When it comes to self-care, we usually tend to think of face masks, massages, baths with candles, etc. – but self-care doesn’t have to involve fancy pampering, or cost you a fortune! Self-care can mean so many different things, but it’s basically anything you do to take care of your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. The key word is self & for me it’s really about tuning into your bodies need in that moment.
After spending a year on furlough my financial wellness became a huge priority for me, I needed to find ways that helped me be a better me without spending money I didn’t have! (The first time I was prescribed anxiety meds I was having panic attacks about not being able to pay all of my bills- true story!)
So here’s 12 simple & low cost self-care hacks you can incorporate into your daily routine to promote healthier and happier living. Why 12 you ask… because I wanted to make a list that would include at least ONE thing everyone can do!
Create new workout habits
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you guys all the benefits of regular exercise – but working out has definitely become even more important to me in the last 12 months. My body has been craving movement & I know it can be hard to keep yourself motivated & consistent when it comes to exercising at home. Creating new workout habits to keep things fresh can be as simple as exploring new virtual options at fitness studios, searching for a YouTube video you would never have dreamed of before (for me this was boxing). Or even just walking or running routes you’ve never taken.
If you’re looking for simple way to try new workouts but don’t know where to start I recently found a Coach on Instagram esmee_ldn who has posted a 30 day challenge on her page to get you trying all different activities ahead of the gyms reopening in the uk. It might inspire you to try something new from the comfort of your own home or find a new found love for something you’d never tried before.
Limit screen time
If you’re reading this you can do this! Have you actually looked at your screen time… I have & it scared me. First of all where do I find 3 hours a day to be on my phone WTF?!?! Screen fatigue & tech burnout are SO real, especially after so many of us have been cooped up for months. That also means that we’re suffering from the negative side effects of blue light on our eye health, mental health & sleep cycles. Taking some time off social – or anything with a screen – to just BE always ends up feeling so good. Even if it’s just for 30 minutes! I now make sure that the last half an hour of my day involves a real book & my journal but more on that to come.
I’ve been reading a lot about grounding & the concept really intrigues me! Maybe because I live in a 4th floor apartment & although it has the added benefit of no spiders there’s also no garden which I never though would be a issue until 2020. This is why I’ve taken to running so much more, spending time outdoors is proven to boost immunity & energy levels, lower blood pressure, reduce stress and improve mood & focus. Personally I love to tag on a barista made coffee to some of my outings but only if the budget allows it.
You heard it here first 2021 sleep care is the new self-care! We all know sleep has a plethora of health benefits, but how many of us ACTUALLY get at least 7 hours of sleep every night? Sleep is vital to our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, & it’s an essential function that allows our minds & bodies to recharge and repair. If you need pointers on how to get a better night sleep try here
Stretch before bed
Stretching is a natural sleep remedy; it can help you fall asleep faster & improve sleep quality. Getting in touch with your body by stretching helps to refocus your attention on your breath & body rather than the stressors of the day. Try stretching before bed to relax, unwind & rejuvenate the body!
There’s a reason so many of are hooked on shows like The Home Edit and Marie Kondo. Once you organise aspects of your life you just feel great afterwards. Like you can take one the world. Take the time to organize & clear up old emails & you’ll feel like an absolute boss!
Studies show that regularly practicing gratitude is linked to better physical & psychological health, increased mental strength, higher self-esteem, improved relationships and higher quality sleep. Everyone does this a little differently personally I write my three down in a morning as apart of my journal but some people do theirs in the evening or even say them out loud. However you opt to this the benefits are the same & you’ll start to feel more positive on a day to day basis. You’ll train your mind to find things to be grateful for even when things are bad.
This one is a simple hack! Proper hydration helps regulate body temperature, prevent infections, keep organs functioning properly, deliver nutrients to cells and improves sleep quality, cognition & mood. Even mild dehydration can cause fatigue, poor concentration & irritability, so make sure you’re staying hydrated! Try drinking between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh.
Daily affirmations help encourage a life filled with positivity & gratitude. Negative thoughts can become habitual, and the only way to counteract them is with a positive mindset. Now I wasn’t convinced by this to start with but the more I read into the psychology around this the more I thought there’s got to be something here. I’m still pretty new to the practice but I’m trying to stay consistent with my daily affirmations. I’ll do a full post on this soon I promise but please share your thoughts on this in the comments below.
Mindfulness is basically a type of meditation where you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. I know that can sound intimidating & quite heavy but there are two areas of my life I’m really focusing on being more mindful… eating & running. Mindful eating is a whole new project for me from chewing my food correctly to paying more attention to each bite I taste again that’s a post in it’s own right but if you want a easy place to start with mindfulness I swear by the Nike Running Club and their guided runs especially the ones done by the meditation app Headspace. As much as I love to zone out when I run but being present & paying attention to every stride every breath is a completely (& worth while) experience & costs nothing at all.
Told you I’d get here, I’ve wanted to start journaling for a while & to be honest i had zero idea where to start but saw so many people talking about the five minute journal online including Tim Ferriss so I thought it was time to give it a try. What I love most about this journal is not only is it set out in such a way that you have no excuse to not fill this out daily but it talks you through the layout in detail, why it includes what it includes & how this benefits you. Studies shows that journaling can help you cope with negative feelings, reduce stress, allow yourself to self-reflect, inspire creativity, keep your thoughts organized and improve your relationships with others. You don’t even need to buy a specific journal if you don’t have the budget just a notepad or a scrap of paper & some simple journal prompts to get you going. Try writing a gratitude list, some affirmations & what you can do to make your day great & see if it makes a impact.
Wake up a little earlier
Okay we all know this is like the number one piece of advice when it comes to getting your life together, the early bird catches the worm & all that. But I’ll be honest some days I do & on these days I do feel like I am ahead of the game, that I’ve got my life together & that I’m winning. But some days I legit need a extra 45 minutes in bed, some days my body needs that rest in order to get up & do everything I want to do. And I’m okay with that!
I hope you found this helpful, nothing mentioned above was gifted & all opinions are my own.
What are your favorite ways to practice self-care? I would love to know, leave in the comments below.
– love tee xo