Self-care can be a critical part of both your physical and mental health. By purposefully tending to your own needs, you can ensure that you’re always at the top of your game. This can help you impact others around you as well as allow you to live your life to the fullest.
However, the privilege of indulging in self-care isn’t always free. Many of the stereotypical self-care activities — things like going on a trip or getting a massage — can be very expensive. If you’re feeling the need for some self-care but you also have financial restrictions, here are a few suggestions for ways to balance self-care with your budget.
Start with Your POV
Before you select an affordable self-care activity to engage in, it’s important to address one thing: your point of view. Going about self-care in a budget-conscious manner isn’t a step down from the ideal. On the contrary, often the flashy, more expensive self-care options distract from the greater point of actually addressing the needs of your body and mind.
Instead of pursuing unnecessary self-care frills, start by centering your perspective on the fact that affordable self-care is actually a form of self-care in and of itself. By honing your financial acumen and considering your monetary needs along with your physical and mental ones, you’re setting yourself up for future financial comfort. This can reduce stress and help you afford things like gym memberships and healthy food, which can be integral to genuine self-care efforts.
Consider Your Environment
Self-care is associated with activities. However, it can also come through tending to your environment. Consider areas of your life where your living spaces are negatively impacting your mind and body.
For instance, if your home is constantly cluttered, you may want to neaten things up to reduce the impact that the mess can have on your mind. It’s well known that a cluttered space can exacerbate things like stress, anxiety, and energy levels.
You don’t even have to do the clean-up alone. Create a cleaning schedule that incorporates everyone in your living space.
Another good example is your workplace. Many places in an office can be filthy. This can spread sickness. It can also add to stress, particularly in light of the recent pandemic. Ask your boss to help create a cleaning schedule or even hire a professional company to keep your space clean.
Improving your environment can help you care for your body without spending a penny.
Tend to the Basics
Self-care doesn’t have to be connected to over-indulging. On the contrary, often it provides a time to care for yourself in small yet powerful ways, such as:
- Getting enough sleep: Sleep is critical for health and free. It’s recommended that you get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night as an adult.
- Eating well: Healthy food choices can help you prevent physical issues from creeping into the picture. Staying hydrated is also critical.
- Exercising regularly: Getting exercise isn’t just good for losing weight. It can also do seemingly unconnected things like keeping your eyes healthy through lower blood pressure.
These may seem basic. And yet, most people don’t find the time in their days to properly address all three items. Use your self-care time to tend to your body’s basic needs. It’s affordable and healthy all at the same time.
Spend Time with Loved Ones
Self-care can often be a shared experience. Adding a social aspect to your self-care routine can meet a critical mental need. It can help you engage with others and find fulfillment outside of your internal thoughts.
You can use self-care time to reconnect with friends. For example, pick a place to go for a walk together. This gives you a chance to catch up while also sneaking in some healthy exercise. You can also look for a hobby that you both enjoy doing, like rock climbing or biking.
You can also invite your kids in on the action. This can help them begin to develop a healthy idea of how self-care can be an effective tool, even if you’re working within a limited budget.
Balancing Self-Care with Your Budget
Self-care can be a critical part of a healthy life. At the same time, healthy finances are also crucial to your success and peace of mind. The last thing you want to do is sacrifice one in the name of the other.
Instead, look for ways to combine your self-care activities with your budget. Start with the clear understanding that tending to your finances is an act of self-care all on its own. From there, branch out and look for affordable-yet-impactful ways that you can exercise self-care.
This can start with basics like sleep and exercise. From there, try to engage with friends, find hobbies, and clean up your various environments. This can give you a deep sense of self-worth while keeping your finances intact at the same time.