Among all of the challenges that we can face while trying to save money, self care is another one that can be hard to find ways to frugally practice.
When we hear about self care, so often they are things such as getting a massage, having a spa day, buying this or that, and so on.
Don't get me wrong, those things are great and can be wonderful ways to treat ourselves. However, not everyone has it in their budget to do those things.
There are many ways we can practice self care and build habits that help us to feel great without spending a dime.
Today I'll be sharing 10 of my favorite habits that have been the most helpful to me in terms of de-stressing and allowing me to feel better each day.
1. Limit Social Media & Screen Time
This is easier said than done, but limiting the time you spend on social media, or even taking little breaks for a few days/weeks here and there, can be an amazing experience. So often I find it is more of a habit to spend countless minutes on social media than it is an activity I actually enjoy.
It can be great to catch up with loved ones, but endless scrolling and the comparison mindset it can bring is a tricky balancing act.
Try limiting you’re time if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Screen time & social media had always overwhelmed me in the background - I didn't realize it, but once I took a break, I couldn’t believe how much lighter I felt in so many ways!
2. Unwind Before Bed
Do you suddenly have 20 things on your mind, to do lists and other thoughts, right before bed? Me too! Letting yourself rest after the day, without looking at a screen, feels SO good.
My favorite ways to do this include reading, journalling, listening to music, or even just sitting there sipping a tea. Instead of putting on a tv show or movie for a little background noise, try encouraging and relaxing music. I love putting on nature sounds as well.
3. Journal First Thing in the Morning
This habit has changed my days! Walking through the day trying to remember what we need to do can be extremely overwhelming.
Waking up in the morning and making a little plan for the day and what needs to be done is a really helpful way to stay on top of things while still being able to relax a bit more.
This is also helpful because if you write down everything on your mind, everything that needs to be done or remembered, it is that much easier to let go of it for a moment and just start the day slowly, as it is all written down. Whether its a blank page or a worksheet to prompt you, writing things down is very helpful. We can’t remember everything!
4. Take More Time to Get Ready = A Slower Paced Morning
If you’re finding yourself always running out the door in the morning or rushing to get ready, try waking up a little bit earlier to give yourself some more time to get ready. Not only will you stop being late, but it feels amazing to have a bit of time to relax in the morning, especially by having a slower paced and calmer start to the day.
One way I implemented this habit is by simply going to bed 10 minutes earlier and waking up 10 minutes earlier. I find I don't notice those 10 minutes nearly as much in evening as I do in the morning.
Even having an extra 10 minutes means a little more time to sip your coffee, cozy up with a book, journal, or even just get ready.
5. Clean & Do Laundry in Small Increments
We all know how fast laundry and cleaning can pile up. Doing little tasks each day (rather than everything at once) can be a really helpful way to stay on top of it yet not feel so overwhelmed by needing to get it all done at once.
Try planning to do laundry certain days of the week, and plan to do any cleaning on the other days. Splitting it up into smaller, equally-sized/timed tasks is a helpful way to balance and prevent spending an entire day doing everything at once.
6. Watch Movies Without Your Phone
We’re so used to always having our phone in our hands that it can be hard to focus on something without it. I always find myself struggling to watch a movie without having my phone in hand, scrolling the whole time and just listening to the movie as background noise.
Try watching a movie without your phone by putting it across the room or in another room - notice how much more relaxing it. This has really helped me feel relaxed and less overwhelmed. Multitasking is great, but relaxing without worrying about anything else is even BETTER!
7. Focus on ONE Task at a Time
To follow my previous point, focusing on one task at a time can be extremely helpful and prevent us from feeling so overwhelmed. Whether it’s at work or at home, it is often so much less stressful to focus on one task at a time than to try to do everything at once by multitasking.
Perhaps you multitask because you feel like you'll forget something, or are worried you won't get everything done. Again, multitasking can be helpful at times, but balance is important too. I recommend checking out this post for ways to organize your daily life, and lessen the overwhelm that comes with it.
8. Prioritize One-on-One Connections
Sometimes when I feel so overwhelmed, I often also feel alone and caught up in my head - the two make each other worse!
Prioritizing one on one connections with loved ones is an important thing to do if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Not only are healthy relationships important, but it often brings us great joy to spend quality time with the ones we loved and in return, strengthen our connections even more.
Spending time with loves ones often times comes with a result of spending money, but there are many frugal activities to do that embrace quality time vs. what you can spend. This doesn't have to be something that holds you back from saving money, or enjoying relationships.
9. Take Full Lunch Breaks
This is something that I notice SO much in myself and others around me - not using up the entire lunch break to eat and take a true break. Sure, that hour can be used to do more work or dwell on what needs to be done - but taking care of yourself is an important part of each day.
Taking a full lunch break can be a great & very realistic way to practice self care even in a small way.
If you're like me and have trouble taking a break without thinking about work or truly unwinding, try going for a relaxing walk, listening to a podcast as you eat, or turning on some cheerful music.
These small but mighty differences can help turn a busy, stressful day into a busy, less stressful day.
10. Turn in Early More Frequently
Staying out late or having full days can be great at times, but sometimes nothing quite beats cozying up in bed with a good book, a cup of tea, or just getting some extra sleep.
As hard as it is, try not to stare at a screen when you practice this habit. A good podcast & a cozy blanket can also be a great way to turn in early.
I hope this post has served as an important reminder of the importance of self care and the fact that you don’t have to spend money to practice it.
If you're looking for more ways to save money in daily life, check out this post for simple routines you can start today.