The Happiness Project

Mental Health blog, focused on self-care and learning to love your life!

If it isn’t super obvious by now, I love me some self-care practices. While it may not look like my life is super crazy all the time, I really enjoy taking a day off every now and then and putting in some self-care rituals. And do you know what the best part is? Self-care can be tailored for anyone on any budget!

That’s right, you don’t have to spend a lot of $$$ to get the self-care that you need. Sure, splurging and spoiling yourself isn’t a bad idea every now and then, but if you are looking for some daily, inexpensive ideas, look no further than right here!

So get ready for some great ideas for your next self-care day. And by all means, if I leave something out, put it in the comments! We love all ideas around here.

Alright, picture this for a moment. You wake up one morning and as usual, you check your phone and realize that there are no important messages to check. You double-check your email, and nothing from work pops up. You have the day off. You did your grocery shopping a couple of days ago, the house is (relatively) clean, and you have nothing but time on your hands.

I know, sounds almost to good to be true, right? But just roll with me here.

You sit up and pull the covers off of you. You yawn and stretch and try to think of what to do for the day.

I think you know where I’m going from here. This sounds like a perfect self-care day! So what are some quick, easy, and cheap ways to do some self-care? Let’s start off with some of the more obvious choices:

  • Limit your screen time – I feel like this is getting more and more popular lately, but really. Limit that time on social media. And if you are anything like me, that would be hard to do! I love scrolling through Instagram especially. But remember, that is just a screen, and real life is passing you by while your staring at a picture. This is especially good to do in the mornings, when you need time to wake up and get adjusted for the day. At least spend 10 minutes doing something else before you grab your phone. Your brain will thank you.
  • Set a routine – After you wake up, and your spending those first 10 minutes of being awake without a phone, take some time to set up a morning routine for yourself. It could be as simple as brushing your teeth straight away and washing your face or do 10 minutes of breathing exercises or yoga. You can set up your routine however you want too.
  • Hobbies – Remember when you were young and you had a really fun hobby that you used to do all the time? Why does adulting take up all of our fun time? Bring back some of your favorite hobbies! Depending on what you would like to do, your budget on this can be whatever you want. But it’s easy to find cheap ways to do things. Really enjoy hiking? Many states of public land to hike on. Just make sure you have good closed-toe shoes, breathable clothing, and lots of water to take with you. Do you miss staying up and reading until 2:00 AM to finish that book? Your local library can help you with that! What about sports? Well, places like Walmart can have all of your essentials, or you can enroll into a local gym who surely has everything you could need. (Psst, a YMCA has an excellent program to help with the monthly costs, and it only takes a tiny bit of paperwork to apply for the program. Plus, if you sign your whole family up, you can get even greater discounts!)

Alright, now for the not-so-obvious ways to do self-care. These might be a tad more difficult to do, but trust me, they are worth it in the end.

  • Diet and exercise – So after a year like 2020, I think we can all agree that sometimes eating ice cream out of it’s little tub is just what you need after a long, stressful day. And by all means, do it if you really had a crappy day. But let’s not over-indulge ourselves. It’s easy to get caught up in a lazy routine, and trust me, I feel like I’m the queen of that. But taking a step back and thinking about better ways to take care of ourselves is a really good thing, especially if you have any concerns about the way you look or feel. And those nasty little thoughts that get stuck in your head when you are looking at yourself in the mirror after a shower are really powerful. I’m not saying to go on a rabbit food diet and run until you drop, but replacing a few sweet or unhealthy snacks a week can really make a difference for your body. And it’s not hard to exercise, even getting a walk around the neighborhood for 30 minutes is proven to help. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy work-out equipment or all the organic food at your local supermarket, but consider less processed foods the next time you make a Walmart pick-up order and doing some stretches and dance around in your apartment for a little cardio. Your body (and mind!) will thank you.
  • Affirmations – Like I pointed out in the previous point, your mind is a powerful friend and sometimes a powerful enemy. We tend to get stuck in the same cycle of thoughts that roam around in our head, and if you are noticing some unhealthy trends, maybe it’s time to make a change. An affirmation is basically a little saying that your live by in your life. Feel like you are feeling down about life? Try this: I am superior to negative thoughts and low actions. Very useful to use, especially if you are sad over a negative comment that someone said about you. What if you are feeling like you aren’t meeting your full potential? Give this one a try: I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful. Excellent way of thinking, especially if you are reaching high for new goals like obtaining that new position at work.

    And don’t worry if you feel silly about these thoughts. Affirmations are meant to be private goals that mean a lot to YOU, so don’t worry about what others might say.

  • Try something new – Again, this idea can be as expensive and elaborate or as plain Jane as you want it to be. But we as humans often tend to stick in our own little bubble of security, and while there is nothing wrong with that, it can get boring or quite tedious. If you want to branch out a little bit, but you are unsure of where to start, the Internet is a wonderful thing! Use tools like Facebook or Meetup to find ways to explore new hobbies or extra-curricular activities. These are also great to use because we can start gathering around people in a safe way, like through a Zoom call. I know it’s not preferable, but soon we will get back to our normal lives. You’ll find hundreds of free or cheap options to explore around your local area or maybe even somewhere brand new! Again, thank you Internet.

Life is totally crazy, right? Don’t feel bad for using one of these days for some self-care for yourself! Drop your comments below on your favorite ways to self-care. 💕

2 thoughts on “Self-Care on a Budget

  1. Casey says:

    Going on a daily walk is definitely a big help for me – and cheap!


  2. Ruth says:

    All such great ideas! Affirmations definitely work wonders for me 🙂


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