9 ways to indulge in self-care without burning a hole in your pocket
If we go back to the basics, restoring our inner balance and well-being doesn’t have to be a drain on our energy and finances.
These days, self-care is accompanied by images of the perfect shade of lipstick or that new workout that zaps cellulite. When did something as introspective and personal as self-care become Insta fodder? It has a lot to do with the ambiguity around what self-care means. This definition sums it up nicely – It’s the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
Unfortunately, most of us are following Urban Dictionary’s tongue-in-cheek definition: Self-care is an umbrella term that has more benefit for the sellers than individuals.
What was intended to restore balance has been pivoted into something superficial and commercial that often leaves us feeling inadequate. So, if your feel-good activity is retail therapy or a spa date, here are some basic (and inexpensive) changes that will make you feel as good as new.
1) Change your relationship with food:
Yo-yo dieting,(a cyclical loss and gain of weight) is bad for heart health, and not helpful in losing weight either. Instead of tucking into expensive new superfoods and spending a fortune on trendy diets, maybe we owe it to ourselves to stop looking at food as an enemy and associate with it in a more wholesome and sustainable way.
2) Take a long-term approach to fitness:
Fitness fads (and expensive gym memberships) will come and go, so it’s time to find a workout that helps us stay healthy and active in the long run. Walking or jogging in the park is a good start.
3) Revive a childhood hobby:
Remember doing something just for the joy of it, without fear of judgement or the pursuit of perfection? Tap into that feeling more often, because adulting is hard enough as it is.
4) Sort yourself out financially:
Setting up an emergency fund can make us less nervous about the future while cutting down on unnecessary lifestyle expenses helps us save for more meaningful experiences.
5) Give social media a rest:
Although we millennials are hyper-connected, we’ve often labelled ‘the loneliest generation’. Plus, scrolling through picture-perfect feeds make us feel less than perfect, driving us to spend more on things we don’t need.
6) Give yourself some rest:
The body heals itself during a normal sleep cycle. When we get enough shut-eye, we eat healthier, are more active and alert, are happier, and make better decisions. What’s not to like?
7) Be still:
With a million things on our minds, it’s no wonder we’re always restless. Sitting down for five minutes and focussing on our breathing (and meditating, if you like) helps renew focus while helping us feel better equipped to cope with whatever’s on our schedule.
8) Connect with a loved one:
We play up different parts of our personalities in different situations, and sometimes, we just want to be loved for who we really are. There’s nothing like a good time with friends and family to make us feel whole again.
That goes for everything from old clothes in your closet and things that have been piling up on your to-do list. Freeing up space has a liberating effect. Here’s some inspiration from Marie Kondo to get started.
Money is essential to many things in life; working in the finance industry and powering personal finance for women through Basis shows me that every day. Yet, I’ve also learnt that to thrive, we don’t need to stretch beyond our means. All we have to do is start with what we already have.