July was terrible.
Truly just a terrible month for me mental health wise.
Things are better this month, but I thought it would be appropriate to share some ways that we can all take better care of our mental health.
Sound good? Good!
It’s no secret that more people today are dealing with mental health issues.
Our busy and demanding world can wreak havoc on our mental wellness if we don’t take time to care for ourselves.
You’ve probably read a lot about how we should all take time for self care.
But let’s recap.
Self care is just what it sounds like. It is taking time to care for yourself and giving yourself a mental break from the daily grind.
There are a lot of ways you can practice self care and this won’t look the same for everyone.
Maybe self care for you is taking a vacation or treating yourself to a spa day. Maybe it’s signing up for a gym membership or having a weekly meet up or brunch with your friends.
These are great ways to practice self care and give yourself permission to relax and take time for yourself.
But if you find yourself on a tight budget, some of these ideas might not feel very realistic to you.
Here are some ways you can practice self care on a low budget.
All these ideas fall under the categories of being low cost or requiring zero spending.
Low Cost or Free Self Care Ideas
- Exercise at home or outside-You don’t need a gym to take care of your body. Get outside and get moving. Biking, yoga, dancing, swimming, walking, hiking. Chances are you can find one of these options and not have to spend a dime. You can also find workout videos on the Youtube or elsewhere on the internet that are completely free.
- Take a relaxing bath
- Listen to some uplifting music
- Take a nap
- Talk to a friend
- Light a favorite candle or diffuse some of your favorite essential oils to relax.
- Get some fresh air
- Read an uplifting book
- Drink water
- Unplug from technology for a few hours
- Grab some lotion or oil and give yourself a foot massage (note: do NOT do this if you are pregnant)
- DIY mani/pedi
- Make a facial mask or hot oil treatment using ingredients you already have at home and have a spa night at home
- Watch your favorite movie or TV show
- Take time to work on a hobby you might not usually have time for
- Take your vitamins- Maybe this seems silly, but it IS self care and one that I sometimes forget to do
- Look at photo albums and take some time to reflect on happy memories
- Do a small act of service for someone– This might seem like the opposite of self care, but serving others actually makes you feel good too.
- Pray/worship/have a devotional/meditate-whether you are religious or not, find a way to get connected with a higher power or to find the beauty in just “being” for a bit.
Self care is a term we use a lot these days. It’s good to do these things that make us feel good and give us a break, but the part of self care I think we don’t talk about enough is the unglamorous side of it. Self care is not always fun, pleasurable, or relaxing.
Below is a list of things you should definitely be doing for yourself.
You can do all the things listed above, but if you aren’t doing these basics, it won’t be enough.
Basic Self Care- The Not So Fun Stuff
- Take care of your body– This might come easy to some people, but I think the majority of us struggle here. Finding the motivation to eat healthy, excercise, and keep up with our medical appointments and treatment plans can be exhausting and stressful sometimes. But it’s a necessity and we should definitely make it a priority.
- Take care of your mental health– No amount of face masks is going to fix the underlying issues of depression anxiety, healing from traumas, etc. Seek professional help when needed. There is absolutely no shame in seeing a therapist. I wish everyone would because it’s so beneficial and important to address our problems and find healthy ways to cope and heal.
- Say no– If you are feeling overwhelmed and like you are spreading yourself thin, then give yourself permission to say “No” to things. Do not take on more responsibilities than you need to. Burnout is real and it can be avoided.
- Ask for help– Many times when we are struggling in life, we shy away from asking others for help. We feel we must take care of things ourselves. But sometimes it’s perfectly okay to ask for help. There are most likely many people in your life who would be more than happy to give you some relief.
- Foster and nuture healthy relationships-Relationships are hard and messy. They have a huge effect on our overall happiness and mental health. Make sure your relationships are free of any forms of abuse and toxicity or they will be a huge detriment to your overall wellness. If your relationships need help, seek counseling or therapy. Try talking things out respectfully and civilly. Share your feelings and be honest and fair to those you have close relationships with.
- Take care of the basics– I won’t hesitate to say it: kind of sucks to be an adult. Bills, work, appointments, paying speeding tickets, taxes, voting, doing laundry, getting appliances fixed, etc. It all makes me say “Eww” and want to curl up into a ball. But it’s gotta get done. Self care is not about being self indulgent all the time and procrastinating our responsibilities. We still need to take care of them and a big part of self care is taking the time to be responsible and take care of our shiz.
I hope you feel more comfortable finding ways to practice self care, no matter what your budget is, and that you also recognize that it’s not just a trendy excuse to have and do whatever the heck you want to.
(That doesn’t mean I’ll get on your case about all that chocolate you’re eating. I do it too. Shhh!)
How do you practice self care? What are some things you struggle with? Please leave your thoughts in the comments!