Self-care on a budget

Self-care on a budget

It seems like life is always jam-packed with events, reunions, and family reunions, but don’t forget to make time to take care of your personal well-being and prioritize self-care.

Investing in yourself doesn’t have to involve expensive spa days or luxury products. And it doesn’t have to be reserved for special occasions. In fact, low-cost self-care options allow us to schedule “me time” more frequently and achieve the same positive results as with expensive prices. Creating rituals around buying small stimulants reminds us that small pleasures can have a big impact on our lives.

These five affordable self-care ideas will help you relax, restore and focus on yourself, while boosting your mood and energy and freeing up space for new opportunities.

1. Set aside a monthly personal gift fund

Adding a pretty candle or a pair of sparkly earrings to your cart can feel expensive or frivolous when shopping for your weekly essentials. Instead, set aside a small amount of money each month (say, $30) to buy yourself a gift. Grab that leather-bound journal you’ve been eyeing, or spend a few hours at a favorite store shopping just for yourself. Answer “yes” when the sales associate asks if it’s a gift. So, take a moment to unwrap your present and celebrate yourself. You can even include a card with a compliment or an inspiring mantra.

2. Buy yourself the bouquet

Stop giving away pretty bouquets at the supermarket. Most prepackaged arrangements cost less than $10 and fill your home with color, life, and nature. “Part of my self-care routine is doing nice things for myself, no matter how small,” said Holly Eve, mental health advocate and founder and CEO of Madame Lemy, a natural beauty products site. “I love buying colorful flowers for myself. Investing in simple but beautiful things reminds me of the importance of slowing down and giving myself the healing I need to face the day with a positive outlook.

Divide the bouquet into a few separate vases and place one on your nightstand, one on your kitchen table, and one in a corner where you’ll see and appreciate it. Use mason jars, teacups, or even a clear glass to hold them. Even old perfume bottles make beautiful vases.

3. Create a vision board

Vision boards are a powerful tool for manifesting what we want in our lives and who we would like to spend it with. No dream is too big to fit on a digital or physical whiteboard. Without thinking too much, crop or save online photos and words that speak to you. Then place them on a poster or digital page using a simple design site like Canva. Take a photo of your vision board and print it or display it in a place where you will see it often.

4. Spend quality time with friends

Human connection is essential to our emotional and psychological well-being. Schedule in-person coffee dates or virtual dates to meet supportive people who are fun to date and encourage you to pursue your passions. “Feeling seen, heard and understood is a relaxing experience,” said Denise Shull, performance coach and CEO and founder of The Rethink Group. “It literally reduces cortisol. Emotionally, positive relationships make us feel better about ourselves and reduce stress. Both lead to healthier outcomes. If you’re catching up at home, put on your pajamas and pop some popcorn to connect with the teenager in you.

5. Spa treatments at home

Get the luxury of self-care at home. Visit the spa aisle at the drugstore and pick up an assortment of personal care essentials like a hydrating hair mask, a glowing sheet mask, bath salts, and body scrubs. Then, light some candles in your bathroom and play a playlist of mellow music as you take a long, luxurious bath. After that, stay in the Zen zone relaxing on the sofa with a good book and a cup of herbal tea.

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