I’m going to share 10 of my self care ideas that cost no money, but first I want to give some background about my self care journey.
As a Social Worker, I have been trained in a lot of areas. The professors or trainers even add self care slides into their curriculum, whether they’re training in a classroom or on the job. However, as many times as I have had someone try to push self care on me, I don’t think I ever learned what it was until recently. The idea of “self care” sounded a little silly to me because, everything that was being suggested, were things that people do on a daily basis, without calling it “self care”. However, as I matured (just last month), I realized that self care is actually important and requires a conscious effort.
If you think the same way that I used to think, you believe that self care involves treating to yourself to things like shopping, spa days, or a vacation. It a’int tricking if you got it, though! But, it is so much more than that. Everyone can’t afford the luxury of the things aforementioned, but everyone can afford to practice self care. I think a lot of people may not actually know what it is, though. That’s why I’m here!
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What is Self Care?
Self Care is performing conscious efforts to let your mind, body, and spirit know that it is appreciated and valued. The goal is to improve your mood, reduce your anxiety, and create a loving relationship with yourself.
In my opinion, this is why people equate spending a lot money on themselves as a form of self care. We place value on monetary things, but there are valuable things that we can do for ourselves that don’t cost a thing!
Here are some examples:
Eating fruit for breakfast.
Taking a walk.
Getting at least 30 minutes of sun per day.
Turning phone on DO NOT DISTURB while sleeping.
Saying “NO” to the things you don’t really want to do.
Taking social media breaks.
Cleaning and organizing your living space.
Binge watching shows that make you happy.
Creating a playlist for your favorite/happy songs.
I bet you thought I was going to have some elaborate list with a bunch of things you couldn’t do right?
By now, y’all should know that I swear by yoga! I honestly believe that I can be relief to pain related health issues and mental health issues as well as help keep people disciplined, committed, and focused. When my anxiety is high, I resort to yoga. If I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, I resort to yoga. When my lower back is aching, I resort to yoga. When I’m bloated…yup, you guessed it—-YOGA! Definitely my top form of self care because it touches on almost every area of my life. Click here to read about the benefits that I have seen from yoga!
EAT FRUIT FOR BREAKFAST
The picture above is a shared plate between me and my boyfriend. I don’t eat all of these fruits everyday but I do eat fruit daily. I also make green smoothies.
I’ve learned that adding fruit into my diet was very necessary. It’s healthy, my digestive system works better, I’m not consuming as many calories throughout the day, and I don’t have to stress about cooking breakfast (I honestly think this is the best part lol). Eating fruit for breakfast has definitely aided me in my weight loss journey, which you can read about here. It’s important that we consume things that we know are good for our body because eating right is a part of self care.
TAKE A WALK
When CoVid-19 hit, I felt trapped. I hated being in the house. What can I say, I’m a true extrovert. The only thing we were allowed to do was go to work if you were deemed “essential” or walk/run or ride your bike along the many trails that Philly has (with a face mask on, of course). My boyfriend and I started walking along the Kelly Drive, which runs parallel to the Schuylkill River. Once a week turned into almost daily! It has been so peaceful to just look out at the water, the trees, the geese, the rocks, EVERYTHING. I am not a nature girl, but when I started walking, it definitely made me feel so much more connected to nature. It gave me a new appreciation and a sense of tranquility.
GET 30 MINUTES OF SUN PER DAY
I’m not an expert, but I do believe we’re supposed to get a certain amount of sun ☀️ per day. The sun gives us Vitamin D. I don’t know about anybody else, but every time I go to the doctor’s, I’m told that my Vitamin D levels are low and that I should take a vitamin for it. I can’t always remember to take a vitamin, but I do know that when I go outside, I feel so much better. Dr. Google may be able to give you more information on how much sun we need and the benefits.
PUT PHONE ON DND
For the first time last month, I put my phone on “Do Not Disturb”. I started going to bed around 9:30pm, but noticed that it seems that most people like to contact me after that time. Therefore, I’m not really falling asleep until 12am or later. So, I hit my little crescent moon on my phone in order to experience a full night’s rest.
I have always been that person that needed at least 8 hours of sleep at night. If not, I am very cranky. Nothing feels better than being fully rested. Your whole mood improves, you’re able to concentrate better, and you have more energy.
I’ve always had a hard time saying “no”. I think it’s because I wanted to be liked so bad as a child and if I would have said “no” people wouldn’t like me anymore. Now that I’m an adult, if I don’t feel like doing something or going somewhere, I’ll pass. Why put stress on ourselves to partake in something that we don’t even want to do? That definitely not showing yourself that you care. I hope you weren’t expecting more from this tidbit, but it’s self explanatory.
TAKE A SOCIAL MEDIA BREAK
When I say take a social media break, I don’t mean that you should log out for months, weeks, or even days at a time. You can literally start with a couple of hours a day. When I wake up in the morning, I replace my usual timeline scrolling with prayer and yoga. Before 10pm, I tell myself “okay, you’ve had enough.” I literally place my phone in another room because I’m so attached to my FaceBook, Instagram, and when they’re dry, Twitter. My eyeballs start burning and I find myself blinking as if my mascara ran into my eye. Physically, looking at my phone and computer all day wears me out, but when you add all of the information that I have just ingested, mentally, I am even more exhausted. When I limit myself and take breaks, I allow myself to process and check in with myself and I allow myself to get a better nights rest. There is evidence that suggests that you shouldn’t look at screens right before bed because it affects your quality of sleep. Don’t take my word for it, though. You can find that on Dr. Google, as well.
If you believe that social media is affecting you mentally, maybe a longer break is needed. When I was in a dark place, I had gone weeks without being on social media because I realized I was mentally deteriorating. I would compare myself to others and be sad about what I didn’t have or where I couldn’t go. People’s death’s, missing children, and so many other devastating things were constantly being posted. I could not deal. I had to take some time away to renew my mind and check in with myself to be attentive to what it was that I needed, showing caring for myself.
ORGANIZE YOUR SPACE
Click Picture to Purchase this Sorbus Makeup Organizer
How organized or unorganized my space is correlates with my anxiety. Yes, cleaning or organizing sounds like it is more of a chore than self care, but for me, it’s very therapeutic. When my anxiety is full blown, my place is very cluttered. I stop paying attention to details and let clothes, papers, and boxes pile up (Hmm, I might be a hoarder). However, when I start cleaning up and organizing, I become less anxious. This is why I love planners, as well. Organizing is self care for me! Click here to read about my makeup organizer that helped me relieve my anxiety.
I never really have much time to catch shows in real time. In fact, I’d actually prefer to binge watch shows. I hate having to wait until next week. So, I’ll usually catch them on Netflix, Hulu, or my jail broken fire stick. Binge watching shows gives me some time to myself and to drift off into another reality temporarily. I feel at peace when I watch my shows, especially when they’re shows from my childhood.
CREATE A PLAYLIST
I have a playlist on my Tidal app called “Feel Good”. Most of the songs on this playlist are old school songs by Earth, Wind, and Fire, the Ojays, Switch, etc. The songs on this playlists are associated with times in my life that were really good (mainly childhood). I know that when I’m feeling my lowest, I can listen to my playlist and instantly crack a smile. I implore you to create a “Feel Good” type of playlist with songs that are guaranteed to make you smile no matter what.
Now that you are informed about what self care is and have 10 examples of how to perform it, what’s stopping you?!
Until then, keep sipping…