When you think of self-care, what comes to mind?
In this consumerist age of Instagram, self-care is associated with luxury and indulgence. Many of us think of all-inclusive holidays, spa treatments or bougie workout classes.
We think of treating ourselves to fancy restaurant dinners or buying the extravagant new gadget our favourite influencer swears by this week.
In other words, self-care = money. Which can make practising self-care when you’re broke a real pain in the ass. The financial strain of luxurious self-care can have an extremely detrimental effect on your mental health.
However, practising self-care when you’re broke AF isn’t a total write off. In fact, it’s potentially even more important to practise self-care if your financial situation is causing you stress!
So, how do you practise self-care when you’re broke?
First things first, you need to create a self-care checklist and/or a routine that will help to keep you accountable. You could jot it down in your journal, stick a bullet-point list to your fridge or even invest in some super-cheap self-care printables – my affiliate Blessing Manifesting has LOADS of cute templates!
Here are some free and budget-friendly self-care activity ideas so that you can practise self-care even when you’re broke AF!
Make a Homemade Version of Your Favourite Takeaway
I am a total sucker for a takeaway – give me the means and every night would be a curry night – but we all know that they’re overpriced (and unhealthy) AF.
Instead of splashing the cash on takeaways, make your very own for half the price! This is my all-time favourite butter chicken recipe from Cafe Delites (it’s delicious and perfect for batch cooking).
For more takeaway recipe ideas, check our BBC Food’s easy takeaway recipes.
Create a DIY Spa
Have you ever tried pampering yourself at home instead of going to a spa? Not only is it super cheap, but it’s also super fun too!
Depending on your budget, you can be as extravagant as you want. To keep things super cheap, I make my own exfoliators and face masks (using things like honey, oats, olive oil, lavender – whatever I can find in my cupboard!) Here are some great little recipes to get you started on DIY face masks.
Bath bombs, manicure/pedicure sets and DIY massage oils are pretty cheap too.
Invest Time In A Hobby
Hobbies are an important part of our emotional and intellectual self-care needs, but many of us don’t make enough time for them. Whatever lights that spark in you – drawing, writing music, reading, cooking – take some time out from your regular chores to indulge in it.
Make Time For Meditation
Meditation and mindfulness relieve worry and anxiety, making them excellent coping mechanisms for stress and completely free self-care activities.
Find a comfortable spot away from any distractions and allow your thoughts to seamlessly drift as you observe and reconnect with the world around you. You can even download meditation apps!
Have A Movie Night
There’s always someone with a Netflix account, right? So grab some cheap supermarket snacks and have a good old-fashioned movie night.
Make Your Own Cocktails!
Trying to look after your social self-care needs when you’re broke AF is a pain in the ass. One of the only things that used to keep me sane was meeting up with my friends on Friday night for cocktail o’clock. When I could no longer do that, I started isolating myself and became very depressed.
Get your friends together and split the cash on some booze and mixers to make your very own cheap, cheerful cocktails at home! If you struggle with dependency, mocktails are just as delicious – and even cheaper.
Visit A Museum Or Gallery
This pandemic wont last forever, my loves – and when it’s over, put visiting a free museum or art gallery at the top of your list! It’s a great way to get out of the house, do a little exploring and learn something new.
Go Jogging or Create An At-Home Workout Routine
Looking after your physical health is essential for your mental wellness, but a lot of us don’t want to fork out for a gym membership.
Well, I know I don’t!
Instead of the gym, go for a walk or do some exercises at home. You can find so many different exercise routines and challenges online with a quick Google search, so there’s plenty to choose from. And if you want to feel as though you’re at a workout class, Youtube has some great videos too!
If you have any other ideas for budget-friendly self-care activities, please feel free to leave them in the comment section down below. I love hearing new suggestions.