Self Care is all the rage these days, but it seems more and more that the whole concept is centered around spending money. Don’t fall into that trap. Use these no-cost self care ideas to fill your cup without breaking the bank.
We hear a lot about self care in the motherhood community. “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” seems to be the phrase of the day, and boy do mom influencers like reminding us of that.
Usually, the phrase comes while said influencer is trying to encourage us to “invest” in ourselves in terms of spa days, monthly subs, or any other “self care” product they’ve found a way to profit from.
It’s taken the whole concept of self care to a new level. A level of privilege. Something only those with money and time can do. But what about those of us without a lot of expendable income and free time on our hands?
Do we not deserve self care, too?
Do we have to learn to pour from an empty cup?
In case you’re wondering, the answer is no. Self care is for anyone, regardless of social status, employment, or how much time we have in our day.
Self care isn’t about commercialism, regardless of what influencers and advertisements would like you to believe. In fact, self care is one of the simplest, basics things we can do for ourselves. It doesn’t have to take any money at all!
Need to spoil yourself but don’t have the cash on hand for a massage or a weekend vacay with the girls? Don’t worry. I’ve put together a list of no-cost self care ideas just for you (and me).
Self Care Ideas For Anyone
Everyone needs to practice a little self care every now and then, and this list is the perfect way to do it. You don’t need a lot of time or money for any of these ideas. In fact, most of these are totally free, and the rest are extremely low cost, especially with the tips I’ll be sharing!
1. Take a Bath
A bath is one of my favorite ways to unwind and relax. No, I don’t mean a bath meant just for bathing.
Pour in some bubble bath!
Use epsom salts and essential oils!
When I’m overwhelmed or stressed, I go all out. I make myself some bath salts, light a couple of candles (I really love the ambiance of these pink himalayan salt tea light holders), turn the lights low, and turn on some soothing music. Sometimes I even grab my lavender eye pillow or bring the diffuser in the bathroom with calming and mood boosting oils like White Angelica, Lavender, or Peace and Calming.
Recipe to try: DIY Herbal Bath Tea
2. Spend Time in Quiet Meditation
Meditation sounds scary and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. In fact, it can be as simple as sitting with your thoughts quietly for a few minutes.
You can try an app like HeadSpace for guided meditation, but honestly, it’s not necessary.
Practice a brain dump, write in your journal, or just sit and think quietly about what’s bothering you for a few minutes. It’s amazing how quickly this can help you come to peace.
3. Enjoy a Hot Beverage in Peace
Regardless of your preferences, we all have a hot beverage we like to enjoy in peace. Personally, I’m a huge fan of coffee, but you do you!
As long as it feels like a treat, and is accompanied by a few minutes of peace and quiet, it counts.
4. Go to Bed Early.
This is a big one, and one that we never seem to count as self care, but it definitely is.
How often do you push yourself to stay awake longer than you should? Either because you have too much to do after the kids go to bed, or because you just feel like you need those few minutes of peace?
While I really enjoy staying up after the kids go to bed, sometimes, what I really need is the extra sleep. If you’re tired and run down, allow yourself an early bed time. It’s the best form of self care.
5. Watch Your Favorite TV Show.
I don’t know about you, but as a work at home mom, I’m terrible about taking the time to truly veg and watch my favorite shows. I might put it on in the background, but I’m always doing something at the same time.
Allow yourself some time to truly just sit still and watch TV. It’s amazing how refreshing that can be, especially if it’s not something you allow yourself time for on a regular basis.
6. Give Yourself a Face Mask
Okay, to be fair, this one might not be no cost. However, if you’re into DIYing, it can be incredibly low cost!
One of my favorite face masks to make is with this clay, which I always have on hand. There’s a recipe on the container for a detox mask that’s just equal parts clay and apple cider vinegar. I amp it up a bit with some rosehip oil, lavender, and frankincense to totally spoil my skin.
There are tons of face mask recipes on Pinterest, too. You can find my board full of DIY beauty ideas right here to see some of the recipes I’ve found! A lot of them even use ingredients you most likely have around the house, like oatmeal and honey! Check them out and treat yourself every now and then.
7. Go for a Walk.
There is nothing like getting out in the fresh air and getting the blood flowing. Sometimes, I like to take these walks on my own, so I can be alone with my thoughts. Other times, it’s awesome to have one-on-one time with one of the kids or my husband to just reconnect and talk without interruption.
Thoughts tend to flow more freely when you’re focused on moving. Give it a try sometime.
8. Get in a Good Workout.
Walking is nice, but if you have a specific workout you prefer, give yourself time to do it! My workout of choice is yoga, which is perfect for self care. It includes time for meditation, helps me control my thoughts, and gives me a good workout (with goals to push towards) all at the same time.
I kind of consider yoga to be my ultimate self care, because I’m taking care of my mind, body, and soul all at once.
Regardless of whether you’re a yoga junkie, love crossfit, or run marathons, just be sure to give yourself time for it. Better yet, prioritize that time a few times a week.
I really like this article for tips on incorporating self care into any workout routine!
9. Read a Good Book.
I’m not talking about personal development, business, or parenting books. I’m talking about something that’s just for you. Something fun that you can get lost in.
The last year, I’ve really fallen away from reading for pleasure, and I’m noticing a difference in my mental state. Be sure to take a few minutes before bed and read a chapter of a book you enjoy just because it’s a good story! Not sure what to get? One of my favorite authors to get lost in is Kristen Hannah.
10. Call a Friend.
Gone are the days of just sitting on the phone chatting, and I think that’s pretty sad. We’re all so busy and so distracted that a phone call just to catch up is almost unheard of.
I get it. Between kids, work, and chores, there’s not a lot of time. But one of the most fulfilling things we can do is spend time with loved ones and friends, catching up. It’s a great way to improve your mood!
A phone call really is the next best thing when we can’t get in the car and go visit someone, and can have almost the same effect.
Self Care Doesn’t Have to be Fancy
Taking time for yourself can be as simple as 10 minutes of journaling with a hot cup of coffee.
Don’t wait until you have the money and the time to take care of yourself the way society tells us we’re supposed to. These self care ideas are great for those few moments in between our hectic schedules. Need more ideas? I loved this article from Success!