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Quality self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. So today I want to share some of my favorite inexpensive self-care activities. Like I have written about before, self-care means different things to different people. These are some self-care ideas that I have personally tested out myself and enjoyed.
Creative Self-Care Activities
Use an Adult Coloring Book
I started using an adult coloring book last year and have found it to be a great way to relax. I’ve had to pick and choose the pages to complete, however, because an intricately detailed page is not always the best choice at moments when I want to turn off my perfectionist tenancies. But the incredible popularity of adult coloring books means that there are a wide variety to choose from. So pick something that fits your own personality and goals for a self-care activity, whether they be relaxation or a challenge.
What might be the best fit for you? Traditional mandalas? Fanciful nature scenes? A book developed specifically for those with anxiety? An irreverent truly “adult” version?
Craft for Self-Care
This is probably what I have used the most as a self-care activity. I am a creative person and have loved both art and craft projects since I was a child. As an adult, I have knitted, done counting cross stitch, made jewelry, and most recently have started to learn lettering. Some of these self-care activities have been a little more mindless and allowed me to occupy my hands with something, such as knitting. Others allowed me to get my creative juices flowing by creating my own designs.
Gathering together supplies for a new crafting hobby could get expensive, but these beginner kits will supply everything you need for a project (or several) so you can learn whether you’d like to pursue them further.
Relaxing Self-Care Activities
Taste a Treat
As someone who loves to eat, there is definite pleasure to be found in a tasty treat. It can be a way to start your morning with 15 minutes of relaxation. Or a way to unwind at any other part of the day. The key is to make it different then your normal smoothie on the go or lunch at your desk. Be purposeful about taking time at a location where you can slow down and reflect, such as a local park or your cozy armchair.
My favorite treats include seasonal teas from Celestial Seasonings such as Caramel Apple Dream or Country Peach Passion. They taste delicious yes, but also are the teas that my mom has bought around every season for many years, which means that they have good memories associated with them as well.
Use a Journal
I have journaled ever since I was a teenager and there is no better way to get something off your chest without sending flaming arrows in someone else’s direction. I don’t write as frequently in one anymore, although my husband does most every night. It can be a place to doodle, reflect on your day, work through tough feelings, and record gratitude. My journal is this beautiful leather one.
If you are new to journaling and want a guided experience, try out Start Where You Are or Instant Happy Journal. The Happiness Project journal is perfect for those who would prefer to reflect on their day with one sentence and also functions perfectly as a gratitude journal. And this embossed leather flower journal is similar to mine.
Fun Self-Care Activities
Is laughter really the best medicine? It can reduce stress hormones and release endorphins, along with having other health benefits. Watching or experiencing something that gives you sore abs from laughing so hard can be just the self-care activity you need after a tough day.
What makes you laugh? Cartoons? Comedians? Your husband’s jokes? Funny YouTube compilations? Here are two great video series to start with:
Connect with Others
Self-care is not always a solitary activity. Sometimes, especially for extroverts, it can involve connecting with other people. This may be as simple as participating in a group activity such as a rec sports league or a happy hour with coworkers after work. At other times you may need the deep connection that comes from confiding with a best friend or having quality time with your significant other.
So add those events to your calendar. Do it in a way and at a frequency that caters to your personal extroversion or introversion. Plan a date night to strengthen your relationship. Find a babysitter so you and your best friend can get back that girl time you had before kids. Throw a party at your house just because if you enjoy entertaining. Schedule a biweekly call with a long distance friend.
What inexpensive self-care activities are your favorites?