This week we discussed the importance of self-care on the podcast and how to prioritize it even if the cost does add up. While self-care is super important no doubt, sometimes working around the cost factor is easier said than done.
It’s easy to say that you should take care of your mental and physical health at all costs, but when the costs start to add up and you can’t afford it with your current budget some issues can arise. Luckily, there are plenty of free ways to prioritize your health and well-being by providing self-care. Indulging in a few free options can lighten the financial burden you feel when trying to manage other expenses you might have like debt payments, housing expenses, and so on.
The next time you’re deciding on how to provide some much-needed self-care, consider some of these free options combined with your other preferences which might cost more.
1. Get the Proper Amount of Rest
I’m a huge advocate of sleep because it’s the best way to allow your body to rest and recharge. When I don’t get enough sleep at night, I’m not only cranky and irritable but I’m also unproductive, easily distracted, and sometimes I even get headaches when working.
Since I spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen allowing my eyes and body to rest is a must.
When your schedule is busy and you’re trying to please everyone, it can be easy to put off sleep and prioritize other things. When you do this, your body will start to work against you.
Arianna Huffington, the founder of The Huffington Post, recently published a book called The Sleep Revolution and talks about the sleep deprivation crisis and how sleep can transform your life.
It’s important to make time for sleep. It does wonders for your body and it’s free. If you need to wake up earlier to get more things done, make sure you don’t stay up late and vice versa. You can also schedule time throughout the day to takes naps to recharge.
Now that I’m working from home, I do that quite a bit and back when I was working a traditional time, I loved coming home on Fridays and taking a 2-hour nap.
2. Find a Free (Almost) Way to Relax
I’m pretty much the world’s worst person at relaxing. As a self-proclaimed workaholic, I usually answer with “work” when someone asks me what my hobbies are.
Unfortunately, I’ve realized in the past year or so that I need to find other ways to spend time besides just working as I’ve had my work and stress level take a toll on my health.
These days I try to relax and step away from work by doing things like taking a bubble bath at the end of a long day, especially in the winter when it gets cold.
I also do things that make me feel good, like painting my toenails. I don’t usually shell out for a pedicure at a salon or spa, but even just painting my nails myself makes me feel prettier and happier.
Self care doesn’t have to cost a bundle. These things I do for myself cost only the price of a bottle of bubble bath, some hot water, and a bottle of nail polish. Plus, the nail polish and bottle of bubble bath will last for many, many uses before you have to buy more.
3. Take a Hike
Besides not getting enough sleep, many of us also don’t take the time to distance ourselves from technology or screens.
That’s why I love getting outside and taking a hike (or a walk).
It might sound silly or cliche, but there’s something about being in nature that’s so refreshing after a week spent sitting in front of a computer non-stop.
I went on a hike last weekend and I felt my happiness levels go up while my stress levels went down. Being in the mountains, surrounded by beautiful scenery, is something I’ll take any day over work.
I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t get enough “outdoor time,” but I think it’s almost as necessary as sleep when it comes to taking care of yourself.
Staring at a screen all day isn’t healthy for you at all, and I often get headaches because of it. Sitting all day also isn’t that great for you! Plus, a change of scenery is always nice.
Going for a hike or a walk can help you get fresh air, exercise, and it might also help you clear your mind so you can come back to work refreshed and ready to go.
What are your favorite free ways to indulge in self-care?