Low-Cost Self-Care

Self-Care Can Be Low-Cost

Lots of people get the wrong idea about self-care. They think they have to be deserving of it. They feel like it’s splurging to do something good for yourself. It can seem extravagant. I’d like to change that mindset today. Self-care is something you deserve. Everyone does. It benefits us all, along with those around us, when we put our own well-being at the forefront. You can’t take care of others when your own well-being is suffering. Let’s take a look at some free and low-cost ways you can care for yourself.

Clear Your Mind and Move Your Body for Your Best Health

A healthy mind and body work best together when nothing is in the way. Clearing your mind and moving your body is important and a great way to reconnect the energy between the two. There’s something magical and physiologically healing about the way your mind and body connection improves through movement.
When our bodies are moving – with heart rates up and lungs working at full capacity – a series of reactions begin that improve our health and spark calm and clarity in the mind. The act of elevating the heart rate and getting the body warm and active clears the mind.
Being intentional about the mind and body connection includes activities that promote health and the well-being. No matter what your experience level, there are plenty of ways to get moving and clear your mind.

Try one of these activities

Yoga- Yoga practices are a low impact way to clear the mind and move the body. From beginner through advanced, yoga focuses on three B’s that connect the mind and body – breath, balance, and body poses.
Breathing is focused to hold the yoga pose and to help the body relax which helps clear the mind. Balance is required to achieve poses that are more difficult. The focus of the mind on breathing and balance intertwine the mind and body connection. As the body achieves poses, moving from one to the next, the mind concentrates on breathing and balance in a new way and further connects the mind and body.
Cardio- There are as many ways to engage in a cardio workout as you want. From kickboxing, circuit training, Zumba workouts, Pilates, to running, there are unlimited ways to get your heart rate up, blood pumping, and breathing elevated.
Cardio clears the mind by helping the brain release serotonin and other feel-good chemicals. Cardio gets the body warm and the effort forces the brain to let go of worries and cares, which frees the space up for dreaming, sorting through things, and having a-ha moments.
Outdoor activities- From sporting events to hiking, being outdoors is one of the best ways to engage in clearing your mind and moving your body. Getting out into nature and admiring the scenery, breathing fresh air, and engaging in a fun activity clears your head and promotes well-being.
Switch things up by trying a new activity each week. Take a hike, go camping, ride a horse, play with your pets, there are so many ways to enjoy the outdoors and get your body moving.

Time Out is Not Just For Bad Behaviour

Do you take good care of yourself? If you find that the level of care you are giving yourself is lacking, take a time out. Sometimes just a little bit of alone time is all you need to feel rejuvenated. So why not give yourself a time out? This is one low-cost trick you can try.  Lock yourself in your room with a nice cup of tea. Listen to some quiet music. Just sit still and think for a bit. It’s a luxury we all can afford.

Low-cost self-care

Waste Some Time

We often feel pressured to be productive all the time. We may think that being busy is a sign of worth and accomplishment. However, it really doesn’t have to be that way. Just kicking back and doing nothing is important to recharging our batteries.

Let yourself have some down time to do something frivolous like binge on your favorite Netflix show, take a nap or just sit and pet your cat. You deserve it.  If you find yourself putting  the needs of every single person ahead of your own, you are exhibiting a classic sign of self-neglect. you continue doing this you may end up unable to do anything for anyone. You need to put yourself first sometimes.

Low-Cost Writing

Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, journaling can be a very therapeutic activity. Jotting down what you’re grateful for has been proven to be beneficial to well-being. It can also be energizing to simply do a brain dump in which you write down all the things that are floating around in your head. Jotting down dreams for the future might inspire and motivate you to take action. Give it a try.  Pick up a simple notebook when the school supplies are on sale, or pick up something beautiful that really captures your eye.  Sometimes writing with a lovely pen in a special journal can perk up your day.  I purchased a special turquoise pen to use when the mood strikes.

Journaling for Mindfulness

Are you looking for another way to practice mindfulness that doesn’t involve meditation or physical activity? Do those not work for you, or maybe you just want some variety? Well, journaling might be just what you need.
Journaling has many benefits of its own and is often used for self-development and in various forms of self-help. It can also be incorporated into a mindfulness practice. It’s one of the easiest mindfulness activities to learn. You don’t require any special equipment or fancy journals; all you need is a pen and a plain old notebook. (There’s nothing wrong with fancy journals if you want one; it just depends on your preferences.)
The easiest way to get started is to use journaling prompts designed specifically to help enhance mindfulness.
When you set down to write, start with the prompt. Write your answer longhand instead of on a computer. You can write as much or as little as you want or need to. Spend only a couple of minutes per exercise or as many as five or ten.
Journal at least several times a week if you want to see the benefits, but you can also journal every day.
Once you get the basic technique down, you can switch from prompted journaling to freestyle. This means you write about whatever is on your mind, or whatever you think about as you start to write. This is a great method to enhance your mindfulness of your own thoughts!
Regularly journaling will help you understand your thought processes, sharpen your focus, help your problem-solving skills, lower your stress, and more. It will enhance your mindfulness practice in every aspect of your life.

Here are a few prompts you can use to get started:

  • Three things that made you smile today …
  • What was the best part of your day? the worst?
  • Describe something that challenged you today. Why did it challenge you?
  • A problem you’re currently trying to solve is… Why is it a problem?
  • What’s one thing that made you feel valuable/loved/heard/brave today?
  • Were you able to make progress on a goal today? Which one? What happened?
  • Did anything unexpected happen today? What?
  • Describe something beautiful you saw today.
  • What made you laugh today?
(You can also alter these to fit morning journaling -you don’t have to journal only at night!)

Reach Out to Someone

Not having a small circle of closely knit friends is a symptom of poor self-care.  Good friends are there not only through the good times, but also the bad and can be an invaluable part of your well-being. Socializing is a crucial part of self-care. Even introverts benefit from interpersonal connection. Humans aren’t meant to be isolated. Pick up the phone and call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Sit down and Skype with your favorite internet pal. Meeting up in person for a walk together or a cup of coffee is even better. Connecting to others might just provide the spark you’ve been missing.

Change Your Perspective

Low-Cost Self Preservation

A change of scenery can be a wonderful source of renewal, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Just heading out to walk in your neighborhood might help when you’re feeling stir-crazy in your home. If you’re able to afford it, a low-cost staycation to a nearby location for a day or two is a fun way to switch things up. You’ll be surprised what this change of perspective can do for you.

While these are just a few of the countless ways you can indulge in self-care without spending much money, perhaps they’re just the jumpstart you need to begin exploring this concept. You truly do deserve to spend time, energy and effort on your own well-being.

There are plenty of ways to improve your mind and body connection. Eating right, self-care, and outlets for self-expression – but none beat the benefits of clearing your mind through movement. Make exercise and moving your body a daily part of your routine.

To developing some low-cost strategies for self-care

Fran

P.S.    If you have missed the previous blog posts or the signup for the 7 day Self-Care Challenge, click here to begin: www.franwatson.ca/blog/selfcarematters

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