Self-care on a budget
Mental Health

Self-care on a Budget: 50 Things that won’t burn your pocket

The term self-care literally means taking care of yourself and being in charge of your own well-being.

A common misconception regarding self-care is indulging in activities that cost insane amount of money, for example. a nice body massage at a luxurious spa.

I believe taking care of yourself shouldn’t always have to be about money. You can take care of yourself without burning a hole in your pocket.

There are so many simple little things you can do and enjoy to be stress-free.

Today stress is as common as other lifestyle health issues like diabetes.

Hence the toxic environment in which we live right now, it becomes all the more important to reflect and put aside sometime exclusively for ourselves.

Without further ado let’s dive into the list of self-care activities that cost little or nothing.

Related: What is Self-Care: A Beginner’s Guide

50 self-care activities on a budget

Paint your nails: The first activity I could think of was nails paints.

It is so therapeutic, just the process of colouring nails in slow gentle strokes is enough to relax you.

Although I don’t paint my nails regularly, but if I am obsessed with a colour I love any excuse to paint my nails.

Home manicure: Along with nail paint this simple home manicure will ensure you have real nice soft hands and healthy cuticles.

Take some warm water in a bowl and mix some lemon juice, honey and some Epsom salt for relaxation.

Soak your hands in this solution for 10 minutes. This is a very quick relaxation technique and helps to release any muscle tension.  

You could do the same thing with your feet. Don’t forget to moisturise your hands and feet after this.

Take a nice warm bath: This might be the perfect self-care idea. A nice warm bath before bedtime is good to melt your stress.

Just like the manicure process mentioned above put some bathing salts and essential oils into the warm water to feel that stress evaporating.

Read a book: It is said books are your best friends and rightly so, when you love reading books you are transported to a different world altogether.

Even if it is for some moments, books do provide you with momentary escape from everyday stress.

If you don’t want to physically read books, get some audio books to listen.

Related: How to Develop Reading Habit: Top 7 books for beginners

self care budget

My top five affordable self-care ideas

Watch a movie: Watch some good movies to lift your mood.

Movies like books are really good stress-busters. Play some good underdog story to feel motivated.

Watch funny videos online: YouTube is a treasure trove of funny videos and I am sucker for stand-up comedy. I find it incredibly good for my mood.

Talk to someone: Humans are social beings and chit-chatting is our way of life.

We need other humans to survive. So why not just talk to someone close over a cup of coffee. Or maybe call your best friend and have some heart-to-heart chat.

Sleep: So many of us struggle to get some quality sleep. Adult humans need at least 7-8 hours of sleep.

If you feel tired try to get some sleep.

Agreed it may not solve your problem but it will give your brain and mind enough clarity to analyse your situation.

Related Post: How to sleep better with these 10 tips

Take a walk: Walking is one of the best forms of exercise as well as a nice way to let your mind wander.

It is said when you walk the knots in your brain untangle naturally.

Some more Self-care Tips on a budget

DIY Craft: If you are someone creative and love getting all artsy, you can use your talent on making some cool things. There are so many DIY crafts to try.

1 Painting

2 Drawing/colouring

3 Doodling

4 Hand-lettering

5 Carpentary

6 Sewing

8 Knitting

9 Paper Craft

These are just some of the common ones I mentioned here, there are of course more crafts, but happiness you get after creating something is amazing.

Listen to some soothing music: For me, this always works and most of the time I drift off to sleep while listening to my favourite song list.

Cuddle your dog: The best feeling ever! Sorry but I am partial to dogs.

But of course all pets love us unconditionally and they just have a way of knowing you aren’t in the best of moods.

Write: You don’t have to be a writer to write. Anyone can write and should, this is what I believe.

Writing is a way of discovering ourselves.

There are feelings and emotional issues buried deep inside most of us and we don’t even realise.

When you have pent-up emotions it’s not very good news for your mental health.

To provide an outlet to your thoughts you can do the following:

1 Start a secret journal

2 Maintain a regular diary

3 Start a personal blog.

4. Write for some publications or online platform like (Sorry! Couldn’t help the self-promotion.)

But I would genuinely love to have your guest posts. You may click here for submissions.

Related: 21 Self-Affirmations for Motivation and Goal Setting

See some old pics: Take out some old photo albums if you still have those and relive all the happy memories.

Watch the sunrise and sunset: Everyday phenomena but still wonderful each time when you witness it.

Have some good family time: The Danish are known as the happiest people on earth.

They value the importance of family time and community bonding.

This is something most of us can learn from.

I am sure we all have family time but how much do we actually bond minus the smart phones.

Travel: I am not suggesting you travel the world, although it would be wonderful.

But you can go on short trips or explore new places near you. Or just unwind with a nice long drive.

Have your favourite food: Can you believe it I haven’t had a pizza in about 5 months, for no particular reason really.

I am so craving for a pizza while writing this. So don’t be like me have something delicious you haven’t had for a while and relish it.

Watch the clouds: I still love watching big fluffy clouds pass by on bright sunny days. Raise your hands if you do to.

As children most of us saw those cute gigantic clouds and gave those so many different shapes.

For us those drifting clouds were an old man with flowing white beard, a big castle, a ship and so many more shapes.

For me it was, and still is strangely comforting. So it doesn’t matter if you are an adult, perhaps you can spare sometime for clouding watching.

Observe nature: Observing nature is so peaceful. You can sit down in your garden or a nearby park and can simply watch the birds chirping or butterflies.

Every season brings some newness with it and what better time to marvel at nature’s beauty than the present moment.

Hot chocolate: Who agrees hot chocolate is the ultimate comfort drink and turns extra good when you add a pinch of salt to it?

Perhaps it really time to sip some of that hot chocolate and indulge in some cozy self-care.

Snuggle under a blanket: After hot chocolate I had to mention this right, it would be a crime otherwise.

The warm comfort of a blanket on cold winter days is heaven.

Laugh: Laughter is the best medicine and it totally makes sense to laugh without any reason.

If that seems weird to you perhaps you can recall some happy memories and just laugh out loud!

Dance: Dancing is such an intense, exhilarating process.

They say dance like no one’s watching but in case, you have two left feet like I have and still love dancing, maybe just dance in your room or bathroom (with the door closed of course.)

Sing: Or maybe sing your heart out in the shower. After all bathroom singing is also singing and it definitely qualifies for self-care if it makes you really happy.

Cook: I am bad cook and I hate cooking. I have huge respect for those who cook well.

But I have heard it multiple times cooking is therapeutic.

So if your culinary skills are something you are proud of and love to feed guests, you should sometimes treat yourself too.

Meditate: Although there are many meditation methods but at the beginning you can just close your eyes and practise deep breathing for five minutes a day. That’s all you need to get started.

If you get anxious and overwhelmed easily I suggest you practise this regularly your mind will feel a lot calmer.

Practise gratitude: Make a list of all the positive things in your life and be thankful you have those.

Dwelling on the positives makes you motivated and happy and it is so much better to happy than being bitter and cynical.

A lot of people feel it is too idealist to practise gratitude, affirmations or even self-care.

These are fancy terms and somewhat impractical. While I can’t change their opinion I can only say negativity takes up too much of your mental peace and energy.

Isn’t it just better to be just happy or make an effort atleast?

Hope you liked this post I would love to know some more affordable self-care tips from you as well. Do leave your thoughts below!

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  • Sarah

    Awesome post. It’s so helpful to have a library of self-care activities that you can refer to when you’re in a dark place. I’m definitely going to share this with our audience as it could help a lot of people!

  • Madi

    I love this post:) sometimes we feel like we need a break and think right away – we don’t have the time, or we don’t have the money when the truth is – little “escapes” can be just as refreshing. I tend to have some down time just reading every day, music is always great for my soul, and I just woke up refreshed from a nice long nap! so yes – I love all these ideas, thank you for sharing them.

  • theGlobeTrevor

    I like to combine observing nature with taking photo’s (instead of looking at old ones) you don’t have to be a professional to take nature shots. Take photos of whatever makes you happy. Plants, flowers, insects etc. You can also combine it with hiking, and get exercise at the same time.

    Good list.