possibilities are endless. If you have some extra handmade goodies when you’re done, gift them to friends or family using these cute labels alongside a or card.

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5. Color a Picture

Adult coloring books have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, and it’s even caused a global pencil shortage a few years ago! Coloring can lower your anxiety levels and help you practice mindfulness, and it’s something that’s accessible to all. (Editor’s tip: Stock up on coloring supplies with these Michaels coupons.)

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Since self-care is all about making sure you’re staying healthy, we’ve gathered these ideas to help you become and stay physically well.

6. Go For a Walk

For exercise that’s not very strenuous on your body, try going for a nice walk outside. While walking is a great form of physical exercise, it can also do wonders for your mental health. Find a nice park or go to your favorite neighborhood and take in the scenery and the fresh air. If it’s too cold to walk outside or if the weather is bad, you may be able to find someplace to . You’ll be feeling relaxed and centered in no time.

7. Practice Yoga

Yoga is perfect for slowing down and clearing your mind. If you’re already familiar with yoga, go ahead and practice some of your favorite poses. If you’re new to it, find an easy tutorial for beginners online. As you focus on breathing and maintaining your balance, you’ll feel all your worries drift away.

8. Get Some Extra Sleep

Many of us don’t get enough sleep, and that can really wear us down mentally and physically as time goes on. The daily recommended amount of sleep is at least seven hours per night for most adults. If you have trouble hitting your recommended amount of sleep, try setting smaller goals to work up to it.

Pick a day where you go to bed early or allow yourself to sleep in a little longer, or set aside some time to take a midday nap. Apart from feeling more rested, research shows that getting enough sleep can lead to better heart health and a stronger immune system.

9. Eat a Healthy Meal

It’s so easy to stop at your local fast food restaurant on your way home from work or order a pizza for delivery. But try taking a little extra time to prepare a healthy meal at home. Healthy food doesn’t need to , and it doesn’t have to be bland and boring — if you give it a chance, your body will thank you! Consider to help you get started with healthier eating. (Editor’s tip: Check out these HelloFresh coupons to take out the hassle of meal planning and grocery shopping!)

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10. Drink More Water

Research has shown that 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Do you drink enough water? If you don’t, take a moment to sip a glass or two and make a mental note to drink more every day. Chances are you’ll start to feel more energized.

To keep track of your water, exercise and eating habits, print out this habit tracker to stay on top of your physical self-care!

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11. Make a DIY Face Mask

For the ultimate form of DIY self-care, try making yourself a face mask right at home. Face masks are not only healthy for your skin, but they’re also the pinnacle of relaxation. You can find tons of easy recipes online, so get to relaxing! (Editor’s tip: If you don’t feel like making your own face mask, use these Sephora coupons to purchase one!)

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These ideas will help you feel like you’re taking control of your life, and you may feel more peaceful. Your soul is the essence of who you are, so be sure to take care of it.

12. Learn to Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries can help improve both your professional and personal lives. Don’t overextend yourself, and don’t be afraid to say no. Boundaries can help you avoid anger and burnout, and they can help you focus on doing what is best for you.

13. Lend a Helping Hand

Volunteering can be a great way to increase your self-esteem and boost your mood. Choose a project or area that you care about, such as animal welfare or tutoring children, and offer to help out. There are opportunities to fit everyone’s interests, and you can volunteer both in-person and . Supporting others can feed your soul, and you’ll feel fulfilled that you’ve helped accomplish a greater goal.

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14. Be Kind to Yourself

Everyone makes a mistake every now and then and it can be easy to get down on yourself or beat yourself up, but it’s important to treat yourself with kindness. When a friend makes a mistake, you likely give them supportive advice on how to move forward. Instead of being mad at yourself or putting yourself down when things don’t go as planned, treat yourself with that same support. To remind yourself of your worth, download this affirming phone background!

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15. Clean Your Home

A messy or cluttered home can make you feel stressed, anxious and overwhelmed. Set aside some time to clean up a bit to help get your mental state back to a healthy place. Think of it as a healing exercise rather than a chore, and consider starting by cleaning a small space or picking up a few miscellaneous items to ease you into the home healing. (Editor’s tip: Use these Target coupons to stock up on any cleaning or home storage supplies you may need.)

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Research shows that Americans find money to be more stressful than relationships and work, so try these self-care ideas to get your finances off your mind.

16. Set Aside Money for Emergencies

Emergencies are an unavoidable part of life. No one likes to encounter an emergency, but it’s important to be prepared for when one comes up. You may get sick, your car may need a repair or maybe you run into an unexpected vet bill for your pet.

Regularly setting aside money to cover these situations can put your mind at ease — you’ll know that you can cover an unanticipated situation. Just be sure to replenish your emergency fund after you use money from it!

17. Prioritize Paying Down Your Debts

Debt can be one of the biggest stressors in life. Credit card debt, student loans or other loans can add up, and you may be feeling financial pressure to get them paid down. Stress about debt can have a huge impact on your mental health, and you may feel like you’ve lost some control in your life.

Try to figure out what debt is most important for you to pay off, then make it a priority to set aside money to make payments towards it. Even a small payment can help you regain a sense of control.

18. Create a Realistic Budget

Budgeting is not a fun task, but it’s a necessary one. Creating a budget can help you save money for things you need (and maybe even a fun treat), but it’s important to make one that aligns with your lifestyle. Be aware of your spending habits and make a budget that properly accounts for them. This way, you’ll have a budget that you can actually stick to, and you’ll feel peace of mind that you’re saving some money. (Editor’s tip: Try out these Intuit coupons to help you get a handle on your personal finances.)

19. Invest in Yourself

Don’t be afraid to spend money on yourself, as long as you’re doing so within your means. Whether you sign up for a class you’ve been wanting to take or treat yourself to a weekend getaway, be sure to spend some of your hard-earned money on things that will help you grow and improve.

Remember, self-care doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or time — it’s simply about giving yourself moments of understanding and compassion. And sometimes self-care comes in the form of indulging in a chocolate bar. Use a Lindt Chocolate coupon and treat yourself to those truffles you’ve been craving. You deserve it!

Sources: Investopedia | University of Pittsburgh Medical Center | The Independent | CDC | Healthline | Chicago Sun-Times | PositivePsychology.com | Northwestern Mutual

We hope that you found this blog helpful. Our content is not intended to provide business, legal, tax, or financial advice. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

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