Self-care is based on how the activity makes you feel – something that will improve and elevate your mood.
Taking care of yourself improves overall well-being: emotionally, physically, energetically, and spiritually.
When you prioritize taking care of yourself, this will lead to harboring better relationships with not only yourself but also, with others.
Whatever you do, it does not have to be exuberant, pricey or complicated to be effective. It can be something that is not costly; self-care can be practically free.
And it is not something you force yourself to do.
What practicing self-care means to me is all based on the mindset: a moment to declutter and let go. To give myself the space, compassion, attention, and love I deserve. I seek for activities that aid in my resetting.
It helps me find inspiration.
Go do something that contributes to your growth and enjoy it to the fullest.
The List of 25 practically free self-care ideas
1. Unplug from tech. Withdraw from answering emails, using social media or any sort of technology for an entire 24 hours. Notice how you feel afterwards.
2. Go on a stroll. Walk around the neighborhood, cycle on an empty street, take your dog for a long walk, and get yourself outside the house!
3. Check out your local library or bookstore. Excellent resource of information. Pick up a book and take time to read about something you’ve always wanted to know more about. I’m always fascinated each time I step into a place filled with books.
4. List all the things that you are grateful for. Start off with at least 10, move up to 20, and continue to see how many things you can list in one sitting.
5. Meditate. Find a guided meditation or set apart some quiet time to yourself for at least 20 minutes. Quiet the mind to reconnect with the self.
6. Learn a new skill. There are heaps of resources to use that don’t cost a damn thing. Whether it’s a YouTube video on origami making or a free business course on an online learning platform, challenge your mental game and stretch your mind. I recently picked up sewing which has been challenging my fine motor skills and patience.
7. Take care of your garden. Have you given your plant babies some love recently? Take the time to change the soil, do some trimming or a nice soak. Move your plants around to redecorate your space. And if you don’t have any plants, go down to your local nursery and get yourself surrounded by some. You’ll appreciate it and they’ll appreciate it too.
8. Do yoga, stretch, move. I’m all about incorporating movement everyday. It doesn’t have to be a kick-my-ass workout every single time. Anything to get the blood flowing and overall feeling awesome.
9. Draw, doodle, color. Get your creative juices flowing. Allow whatever shape, line, shade of color, or texture that calls to you in that moment and let it happen. No right or wrong, simply doing.
10. Volunteer. Dedicate your time and effort to help someone else in need. Doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, could be picking up trash around the neighborhood. This will leave you feeling proud of what you accomplished.
11. Reset with nature. Walk barefoot on the grass, go on a hike, sit on the sand at a beach, or listen to all the different sounds of a forest. I find it a helpful way to unplug from using tech. A two in one, done!
12. Declutter and organize your space. Spruce up the closet, office, kitchen, or anywhere that needs a bit of attention. Donate items you know that have not been used well over a year. Move your furniture around. Create an environment that brings you joy and clarity throughout your day to day life.
13. Drink an extra cup of water. Stay hydrated, not thirsty my friends. Water is sacred and life!
14. Set clear boundaries and (re)enforce them. Say no to whatever makes you feel upset, irritated, overwhelmed, and unappreciated. Say no to toxic relationships and anything that drains your energy. Say yes to something that is outside your usual comfort zone and exploring closer to your edges. Say yes to joining a meet up group of other like-minded folks, asking for a raise, going on a retreat. Yes to investing in yourself!
15. Journal about everything and anything. Let it out: your feelings, emotions, experiences, perspectives, stream of consciousness. Writing on paper provides clarity and assists in processing your thoughts more effectively than keeping everything jumbled up in your head.
16. Take a bath. Bust out the Epsom salt, essential oils, and candles. Eliminate all distractions, turn off the lights, and put on music that helps you relax. Give that temple of your’s what it deserves. And if you are looking for other remedies on relieving muscle tension, here are my tips that don’t require any painkillers.
17. Eat something that your body will appreciate. Experiment with a new recipe. Go meatless for a meal (check out my tips on becoming more plant-based and my board for ideas). Satisfy whatever craving you’ve been having, your comfort food. Treat yo self!
18. Incorporate nap time. Who says taking a nap is only for kids? Reclaim some z’s with a 20 minute or hour long power nap in a hammock, on a picnic blanket at a park, or by the pool.
19. Do absolutely nothing. This refers to doing something that you usually think as “wasting time” and do it without feeling guilty. Catch up on your favorite TV shows, scroll through Reddit, recreate what you used to do as a kid. The point is to have fun and feel carefree.
20. Write a letter. Send a card to a friend, random pen pal, or family member. You can write to your future self about all the accomplishments you have made thus far in your life.
21. Photograph yourself, smiling authentically. Smiling gets the dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin going to give you a natural mood booster. It does not have to be publicly displayed anywhere, for your eyes only. Own it.
22. Enjoy the sunrise and/or sunset. Watch how the sun moves early in the morning. Witness golden hour and watch how the rays pour through the clouds, creating a cotton candy swirl of colors. Absolutely one of my favorite things to do.
23. Revive an old hobby. Pick up that old passion of your’s that you used to do all the time before other priorities and interests took over.
24. Research a topic you’ve been meaning to learn more about. Listen to a podcast, watch interviews and a documentary, read articles on Wikipedia and peer reviewed scientific journals. Do what you need to understand more about a certain topic.
25. Do whatever it is that contributes to your self-care. Everything listed here are merely suggestions, things that I have found personally useful to me. Continue to experiment and find what works and what doesn’t.
Give back to yourself and try some of these ideas that I found have worked for me. Notice how you feel after doing them; keep them if they work and chuck them if they don’t work. Again, self-care does not have to be expensive or complicated. Keep it simple, recharge, and refill that cup of your’s because you are worthy of it!
These are my mere suggestions of self-care ideas, ones that I have found worked for me. Come up with your own list of self-care ideas that you find fulfilling – that you want to do on your own accord. However you slice it, grow and add to your personal list.