10 Free Self Care Ideas: Hacks to Feel Good
Self-care doesn’t have to cost you an arm and leg. There are numerous free self care ideas!
While it’s true that a day trip to the spa or a deep tissue massage are ways that you can treat yourself, they are also going to set you back a few dollars. Self-care is something that we all need, especially free self care ideas. The hustle and bustle of this turbulent world rarely gives us the opportunity to take care of ourselves in the way that only we know how.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 free self care ideas that aren’t going to break the bank but will nourish your soul.
1) Go to bed early or take a nap
We all live very busy lives, and sometimes it might seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day. So many things demand our time and attention that its easy to neglect this crucial bodily function. If you’ve ever gone a significant amount of time deprived of sleep, however, you certainly feel the toll it takes on your well being.
Getting the proper amount of sleep does the body well. We need a solid 8 hours of sleep to function at our peak potential. Our body heals when we sleep and our minds process the complexities of our daily lives when it slips into its REM cycle. Dreaming is in fact healing. Plus, taking a nap is one of the easiest free self care ideas.
Consider setting up a hammock on a beautiful day and taking a relaxing nap. We all need to hit the pause button sometimes and give ourselves a little rest and relaxation. There’s no shame in it.
2) Read a book
Sometimes self-care can be as simple as cozying up in our favorite chair with a hot cup of tea and reading a book. Reading can transport your mind to another world giving you a temporary stay-cation, or it can enrich your life by increasing your knowledge base. Read whatever makes you happy.
Enjoy an exciting SCI-FI novel or get lost in a steamy romance The most important thing here is to relax, unwind, and immerse yourself in the therapeutic pages of literature. If you enjoy spirituality or uplifting inspirational literature, reading can be a tool for growth and self-development.
3) Take a walk
Exercise releases endorphins and improves our mood and self-esteem. Going for a nice long walk not only gets you out of the house and into the fresh air, but it also is great for your health. You can always go to the park and take a hike. Connecting with nature is another way to provide much needed mental elevation.
Walking can be a meditative process as well. The rhythmic motion of your steps can center your mind and uplift your spirits. If you have a four-legged companion, you can always bring them along.
Some enjoy going for walks with headphones on. This is the perfect activity to listen to an audiobook or your favorite podcast.
4) Take a bath
Light some incense or fire up your oil warmer and ignite some candles. Slip into the healing waters of a nice hot bath. There are few things in life that are more relaxing than taking a relaxing dip in the tub. Let all the stresses and tension of life dissolve into the warmth. You can finally use that bath bomb you got for your birthday. This is your act of self-care, so reward yourself.
The rest of the world can pause as you slide into the bubbles that embrace you with the delicate touch that you deserve. When you are in the tub, it’s your own private sanctuary.
5) Clean something
Being able to look at whatever you choose to clean, before-and-after is a gratifying feeling. If you choose to clean something that you value greatly such as a tarnished piece of jewelry or a dusty musical instrument you’ll find that the newly cleaned item feels like its new again. This is a remarkably inexpensive way to give a gift to yourself.
Sometimes just the act of cleaning can be a bit of a metaphor. When we gently remove the dust and debris from that tarnished piece of jewelry and we polish it until it glistens, it can remind us of how we too, become tarnished by the weight of the world. With just a little bit of self-care, we can shine just like that polished precious necklace.
6) Shop your pantry and bake or cook something
When I’m feeling down or get the inkling that I may need a pick-me-up, I brush out my recipes and cook. Baking and cooking are art forms with highly rewarding products. Some people have a knack for it. The frying pan becomes their canvas. The chopping board is their palette and the pantry is their art supply box. Much like cleaning, cooking and baking offer you an experience that rewards you with the fruits of your labor.
Don’t fret it if you’re not a great cook. Choose something simple but satisfying. A warm pan of chocolate-chunk brownies can have seriously therapeutic effects. Chocolate alone is a form of self-care.
Maybe you have a recipe that’s tied to a bit of nostalgia? You’re grandmothers spaghetti sauce or your Great Aunt Sally’s cookie perhaps? These kinds of re-creations can be more rewarding than just following a recipe on a box.
7) Call a friend or family member
I’m guilty of it myself. I have a family that I should call more often. Our friends and family know us better than anyone else. When we lift up the phone and give them a ring, it almost always feels good. Sometimes friends can help us decipher what may be troubling us in ways that we can not alone
It’s difficult to always be self-aware. When we talk to our friends or family on the phone, they can provide us with needed feedback for our own problems, but it also serves as our opportunity to show them how much we care. You never know when that phone call might just come at exactly the needed moment. When we reach out to others, that act of selfless consideration bounces back to us. Caring about others is an act of self-care.
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8) Check something off your to-do list that you’ve been avoiding at home
You know that shelf in your bedroom that you’ve been thinking about hanging for months but haven’t gotten around to it? The sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that you’ll feel when you finish that project might just be the added boost that you’ve been needing.
The little things add up over time. When we start to get a long to-do list, it might start feeling like a heavy burden on our shoulders. It can be discouraging, and before long we lose motivation to get any of it done. It just takes scratching one item off that list to re-enliven our motivation and stir us to continued success. When we look at all the things on our list as a whole it seems daunting, but when we tackle small goals on a regular basis, it can be affirming and healthy to our sense of achievement.
9) Declutter a space in your home
Your mental state is often a reflection of your living space. A cluttered room often results in a cluttered mind. Do yourself a favor and clean a space in your house that’s been impeding your flow. It might not seem like self-care but it most certainly is. You’ll notice as you clean, the more you accomplish, the higher sense of satisfaction you experience.
The clarity that you’ll feel when that space is no longer cluttered is rewarding enough. When trash and clutter fill our home, it tends to get in our way a lot. Every time we see it it might make our spirit twinge with discontent. When that has been cleaned up, it feels like all the gears start turning again and our mood follows suit.
10) Listen to music and allow yourself to process emotions
Sometimes we don’t give ourselves the needed time and space to process our complex array of emotions. It may seem easier to suppress our feelings, but much like a can of soda that gets repeatedly shaken, pushing our feelings away can lead to explosive results.
Listening to music has very therapeutic qualities to it. Our favorite band or artists can serve as our own personal therapists. Put your favorite album or playlist on and allow your mind and heart to go on a journey of self-realization and reflection. It might be painful to allow ourselves to feel those uncomfortable things that we’ve been tucking away, but it can also result in an intensely cathartic release.
Give yourself the gift of confronting those emotions in a safe way guided by the music that helps you feel safe and secure. Self-care isn’t always easy. Sometimes it takes a little bit of work or emotional courage, but when you finally sort through your emotional baggage, you’ll be glad that you did with an added sense of accomplishment to boot.