6 Small Self-Care Rituals That Won't Break the Bank
Let's get one thing straight: self-care is not selfish.
In fact, it's basically essential for making sure that your mental and physical health are properly addressed, and it can put you on the right path for overall health and happiness. Thankfully, most people have begun to accept the importance of self-care, which has led to the rise in people sharing their own personal practices. Self-care rituals may even be dominating your feed everywhere on social media, but many of these involve pricey spa treatments or products that most of us simply can't afford.
Fortunately, the good news is that self-care can look like whatever you need it to look like! With that said, here are some small self-care rituals you can incorporate into your routine that won't break the bank in the process:
1. Find a Way to Make Your Bath Feel Fancy
If you have access to a bathtub at your house, it's time to make the most of it. Set aside time to get the hot water flowing and pick out a nice bottle of bath salts (a personal preference over bath bombs, but take your own pick), light a candle if you can and get ready to soak it up in spa-like glory. If you aren't the type to just sit back in the warm water and relax easily, it's totally okay if you want to put on a podcast while you're in there or even scroll on your phone (as long as whatever app you're scrolling is making you happy). Simply sitting in the sudsy warm water will help you relax and feel more in tune with yourself, and that's some pretty solid self-care right there.
2. Cook Yourself Dinner
If your family isn't huge on mealtimes that involve everyone gathering around to eat homecooked food (or if they simply can't one night due to busy schedules or anything else), taking the time to prepare yourself a nice dinner can feel so relaxing and be a lot healthier than ordering out or microwaving something. If your family is big on cooking, try asking if you can help out or simply cook something for them—you might be surprised how fun and even relaxing cooking a real meal can be. Explore some easy recipes and pick one that sounds good, get the ingredients together and get creative in the kitchen as a new form of self-care that will benefit you when you're in college and beyond, too.
3. Wake Up a Little Extra Early to Stretch
While your snooze alarm may be tempting, getting up a little extra early (we're talking just a few minutes, nothing drastic) to leave some extra time in the morning could make all the difference for your overall mood that day. It's as simple as waking up, taking some deep breaths, maybe saying some nice words to yourself and doing some easy stretches like reaching down to your toes and extending your arms. It'll set you on the right track for the rest of the day and leave you feeling less groggy by the time you get to class, making it a total win-win.
4. Go Thrift Shopping
They don't call it "retail therapy" for nothing, but many of us simply can't afford to shop 'til we drop like we wish we could. However, there's a sneaky way to get your self-care shopping in without breaking the bank in the process: thrift shopping! Find a local hot spot and set aside time to really search for those diamonds in the rough, you might just find a new statement piece or add a few solid basics to your wardrobe while saving some cash in the process.
5. Write, Draw or Do Something With Your Hands
Do you have a hobby you've been neglecting because your life has just gotten so busy recently? You aren't alone, but taking the time to actually do the things you love is some of the best self-care out there. Even if you haven't embraced one of these hobbies before, there's no time like the present. Try journaling (this can also be a healthy way to cope with anxiety or complicated feelings in general), writing a short story, drawing, baking or even something different like knitting or sewing.
6. Make a Vision Board
Vision boards can be effective tools in figuring out what you want your future to look like and what actions you might have to take to get there—but they're also just straight-up fun to create. It doesn't have to be a literal board with printed quotes and photos, either, as a virtual vision board can do the trick just as well. If you don't yet have a Pinterest account, that's a great place to start. Not sure what to put on your vision board? The options are endless! The point is that it can be anything, so long as it has some sort of meaning or calls to you in any way at all (even if it's straight up just a pretty picture), then feel free to include it on your board. Look at your board often for best results, whether that means placing your printed version on your bathroom mirror or looking at your virtual one every morning for some motivation.
You don't have to try all of these ideas to experience the benefits of self-care—and maybe none of these ideas even work for you! That's totally okay, as self-care is about, well, yourself, so simply take the time to figure out something that brings you joy and relaxation without costing you too much cash in the process.
Looking for some self-care you can do on a monthly basis? We've got you covered there, too, just click HERE for some ideas.