Updated: Feb 1, 2019
Self-care is extremely important and something that everyone should take the time to schedule and plan in their daily lives to ensure a healthy, positive and well balanced life.
Many people avoid or stray from self-care as they assume that self-care equals very pricey, lavish things like vacations, the spa and a massive shopping spree. I have gathered 10 simple ways we can bring self care into our lives for $20 or less (some even FREE) that you can do everyday, every week or every month to ensure that you are of right mind and of right body.
This can be anywhere from 1 min to an hour a day. There are many great apps out there available to help you get in the mindset of letting out, and relaxing your breathing and your body. Try this at home, grab a candle, your favourite comfy clothes, go to a quiet spot in your home, close your eyes and let the flicked of the light bring your mind to a peaceful space where you can quietly reflect on your day and on your mood. A few I would recommend is: Insight Timer (Free!), and Headspace ($7.99 to $12.99 per month after trial).
Write in a journal
This is one of my favourite FREE forms of self-care. It basically is free therapy, but therapy from yourself. Whenever my mind is cluttered, I feel stressed or like I am lost, writing is one of my true escapes that helps me check in with myself. Sometimes after rereading a passage that I have just written, it amazes me to see some of the thoughts and feelings that I wasn’t aware of jump of the page at me. It is a really clear and effective way to de-clutter your mind as well and be open to hearing yourself as sometimes we get too busy to really listen to what our bodies are telling us.
Buy a self-improvement book
My favourite is “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff” by Richard Carlson. I have had this book for just over 11 years and I keep going back to it. It continues to be incredibly relevant to every step of my life, and is a great check in and reminder when I am feeling anxious, depressed on need some reflection on how I am dealing with difficult things or feeling particularly overwhelmed. I also recommend – “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie. This has been an incredible book that has served as a huge road map to navigating and exploring the ways in which I deal with building my own business and interacting with others in my everyday life. It has helped me to deal with tough situations in the business world as well give me the confidence to know how to react in situations that normally could bring much stress and anxiety. It has also humbled and reminded me in many ways of the simplest ways in which being human to one another is a great way to live a fulfilled and successful life.
Write in a gratitude journal
A great strategy to bring into your nightly routine is reflecting on all of the incredible things that you are grateful for. Sometimes we get really negative and stressed, and going to bed angry with all of these thoughts in our mind is a terrible way to bring on insomnia, restful sleep and depression. When we reflect on all of the things we are thankful for in our lives, our problems seem to become smaller and we can release all of our pent up negativity and energy and transform it into gratitude, which in turns makes us feel more grateful and happy to be alive.
Having a spa like experience doesn’t have to be expensive. You can go to your local drug store and buy 1-3 packs of premade facemasks for less than $10. On days when I feel like taking care of my skin and feeling refreshed, I buy a face mask, run the bath and sit reading a few chapters of a book while my mask does its thing. It leaves my skin feeling nourished, relaxed and fresh. Some great ones I use are from Shoppers Drug Mart, my favourites are: Calming Face Mask Aloe Vera & Mint, Detoxifying Face Mask Lotus Flower & Ginseng and Purifying Mud Face Mask Volcanic Ash & Blue-Green Algae.
Bath with epsom salts
After those long hard days sitting at your desk, running yourself a bath with Epsom salts is incredibly healing for your body. You can purchase Epsom salts for as low as $10 at your local drug store, and some come in really exhilarating scents like Lavender and Mint. It is another quick and easy way to have a spa like experience in the comfort of your own home, multiple nights a week if you please without breaking the bank at the spa.
Listen to music
In a world filled with distractions and new Netflix series popping up every month, I have forgotten about the pure joy and comfort I get in throwing on one of my favourite bands or singers and getting lost in an album. There are many different music platforms out there at the moment that you can subscribe to for $9.99 or less a month for unlimited play. Spotify (get 3 months of premium for 0.99 then $9.99 per month after trial), Apple music (3 months free then $9.99 a month) and Tidal (30 days free trial then $9.99 a month)
Get a nice coffee
I have a great nespresso machine at home and absolutely adore it, but sometimes I crave the sights and sounds of a coffee shop. I really enjoy treating myself once in a while to a really great coffee and a delicious treat to go along with it. My life is so filled with “busy-ness” all the time that sometimes I need to remind myself to take it slow. Grab a coffee. Sit, people watch, and enjoy the silence of enjoying my favourite beverage without the hustle and bustle of my cluttered schedule.
Rent a bike
For less than $10 an hour, many cities have bike shares or bike rentals that you can pick up by the hour or for the day. When I was younger, I absolutely loved to escape on bike rides and feel the wind beneath my hair that brought me the ultimate freedom from whatever was going on at school or at home. Now that I am an adult and living in a city that thrives on getting around on bikes, I am reminded of the freedom and the sheer joy I get from riding my bike and exploring all of the beautiful scenery of the city and avoiding crowded transit and sidewalks that I usually am faced with.
Join a dance class/class that makes you feel good
I grew up being a dancer, and after almost 8 years of being out of it, earlier this year I went to my first one and never felt so free. The moves came back naturally and the jolt of adrenaline that came from doing what I love made me feel like I was comforting a part of myself that I forgot about.
Every few months, I try and change up the ways in which I take care of myself. I am really enjoying taking the time to see which things work for me at which points of the year, then switching it up to ensure I am not bored and finding new ways that I can take care of myself, reflect on my well being and ensure that the most important relationship in my life (the relationship I have with myself) is always nurtured, respected, loved and cared for. I would love to hear all of the creative ways in which you find affordable options to take care of your self. I find when we open up and share with others ways in which we focus on self-care, and the importance of it. Self-care becomes less of a “like to” and more of a “have to” and a constant reminder to each other that it is extremely important and necessary to take care of ourselves every single day.