I must say, I’ve always met the idea of self-care with a little resentment. In this day and age, the term “self-care” has become a gimmicky buzzword, and the whole idea of “treating yourself” seems to be less about taking good care and more about having an excuse to make some unnecessarily expensive purchases.
Though it’s great to occasionally gift yourself nice things, I can’t help but find blowing a paycheck on a new pair of shoes or that gadget you probably don’t need because “you deserve it” a little baffling. Self-care should be more than that.
Being kind to yourself and learning to be more receptive to your needs is a life skill that is honed and cultivated over time, and it doesn’t ever have to be elaborate or expensive. Here are some simple, budget-friendly ways to de-stress and start practicing a little more self-care today, tomorrow and the all days that follow.
You’ll be amazed how much easier it becomes to understand what has been bothering you or adding to your stress after writing it down on paper. If you feel like you have nothing to write, try it anyway. It can give you a chance to check in with yourself, take a minute to appreciate something that has happened or perhaps reflect on how your day has been going so far.
You never know what will come up, and it can end up being rather therapeutic!
Ruin your dinner
Break some rules! Live life on the edge! Eat dessert first! Of course, we all know eating healthily is ultimately going to be the best form of self-care but sometimes it’s just not fun.
Bay Area culture can take clean eating to an extreme. Although I love my hummus and avocado toast as much as the next girl, it’s good to take the pressure off of eating right all the time and just enjoy something that’s bad for you for the sake of enjoying it.
Appreciating indulgences for what they are rather than associating them with feeling bad will do even more for your mental health than it will for your taste buds.
In the age of online schooling, it can start to feel like life belongs to the internet. We are constantly bombarded with notifications, emails, advertisements and reminders of what other people are up to or what other people have to say. Giving yourself a breather from these never-ending distractions and shutting off your devices, even for just an hour at a time, can do overwhelmingly wonderful things to quiet your mind and slow life down a little bit.
Put on some music and dance around in your room
This one might make you feel a little silly, but who cares? Not only is getting up and moving your body great for your dopamine levels, but jamming out to your favorite tunes can be a great way to loosen up. It’ll give you a break and a moment to let go, stop taking everything so seriously and just dance your heart out.
Clean your space
Now, you may be wondering how on earth “treating yourself” to a chore is supposed to be beneficial for you and your mental health. But now that we are spending more time at home than ever before, the environment we create for ourselves can have tremendous effects on how we feel on a day-to-day basis.
Whether it’s simply reorganizing your closet, cleaning your room or giving your apartment an entire makeover, taking care of your space and even getting rid of a few things can be an incredibly productive way to hit the refresh button and rejuvenate yourself.
The best investment you can ever make is investment in yourself. There are, of course, endless ways to continuously practice self-care, and it can be hard to keep up with them when things get busy. Recognize that during times of stress, it’s okay to take a minute to unwind and focus on what you need for your well-being. In fact, you deserve it!