We live in a world that’s constantly trying to sell us happy. Whether it’s through a big-ticket purchase like a car, or a skincare product you’ve been dying to try, there’s a ton of things we can only indulge in with the swipe of our credit cards. While it’s dope to be able to treat yourself to these things, there’s also a huge misconception that self-care can only be attained by reaching in your purse.
September is Self–Care Awareness Month. Though we would not at all be mad at you for booking a well-deserved appointment at the spa, or finally buying those items that have been sitting in your online shopping cart, we also want you to know that there are ways to take care of you that don’t cost a thing.
Sometimes, the best things in life truly are free 99, and that includes self-care! Scroll through the gallery to see the 7 best self-care acts you can do right now that will cost you nothing.
Whip Out A Pen And Start Journaling!
Believe it or not, journaling is one of the cheapest and most effective forms of self-care there is. In a time where people are more worried about finances, health, work and family than ever, journaling provides an outlet where you can purge all of your deepest thoughts and fears. Studies
have shown that writing in a journal consistently can lead to improved sleep, a healthier immune system, and helps individuals dealing with trauma heal faster.
Spend The First 30 Minutes Of Your Day Away From Your Cell Phone
Try to get in the habit of spending the first 30 minutes of your day stretching, meditating or just practicing gratitude. It may be tempting to reach for your cell phone (since, for many of us, our phones serve also serve as our alarm clocks) but try to resist coming in contact with any sort of device first thing in the morning. How we start the day usually dictates how we finish the day. Set the tone by putting yourself first!
Focus On Your Breathing
You've probably heard this a million times and underestimated its importance, but paying attention to your breathing is key! According to WebMD, most of us take short, shallow breaths into the chest, which makes us feel anxious and zaps our energy. Taking a few moments out of the day for breathework is a fast, easy and free tool to ease stress. If you'd like some guidance for your breathing exercises, download apps like Calm
that can walk you through it.
Catch Up On Sleep
Most adults need 8 hours of good quality sleep on a regular schedule each night, and children need 9-12 depending on their age
. Getting proper sleep has countless benefits
including that it keeps your mood elevated, your mind sharp, your weight under control and your immune system strong. If you can steal an hour or two during the day for a nap, go for it and don't feel guilty! Napping has similar benefits and even reduces stress and anxiety.
Photo taken in Indiana, United States
Take A Bath
A busy life full of responsibilities tugging at you from all sides might make you feel tired, overworked, and plain old unhappy. Run yourself and long, luxurious bath and melt away the stress of the day. Add in a few drops of essential oils like lavender and eucalyptus if you have it at home. Just make sure you carve out some uninterrupted time to sit, soak and be alone with your own thoughts. It'll also relieve muscle pain and give you smoother-feeling skin.
Bump Your Favorite Songs And Dance It Out
Jam to your favorite Stevie Wonder playlist, or clean the house while Megan Thee Stallion blasts uninterrupted in the background. Whatever you choose, get some endorphins going and let music works its healing magic. The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) reports
that music can help with managing stress, enhancing memory, and alleviating pain.
Full length african woman shake head raise hands holds remote control stereo music system or cell phone enjoy playlist favourite song dance in living room, bliss mood hobby weekend activities concept
Say No...And Mean It!
Believe it or not, the ability to say no
is a very powerful self-care tool. You simply don't have enough hours in the day to help everyone who might need you while still doing what's required for yourself. Saying no to what no longer serves us, or what we simply cannnot manage, will free you in more ways than one. There are plenty of polite, yet firm, ways you can tell people no when the time comes. Click here to see how boundary setting can become your new best friend