Self care is “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress”. I can’t think of anyone that couldn’t benefit from a little more of this practice in their life. As a mom of a toddler, I’d put myself at the top of that list. Self care has become popular and for good reason. Many people are running on empty because they don’t make themselves a priority. Burn out is easy when being busy and productive are seen as status symbols in our culture. But the good news is that the more popular self care becomes the less powerful the idea of busyness is and, if I’m being honest, I’m a huge fan.
Many companies have jumped on this trend since there is a market for people wanting to take time to relax. The idea of investing in yourself can seem indulgent so it’s easy to feel like the only way to invest in yourself is to spend a lot of money on things like massages, beauty products, and meal services. You name the industry and some company is marketing a product as a means of ‘self care’.
But I want to remind you that taking care of yourself is usually free. There are many ways to press the pause button without splurging on an impulse buy. Self care is about taking time to slow down and put yourself first. This can be done in countless ways that don’t cost anything. So, I’ve compiled of list of 26 self care activities that are basically free. Hope you enjoy.
- Take a walk and notice your surroundings
- When it’s hot, make yourself a fruity smoothie & enjoy it outside
- Go to a library for an afternoon & skim a few books before you take one home
- Take a shower & take the time to style your hair
- Bake with whatever you have in your pantry. Save some for you and drop off some at a friends house
- Do a 15 minute dance or yoga workout on YouTube. Drink an entire bottle of water after.
- Write a handwritten letter to someone you love
- Give yourself a facial
- Go for a hike
- Take a long bath & light some candles
- Make some tea & listen to one of your favorite albums
- Give yourself a mani-pedi
- Do something creative. Paint, write, or draw
- Invite a friend over to watch a guilty pleasure movie
- Slow cook whatever meat you have then, let the smell fill your house
- Write a handwritten list of 10 things you’re grateful for
- Call an old friend to catch up
- Take a scenic drive
- When it’s chilly, make hot cocoa & put on your biggest socks
- Forgive someone
- Read a book that teaches you nothing but you get lost in the story
- Turn off your phone for an afternoon
- Listen to a motivational podcast
- Make a healthy meal from scratch
This only skims the surface. What free self care activities would you add to the list? Let me know below!