Self-care doesn't always have to be bath bombs and luxurious spa retreats! (Though it would be nice to be able to have those on command.) It can be as cheap as $0 and all you need are a couple things lying around your house. Not the crafter's version of "lying around your house" of course. I don't expect many of you to have bobbins in every color and a collection of mason jar sitting around. But I digress!

Without further ado, here are 10 ways you can get your self-care game on without breaking the bank.

1. Meditate for 10-20 minutes.

Mindfulness is all the rage right now in case you haven't noticed and for good reason. In the wake of social media and Google, it's more difficult than ever to purposefully think about nothing for longer than 15 seconds, but we need to make this effort and here's why. *Meditation can strengthen your self-awareness, decrease negative feelings, help you cope with stress, focus on the present (duh,) and make you more imaginative and patient.

2. Affirmations, affirmations, affirmations!

I'm going to let you in on a little introductory psychology here. You can reprogram your brain. The science behind it is that the brain has the ability to change throughout a person's life; also known as neuroplasticity. With that knowledge in mind (excuse the brain puns, I'm a Psychology major) I introduce to you daily self-affirmations. I'm actually going to be trying these myself and reporting back, but the idea is that you write down (not type!) "I am" statements that are personally significant and say them out loud everyday. *They can make you a more positive person, boost your mood, and change your mind!

If you don't know where to start, this worksheet might prove helpful to you.

3. Listen to your body.

This one isn't a set activity so much as doing what's right for you. With the pressure to "always be online" and America's penchant for extroversion, human needs and personal well-being can go out the window. I want to emphasize that no test grade, no job, or ANYTHING is worth sacrificing your health for. Even I struggle with this sometimes, but we have to put health first. Remember that your body is what's fueling you through life and you only have one body. Nobody else will take care of it for you and it's not always glamorous, but it's so necessary. Honor and respect your body whether that means taking a much-needed nap, staying in watching Netflix instead of going out with friends, you do you.

4. Visit a local park or beach.

I remember watching one of iiSuperwomanii's vlogs and something she said really resonated with me. She was vacationing in Singapore and wanted to reflect on her life in an infinity pool on a bright summer day with a little martini in hand. Long story short, that didn't happen. It was pouring buckets of rain and freezing cold...and that was OK. Lilly came to a realization that she didn't need to have this perfect setting.

That's where my inspiration for this idea comes from. Even if your local park isn't perfect (my local park was burned down then rebuilt!) it's good enough for a little self-reflection. I think it mirrors the human condition too because we're all imperfect but have our own qualities that make us beautiful and worthy.

This isn't coming from nowhere by the way. I'm speaking in the language of Japanese aesthetics or wabi sabi. You can read more about it here.

5. Sip some tea, hot chocolate, or whatever your drink of choice is while you're curled up in a blanket.

Bet you didn't know that blankets are a very primal part of human nature. It’s scientifically proven that warmth and softness are key factors that play a role in an infant's attachment to their mother. That’s why it’s so hard to get out of the bed on Winter mornings, argh! At least you can play this to your advantage too because now you can have self-care in the comfort of your own home.

6. Do a hobby or get one if you don't have one!

Take it from a Silicon Valley girl. You need to have interests and a reason for living outside of work. (Whether that work is your university education or career.) It’s so easy to get your self-worth wrapped up in productivity and, before you know it, you’re a workaholic. Or you get to the point where you don’t know who you are outside of X thing. I see it in my classmates and I see it in the countless tech execs that populate this little valley of nerds.

It’s kind of like that weird feeling you get when you’re on summer break and don’t know what to do with all that time or your life but times three and all the time. You need a hobby so you don’t disappear. That and there are numerous mental health benefits of hobbies.

7. Yoga.

Yoga fights stress, has mental health benefits, and it’s a workout that doesn’t feel like working out. Need I say more?

For those of you just starting out, I strongly recommend Yoga By Adriene’s YouTube channel. She has a 30-day challenge for beginners and some other video series for more advanced folks. Check her videos out here!

8. Boring self-care.

I actually got this idea from The Mighty’s June self-care challenge. Basically it’s a reminder to do all the boring but essential things your body needs. That means drinking enough water, remembering to eat lunch, brushing your teeth even at night time, etc. You can download their worksheet here if that’s your kind of thing or you can make a tracker in your bujo. If that’s your thing, I strongly recommend checking out Boho Berry’s Instagram page and/or website. If you sign up for her email list, you can get FREE printables each month for habit trackers and a whole bunch of other goodies.

Sources:

*https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858

*https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/daily-affirmations/