by Martina Roces
With all the hustle and bustle surrounding our lives today, we often forget one simple yet essential rule in life: make time for yourself. Taking some time out of your day to relax or to do whatever it is that makes you feel happy is one of the best ways to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle. This is the idea behind practicing self-care, which is proven to bring about all-around benefits when it comes to improving one’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
Self-care can be anything you want it to be, as long as it’s a healthy outlet for you to relieve stress and it makes you feel calm or happy. Yes, something as simple as watching one episode of your favorite show on Netflix can be considered self-care. Devoting even a minimal amount of time (in fact, five minutes is already enough) for self-care makes a huge difference; you’ll feel more confident and motivated to take on the day.
These sulit self-care ideas are perfect for when you’re on a budget. The good thing about these ideas is that they require little to no effort or expenses, so there’s no excuse not to practice one or even two of these activities daily. Remember: it’s all about how you use your 24 hours in a day.
Close your eyes and meditate
It’s been said that being alone with your thoughts can be an uncomfortable experience. We get overwhelmed by memories of the past, problems of the present, or the uncertainty of the future. Meditation can help in unlocking a little super power within you called mindfulness: it teaches you how to be present and to engage in the here and now. It also helps lower stress levels, makes you more focused, and helps you sleep better at night. Admittedly, the art of meditation requires practice. Closing your eyes and listening to soothing sounds is one of the best ways to start. If you want to really build the habit of meditating, Headspace is a free app that has a collection of guided recordings for different moods and needs that you can download and take with you on the go.
Have a mini spa treatment at home
You don’t have to spend for a fancy day at the spa to feel refreshed and glowing. Pamper yourself from the comfort of your own home with a Korean face mask that you can buy for cheap from any supermarket or beauty store. For more comfort, grab a basin, fill it up with hot water, and add a few drops of bath gel to create a little foot spa for your tired feet. Set the mood by lighting up some scented candles and playing relaxing music. This DIY spa treatment will make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated in no time.
Make a feel-good playlist
Speaking of music, it’s no secret that the songs we listen to can affect our mood. Blasting some Beyonce will definitely make you act like a boss, while any Coldplay song will instantly spark warm, fuzzy feelings of love. Another wonderful thing about music is that it can also relieve stress. Create a playlist with all your favorite songs that never fail to brighten up your mood. The next time you’re feeling down, just pop in this playlist. If you want to explore other music options, just search for whatever mood you’re interested in on streaming platforms like Spotify or YouTube and you’ll be presented with a wide list of playlists that match your search. Tip: the playlist “lo-fi beats to study and chill to” is a rabbit hole of songs and instrumentals that’s perfect for when you need to relax.
Bring a water bottle with you wherever you go
Remember when our health classes taught us to drink at least eight glasses of water a day? It may sound like a straightforward task, but it’s also something that we often neglect to do throughout our day. Staying hydrated is a form of self-care that is so simple yet so effective. The best way to remember to drink water is to bring a refillable water bottle with you wherever you go. And if you truly want to stick to drinking those eight glasses (or more), there are apps like Aloe Bud and Aqualert designed to track your water intake and remind you of when to drink.
Exercise at home
If you’ve always made “working out” a New Year resolution but never got around to it for one reason or another (pricey gym membership being one of them), there really is no excuse for you not to do it now with all the low-budget alternatives available. From 20-minute HIIT sessions to one-hour yoga, there are plenty of YouTube videos and smartphone apps that offer varied work-out routines that you can follow from the comfort of your own bedroom. Once you get moving and feel the rush of endorphins that will help you power through your day, you’ll wonder why you only just started now.