Effective and Inexpensive Forms of Self-Care – Guest Post written by Sheila Johnson
Many people frequently spend their time and energy on other people’s behalf. In the process of being there for others, it’s easy to lose sight of being there for yourself. Eventually, this can lead to stress, burnout, and dissatisfaction with life. Moreover, many oft-recommended types of self-care are pretty pricey. Not everyone can swing a weekly massage or night on the town, and trying to do so probably causes more stress than it relieves. However, self-care doesn’t have to be expensive; there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to treat yourself.
Shopping is actually a form of self-care for some people. That’s okay, as long as they’re able to do so in a way that doesn’t leave them strapped for cash. If this applies to you, a simple way to indulge without breaking the budget is to plan ahead. Give yourself an affordable fun budget you can put towards something exciting each month. By planning the spending into your month, you make sure you’re spending responsibly. This way, you can get a fun treat while knowing your other financial responsibilities are covered.
You can also reduce how much you spend while shopping by looking for deals on clothing for women. Discounts on clothes, for example, can help you get more out of the money you’ve set aside. Keep your eye out for sales and coupons to make the most of your spending money.
Many people get up for work in the dark, spend all day inside a building, and then go home in the dark. If most of your day is spent inside surrounded by the glow of harsh office lighting, self-care can be as simple as changing your environment. Make an effort to spend 15 to 20 minutes of each day outside. The fresh air and sunlight are both certain to have a positive effect on your mood. It will not only be a refreshing change of pace, but it will also give you the healthy dose of vitamin D you need to bust up bad moods.
One of the best things you can do for your own physical and mental health is to get a full night’s rest. Nearly a third of US adults have regular issues falling or staying asleep. If you’re in this group, you may spend your days tired, anxious, and generally unwell. You’re also at higher risk for colds, mood disorders, and chronic health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
Fortunately, most people can make a big impact on their sleep quality with simple interventions. If you use the phone in bed, stop. In fact, try to reduce screen time in the evening, and stop entirely an hour before bed. Make sure you’re sleeping in a quiet, dark room, and avoid heavy exercise or big meals right before bed. These simple steps can make a substantial difference.
Pick Up a Hobby
Learning something new is an effective form of self-care. You may think you already have too much on your plate to add a new hobby; however, if you can make time for it, you’ll be amazed by the results. Hobbies give you a chance to develop a new skill in a no-pressure situation. You’ll build confidence and have something to turn to when life gets too overwhelming.
Catch Up with a Friend
Socialization is an important (and biologically driven) part of the human experience. However, many of us don’t get the chance to connect with our loved ones as much as we like. Busy schedules mean there never seems to be time to really sit down and talk with someone.
Self-care is making time for that connection. Think of someone you haven’t really talked to a while (even if you have spent time with them recently) and ask them to coffee. An hour and the cost of a latte will go a long way toward improving your mood and health. Self-care doesn’t have to be glamorous and expensive – it’s much more important for it to be effective. These are just a few of the simple, low-cost ways you make yourself a priority. Seek enjoyable experiences and build in time for rest, and you will reap the rewards
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