Everything today seems to cost money: your home, your car, your internet plan, your gym membership, food services — even driving on certain roads can cost you a few dollars! Some things, however, are still free and can help you take better care of yourself. Below are some easy self-care practices that are easy on your wallet.

Why Self-Care Matters

First, you need to understand why self-care matters. Self-care essentially boils down to taking care of yourself. Some people struggle to take care of themselves, and they often feel selfish or indulgent when prioritizing their own needs. However, it is not selfish, and it is not indulgent. In fact, it is important to care for yourself to prevent mental health struggles and to recharge your energy and happiness. It doesn’t have to be a time-consuming activity or an expensive hobby. You can find easy ways to steal moments in your day that will go a long way toward helping you look after your own health and needs.

Simple Ways to De-stress

It’s easy to get lost in daily responsibilities and care of others, forgetting to prioritize your own health and needs. Work can be demanding, your home requires constant attention, and you may need to care for your children’s needs. All these things can result in a tremendous amount of stress. According to Psych Today, stress can cause mental health issues, potentially resulting in depression and anxiety. There are some simple ways to reduce the impact of stress in your life, and they don’t have to cost you any money! For instance, spending time in nature can be very relaxing and restorative. Throw on your tennis shoes and take a hike, or simply sit outside quietly and soak up the beauty. Peaceful meditation has also been shown to greatly reduce the effects of stress.

Get Fit

Another inexpensive self-care activity that will help reduce stress, improve mental health, and increase your energy is exercising. You can find deals on gym memberships, and you can go to the gym whenever it’s most convenient for you. If you’re a senior and have a Medicare Advantage plan, you may have access to its fitness program called SilverSneakers, which means not having to pay for a regular gym membership. If you don’t have this plan, private insurance companies like Humana may offer one in your area. Go to their website and do a quick search.

Additionally, activities such as running, swimming, and biking are great ways to exercise and only require a small investment. You can save money on gear by using store coupons and promo codes. Most exercises will require at least a purchase of clothing or equipment. Yoga, for example, is a highly effective form of self-care requiring only a mat to practice. Practicing yoga is both meditative and a form of exercise, resulting in reduced stress and increased self-confidence.

Learn the Art of Saying ‘No’

Another simple way to practice self-care that costs you absolutely nothing is learning how to say “no.” According to Psychology Today, saying “no” to people can be difficult, but it is also freeing and helps establish healthy limits in your life. You always hear that you should have the courage to say “yes,” to take chances, and to take risks. While that is true, it’s also important to know your limits and say “no” to things that don’t serve your life or your values. It may be hard to say no to people, especially those you love. Try offering an alternative activity or just simply decline without explanation. Saying “no” to someone does not mean that you are rejecting them. What’s more, you will avoid overcrowding your schedule while reducing stress.

Self-care is a necessary and important habit to develop in your life. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming, and it doesn’t have to completely drain your household budget. So, start practicing simple steps today to reap the benefits.

Author Contribution from Brad Krause

Photo Credit: Unsplash