“Taking care of yourself is a form of self respect.”
Now, I'm not sure who first said this, but this is one of my favorite quotes in the entire history of quotes. Not only because self-care is so important, but it’s necessary for a life that you actually enjoy doing every single day.
Why is self-care so important?
By definition, "self-care" means any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated. Let's look at that sentence a little bit closer.
Self-care is necessary, it's under your control, it's intentional (meaning it doesn't just happen by accident), and it is dependent on your own intentions. In other words, it's entirely up to you whether or not to practice self-care and take the required time to make your body, mind, and soul feel damn good.
Self-care can mean a lot of things. Some people think it’s getting a massage, going on a yoga retreat, getting a facial, or buying a new outfit.
Now, don’t get me wrong. All of these things definitely are forms of self-care…I mean, who doesn’t feel on cloud nine after a massage or two?
But with these, you have to be making quite a pretty penny to be able to afford one, if not all of them.
I’m not sure about you, but for me, getting a weekly facial is just out of the question right now (hellooooo entrepreneurship). In order to stay within my means and budget accordingly, I have to find other ways to take care of myself without spending a lot of cash.
So how do you afford self-care?
The cool thing about self-care is that there are hundreds, if not thousands; of ways you can take care of yourself without spending a dime. I mean think about the obvious ways like massaging your feet, meditating, or taking a hot shower. All of these things are actually ways to practice self-care.
I want to share with you how I practice self-care by giving you some not-so-obvious ideas that don’t need a lot of money, time, or energy. These are the things that I can afford on a weekly basis no matter how broke AF I’m feeling.
1. Buy yourself flowers.
There is just something about pretty things that make you feel the same way. I know this is usually what your boyfriend or significant other should do, but why? Why wait for fresh, beautiful flowers to grace your presence when you can go out and buy them yourself? You can usually buy a small bouquet for under $10 at your local famers market or grocery store and be happy all wekk long.
2. Make your bed.
Yep, something as simple as making your bed is a hell of a way to practice self-care. Believe it or not, I discovered the joy of making my bed about a year ago. When I grew up, I never made my bed as it wasn't something we really preached about doing in my family. Then, last year I made it my new year's resolution to make my bed every single day. For the most part, I've done exactly that (only missing it a handful of times). Once you make your bed, you start your day off on a win. Studies even show that you sleep better when you crawl into a freshly made bed versus a jumbled mess.
3. Take yourself out for coffee.
I know people buy themselves coffee all the time. I'm not talking about snagging your usual medium roast in the drive-thru. I'm talking about going inside your favorite coffee shop, ordering your favorite drink, getting it "for here", and choose a spot by the window or a cozy corner, and just be. Sip your drink slowly and with intention, paying special attention to your surroundings, the noises, the people, and most importantly yourself.
4. Change your desktop or phone background.
This one is a little out of the ordinary. Most people look at their phones and computers every single day for long periods of time. And what you see, do, and say most often will become your reality. So why not change your background up to a picture of your dog or your most recent vacation you went on, or better yet, an inspirational quote to give you that extra motivation to go about your day. It might just change your life.
5. Explore a new neighborhood.
(and leave your phone at home)
This has to be one of my favorite things in the history of things. Even if you live in the tiniest town imaginable (hello, Montana), there are still plenty of dirt roads, neighborhoods, and corners to explore. So wake up 15 minutes early, make your bed, plug in your phone, and go on a walk to a new neighborhood you've never been to. You'll be amazed at what you find.
Self-care can be affordable and it's totally doable! Hopefully this article inspired you to find some new and not so obvious ways to take better care of yourself.
What do you do to practice self-care? Leave me a comment below and let me know!