self-care ideas on a budget
Mental Health

150 Free Self-Care Ideas For Better Mental Health

In our pursuit for a better life we sacrifice our mental health and happiness on a regular basis.

Think of all the times you skipped a meal or compromised on your sleep, countless I presume.

But even in this daily grind, it’s important we practice self-care and have some uninterrupted ‘me time’, to refresh our mental faculties.

Self-care, includes simple activities which are totally free.

There are also tons of self-care activities you can try without burning a hole in your pocket.

Don’t believe me, well is a massive list of 150 free self-care ideas and some more stress-free activities on a budget.

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Free Self-Care Ideas: 150 Activities you’ll love

150 Self-Care Ideas for better mental health

Free Self-Care Ideas To Ignite Your Five Senses

Here are some sensory self-care ideas to help you connect better with your five senses of see, touch, hear, smell and taste.

1. Eat slowly and mindfully, savor every morsel of your meal on your plate.

2. Smell the aroma of food being cooked or placed in front of you.

3. Behold the sight of fresh veggies and fruits when you go grocery shopping.

4. Observe nature, like birds chirping or butterflies, breeze blowing through the trees, colors of autumn and winter.

5. Feel the touch of earth as you lie or walk barefoot on the grass.

6. Smell a flower.

7. Hop on a swing and feel the breeze.

8. Hear the rustling of leaves.

9. Soak in some fresh air every morning.

10. Indulge in some star-gazing at night.

11. Sit in silence and try to concentrate on every sound.

12. Watch the clouds go by, give them different names for their different shapes.

13. Watch the sunrise or sunset, everyday phenomena but still wonderful each time when you witness it.

14. Enjoy a drink alone while observing the world hustling.

15. Listen to some soothing music in your playlist and relax your mind from all unpleasant thoughts.

16. Make a playlist of all sounds related to nature or meditative chants and listen to those when you need some composure.

17. Listen to some audio books.

18. Painting or color therapy has a calming effect on your mind. Get some adult coloring books to paint your blues away.

19. Visit an art gallery or a museum.

20. Hug your favorite person, a simple act of holding someone close can help you relax when stressed.

21. Try aromatherapy with some essential oils.

22. Relax by painting your nails in slow gentle strokes.

23. Try this DIY pedicure by soaking your feet in a solution of lukewarm water and Epsom salt to release any muscle tension.

24. Wear fresh clothes.

25. Comb your hair in gentle strokes.

26. Sleep in fresh bedsheets.

27. Snuggle under a blanket.

28. Sip chocolate coffee with a pinch of salt.

Daily Self-Care Tips For Better Mental Health

These are some self-care activities you can try for better mental health, many of these free, while some would be totally within your budget.  

1. Melt your daily stress with a nice warm bath using bathing salts, before bedtime.

2. Escape to the world of good books momentarily every day. Try these book recommendations.

3. Watch some feel good movies to lift your mood.

4. Watch funny videos online, I love to watch painting, dog and baby videos.

5. Talk to someone close when you’re stressed, it can ease your mind and give you some fresh perspective to approach the problem..

6. Make sleeping well a priority, get quality sleep at least 7-8 hours daily, poor sleep affects your mental health as well as contributes to common lifestyle diseases like hypertension or cardiac issues.

7. Eat some comfy foods because sometimes you need those cheesy burgers and chocolate brownies to comfort your soul without stressing over calories.

8. Cuddle your pet; they just have a way of knowing you aren’t in the best of moods.

9. Take a walk, and let your mind wander.

10. Go running, many people find it helpful in gaining some mental clarity.

11. Start a self-care journal to open up on pent-up emotions or any other struggles. Start the process by answering some journal prompts. You can also get this self-care journal below!

12. Dance like no one’s watching, plus it is such an intense exhilarating experience and a stress buster. So dance the blues away even if you’ve two left feet like me.

13. Sing your favorite songs it doesn’t matter if you are at best a bathroom singer, if you love to sing enjoy your own melody.

14. Cook a hearty meal for yourself because if you love feeding others you should pamper yourself too.

15. Compliment yourself often; on a job well done, on crossing those milestones and on surviving. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re special and deserve the best.  

16. Laugh out loud over happy memories, goofy incidents or without any reason just LOL all the way!

17. Plan your next day it can save you from procrastinating and the unnecessary stress of forgetting something.

Fun Self-Care Tips That Are Totally Free

Here are some fun stuff to spruce up your life and overworked mind.

Most are free and many of these self-care activities should be totally within your budget.

1. Put on the brightest lip color and give yourself some smoky eye and now click the most flattering selfie.

2. Have fun with some goofy selfies.

3. Dress up in your favorite clothes just for fun.

4. Try a different hairstyle.

5. Pamper your skin with a good homemade mask.

6. Sleep for an extra couple of hours.

7. Allow yourself one day to do absolutely nothing.

8. Mute a video and make your own dialogues.

9. Wear your favorite lingerie.

10. Light up your room with fairy lights.

11. Post a dorky throwback picture of yourself on social media.

12. Enjoy a good hearty breakfast like pancakes lots of fresh creams and maple syrup.

13. Enjoy two scoops of your favorite ice-cream.

Free Self Care Ideas - a young woman enjoying ice-cream

14. Enjoy a glass of lemonade.

15. Sip some wine with someone close.

16. Buy yourself some flowers.

17. Do some online retail therapy, but don’t buy anything straight away.

18. Daydream and fantasize without guilt.

19. Surprise someone.

20. Go through some old photo albums to revisit all happy memories.  

21. Read some romantic books with nice cup of tea.

22. Stroll leisurely in your local park, beach or amidst nature.

23. Read your old magazines and scrapbooks.

24. Read some old text from friends.

25. Meet someone whom you haven’t seen in a while.

26. Try some belly dancing.

Self Care Ideas For Life Improvement

1. Get ideas from Pinterest how to improve your life.

2. Make a board of inspiring quotes.

3. Make a vision board of your goals.

4. Do a life audit on where you are and where you wish to be.

5. Develop one good habit.

6. Stop one toxic habit.

7. Read some self-help books.

8. Listen to some motivating podcast.

9. Practice morning affirmations to inspire yourself.

10. Learn a skill set like how to communicate better or coding.

Free Self-Care Ideas To Entertain Yourself

1. Binge-watch your favorite OTT shows.

2. Rewatch your favorite TV shows.

3. Catch a good comedy podcast.

4. Watch your favorite comedian in action.

5. Play some stress-busting video games.

6. Watch some good underdog movies.

7. Start a secret mean girl journal to write about everything and everyone you dislike, see it as a means to vent out negative emotions.

8. Try hand-lettering

9. Take up carpentry.

10. Relax your mind with some free hand painting, drawing or doodling.

11. Knit yourself a cute scarf.

12. Attempt some easy DIY home décor.

13. Have some good family time, minus the smart phones.

a young woman talking with her mother

14. Plan a movie or board game night with friends.

15. Explore a new place near you.

16. Unwind with a nice long drive.

17. Go for a natural trail and or camping trip.

Self-care Ideas for Better Mental Health

1. Plant some indoor plants and succulents to freshen-up your home.

2. Stretch your body every two hours.

3. Do some high-intensity exercises.

4. Go for routine health check-ups at least twice a year.

5. Visit your dentist in every six months.

6. Indulge in some power yoga.

7. Practice some deep breathing in morning.

8. Eat at least one healthy meal a day.

9. Don’t skip your meals.

10. Chew your food slowly.

11. Try some healthy salad recipes.

12. Cry your heart out to let go of any anger or frustration.

13. Use stairs instead of lift whenever possible.

14. Take some power naps for 15-20 minutes if possible.

15. Be mindful of your sugar intake.

16. Enjoy a good swimming session.

17. Don’t check your phone after waking up.

18. Play Sudoku, crossword or the Rubik’s cube to improve concentration.

19. Use foam rollers to release any muscle tension.

20. Take a social media detox challenge.

21. Ask for help when you feel over burdened.

23. See a therapist if you feel the need to.

Free Self-care Ideas For Spiritual Wellness

1. Meditate regularly by closing your eyes and practicing deep breathing for five minutes a day.

2. Practice gratitude by making a list of all the positive things in your life.

3. Practice some random acts of kindness.

4. Be a Secret Santa to someone.

5. Volunteer at your local charity.

6. Leave a good tip for that friendly waiter.

7. Adopt an abandoned pet.

8. Donate something.

9. Pray when you’re faced with fear and insecurity.

10. As per your religious belief visit your scared, holy places.

11. Let go of the past and forgive yourself as well as others.

Free Self-Care Ideas For A Better Social Life

We need social interactions, the stimulating ones, the gossipy ones and every other type of conversation is important for our mind.

So here are some social activities you can do within your budget.

1. Attend a social event and mingle with like-minded people.

2. Initiate a healthy conversation with your partner.

3. Join a local community club or a support group.

4. Smile kindly at a stranger.  

5. Greet your colleagues with a smile.

6. Surprise your parents/grandparents.

7. Call your family and friends to see how they are doing.

8. Plan a get-together for your family.

9. Plan a house party with your girl gang.

10. Reconnect with an old friend.

11. Be kind to your junior colleagues and people who work under you.

12. Hold the door for someone.

13. Pay a sincere compliment to someone.

Final thoughts

So these are some of my ideas for self-care on a budget.  As you can see most of these things are regular everyday activities which help you to manage stress better at no extravagant price.

If you have read till here, know you are amazing, thank you so much. Before you leave do have a look at these similar posts.

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  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Suktara

      Thank you for reading it. Like the analogy of self-care as “little escapes” and yes it’s absolutely necessary we make time for it.

  • 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!