Low Cost or No Cost Self Care Options
Self-care feels like a buzzword lately, but don't let that distract from the importance of it! With the stresses of everyday life like work, kids, social engagements, and spouses you may already feel like you need a minute to yourself. Being a full-time caregiver on top of all of that can make it even more apparent and stress can manifest itself in some less than pleasant ways. Taking care of your own mental health is a key ingredient to being productive and happy.
While an at-home spa day can't erase the hard parts of your week or even make them easier, it can help reset your mood and help you move forward in all of your roles as a calmer, more relaxed caregiver.
Don't worry - we aren't going to suggest an expensive yoga membership or weekly massage appointments. Those things are both great options but we're offering up some suggestions that don't cost more than a large latte or a few gallons of gas.
Find a workout buddy - Meet a friend for a daily walk, bike ride or workout video. Having a partner means you'll both feel more accountable and are more likely to stick to your plan. It's also a great time to chat about your life and connect with someone for an hour.
Go to a park - sit by yourself, watch the ducks in the lake or people watch. Alone time outside is never wasted time.
Go to the library and check out some frivolous books - Do you avoid buying cookbooks because they just collect dust in your kitchen? Or only read romance novels on vacation? Make it part of your every day routine by getting a library card and checking out some books. Carve out 20 minutes in your day just to read.
Meditate - Start with just 5 minutes a day and work your way up. Think about your goals, visualize yourself having a relaxing day, or just sitting on a beach listening to the waves. There are so many apps now that can lead you through guided meditations. Give one a try!
Check in with friends - Call your friend while you're making dinner or pulling weeds or cleaning the house. The time will pass faster, you'll catch up with your pal, and you'll feel better afterward.
Set a movie date with yourself - Hit a matinee when the kids are at school or when you have a break from your regular duties.
Take a class - Look on Groupon or Living Social for deals in your area and try something new. Go with a friend or with your spouse or even go alone!
Do a hair mask and soak in the tub - This is specific but it doesn't have to be! Do you prefer to paint your nails, or even just roll our on your yoga ball and stretch. Whatever feel like time spent for just yourself!
Make a comfort food meal - Do you like to cook but never have much time to put into it? Take the time to make yourself a gourmet meal. Or maybe what you really want is fried chicken and home made mac and cheese - either way! Do it!
Take a nap - Schedule it into your day just like you would an appointment or a workout. Sleep is imperative to your happiness and well being. Make time for it.
Arrange a small dinner party - This may sound counter intuitive because dinner parties are work. They don't have to be! Invite a few friends or couples over and have everyone bring a part of the meal. That way you aren't cooking everything but you still get to enjoy your friends company. Want to make it even simpler? Just order pizza! Your friends will appreciate the meal and the time spent, and thats all that matters.
Join a free social group - Check out groups offered through your local library, see whats happening in your area on Nextdoor or google local running or walking clubs. There are endless free groups and clubs to join. Pick an interest of yours and get to searching!
Do you have suggestions of your own? Let us know in the forum! We're sure everyone would love to know what you're doing!