Having a self-care practice is an essential part of staying sane, but it’s a luxury I can’t always afford. We’re so busy running around like headless chickens, trying to be the best versions of ourselves, that it can leave us feeling drained. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve almost had a mental and physical breakdown thanks to not slowing down and taking proper care of myself. Unfortunately, when it comes to creating a great self-care routine, I have this unrealistic idea of what it should look like.
Insert fantasy here: I soak in a warm bath that smells of lavender while gold pieces float about the water. A cute giraffe pokes its head through my bathroom window to say hello (because I’m obvz on a safari getaway), and nibble on my chocolate covered strawberries while I blissfully read a book. Sadly, my bank account has yet to make this a reality.
After realizing that my fantasy of petting a giraffe while soaking in gold infused water was never going to happen, I decided to create a self-care practice that didn’t break the bank, and that wasn’t time-consuming (unless I wanted it to be). Lucky for you, I’m not about to keep this all to myself! Here are just a few ways I recharge my mental, physical and emotional batteries:
Starting any new routine can be difficult, and this has definitely been the case with meditation for me. With so many tasks being added to the growing list of things to do during the day, it can be difficult to carve out time to sit, slow down and gain perspective. Because sitting still has been such a huge pain in the butt for me, I’ve begun by setting 7 minutes aside each morning to meditate. This is a great way to add a little self-care into your day without costing you a thing, and it’s truly allowed me to understand myself and my thoughts a little better. Don’t knock it until you try it!
2. Breakfast For One?
Having to rush out the door in the morning leaves me feeling frazzled throughout the day, and it’s a feeling I hate. That’s why I try my best to add a few extra minutes to my schedule so that I can sit down and enjoy a delicious healthy breakfast with myself that includes not having to gulp down my freshly made coffee. It’s a great way to start the day and prioritize some time for yourself before your day begins. If you’re not a fan of breakfast, try cooking a delicious meal at the end of the day and sitting down without distractions (put away that phone).
3. Take Care Of Your Skin
When it comes to having a great skincare routine, mine is not the best. A good face wash and moisturizer are all I need; but when I asked one of my friends how she indulged in self-care, her answer was simple: “I spend extra time on my skincare routine”. Adding a few extra steps to your routine, such as that face mask you’ve been dying to try out or simply exfoliating, is a great way to spend time treating yourself without costing it too much. I usually try to do this once a week, and it has done wonders for my skin!
4. Treat Yo’ Self
As a 20-something living on a budget, there’s nothing more luxurious than splurging on a massage. While I do realize the point of this post was to keep self-care spending to a minimum, sometimes you just have to treat yourself (this is my answer to everything!). I tend to hold a lot of tension in my shoulders, and a massage not only helps to alleviate this discomfort, but it does wonders to renew my mental state as well. Websites such as Groupon have great deals for massages, and if you can afford the time and money to go, I would suggest you try to get out of your own head and enjoy the present moment (and massage!).
5. Be Creative:
Not everyone can be Picasso or J.K Rowling, but doing something creative, like painting or writing is a great way to rejuvenate your mind and keep your spirit light. Being creative is a great way to feed the soul, and it’s not limited to painting or writing. Stimulating your right brain can take many forms, and you can express your creative self through dancing, decorating or cooking (these are but a few). Creativity is a great way to express yourself, especially when there are no words to communicate your feelings after a tough day.