Maybe you aren’t able to practice self-care because you put everyone else before yourself. Maybe you aren’t able to practice self-care because you don’t believe you deserve to be spoiled and pampered. Maybe you aren’t able to practice self-care because you are swamped with work and cannot find enough spare time to dedicate to your own well-being.
Or maybe you aren’t able to practice self-care because it’s too damn expensive. After all, pretty much everything you’re encouraged to do in the name of self-care requires money. Therapy. Travel. Massages. Manicures. Pedicures. Treadmills. Gym memberships.
If you don’t have enough money to afford anything elaborate right now, you can still practice self-care. You don’t need a million dollars in order to take steps toward strengthening your mental health.
It doesn’t take any money to turn off your phone for a few hours and walk through nature, admiring the town where you live. It doesn’t take any money to sit cross-legged on your bedroom floor and practice meditation for fifteen minutes each morning. It doesn’t take (much) money to DIY a bath bomb and read a novel in the tub at night.
Self-care can be anything that makes you calmer, more centered, more confident.
Self-care can mean tidying your work space so you don’t have to sit in clutter all day long. Self-care can mean saying no when someone asks you for a favor and you’re already swamped with work. Self-care can mean taking a long, hot shower with your favorite band playing in the background.
Self-care can mean spending some extra time in the morning putting together an outfit that makes you feel good about yourself. Self-care can mean journaling about your emotions in order to get everything out of your system in a healthy way. Self-care can mean planning weekly hangout sessions with a friend where you sit on the couch and catch up about your lives.
Self-care doesn’t have to mean purchasing expensive skincare products. It doesn’t have to mean getting your nails done on a weekly basis. It doesn’t have to mean splurging on plane tickets each summer. It doesn’t have to mean going broke.
When you break the word down, self-care simply means taking care of yourself. It means treating your mind and your body with respect. It means making sure you are okay instead of going, going, going until you collapse.
If you want to take better care of yourself, you should start in the most basic ways. Make sure you’re drinking enough water. Make sure you’re eating. Make sure you’re giving yourself a healthy outlet to deal with stress. Make sure you’re being kind to yourself.
Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t have to make six digits on your paycheck in order to treat yourself as a priority. Right now, you have the tools you need to practice self-care. You just have to put them into action. You have to make a promise to yourself you will take better care of yourself.