16 Ways To Practice Self-Care That Cost Next To Nothing

16 Ways To Practice Self-Care That Cost Next To Nothing

As much as I (not surprisingly) spend a lot of time encouraging people to try strategies that will boost their happiness and wellbeing, it does concern me sometimes that a number of options (e.g. therapy) require a certain amount of financial commitment.

But happiness need not be expensive; taking care of yourself can be simple and … essentially cost free!

So how can you create more happiness and take care of yourself for next to nothing? Read on…

via the Huffington Post by Kelsey Borresen

In the age of Instagram, “self-care” has become synonymous with indulgences like massages, facials, fancy products, boutique workout classes and lavish vacations.

That all sounds great if you have tons of disposable income. But for most of us, spending serious cash on self-care just isn’t realistic.

“The whole concept of self-care has really strayed from the original intent, and become a meme unto itself,” said Kathleen Dahlen deVos, a psychotherapist in San Francisco. “When I talk with my clients about self-care, rarely am I encouraging practices and habits that cost money. In fact, spending excessive money or funds we don’t have In the name of ‘self-care’ can actually be distressing, destructive and work against our mental and emotional wellbeing.”

We asked experts in the wellness space to share some of the best ways to practice self-care that are basically free. Here’s what they told us:

1. Spend some time outside.

Take a walk around the block, sit in the grass, hike a local trail or just let the sun shine on your face for a few minutes.

“No matter where you live, you likely have access to an outside space,” said Tiffany Lester, an integrative medicine doctor in San Francisco. “If it’s not in your neighborhood, think of a close space you can get to within 10 to 30 minutes. Getting outside and away from our devices calms our nervous system from the negative effects of everyday stressors.”

2. Clean and organize your living space.

When your apartment or office is a mess, it can take a toll on your mental state, making you feel more stressedanxious and overwhelmed.

“For some, a messy or disorganized space can activate their nervous systems and impact mental health wellness,” said therapist Jesse Kahn, director of The Gender & Sexuality Therapy Center in New York. “If that’s you, taking time to clean up your space can be an act of self-care and self-love, and may feel healing rather than like a chore you don’t want to do.”

3. Reduce the amount of time you spend on social media.

Mindlessly scrolling through your social media feeds for hours on end is not only a time suck, but is also linked to lower self-esteem, sleep issues and an increased “fear of missing out,” or FOMO.

“Social media and the internet is a great resource to connect, cultivate support and community, but it can also be a place of overconsumption, distraction, and numbing out to what we truly may need in our lives,” said McKel Hill Kooienga, a registered dietitian in Nashville, Tennessee, and founder of the site Nutrition Stripped.

The iPhone’s “Screen Time” feature, Android’s “Digital Wellbeing” toolsor apps like Moment can monitor your social media usage and help you cut back. Other tricks that may be useful include disabling certain push notificationsswitching to grayscale mode or hiding your most enticing apps in a folder that’s not on your home screen.

4. Do some journaling.

All you need is a pen and some paper to get started. Journaling can be a therapeutic practice that helps you understand thought patterns, work through difficult emotions, reflect on certain events or cultivate more gratitude in your everyday life.

“Sometimes I find it just as helpful as therapy — and I’m very pro-therapy; I’m studying to be a therapist,” said Lauren Donelson, a writer and yoga teacher based in Seattle. “Journaling helps us externalize what’s going on inside our heads, and it helps us to look at our thoughts more objectively.”

5. Get better sleep.

Making an effort to get the recommended seven to nine hours of quality shuteye can make a huge difference when it comes to your overall wellbeing. Getting a good night’s sleep on a consistent basis offers benefits such as better immune functionimproved mood and better performance at work. (If you need some tips on how to make it happen, we’ve got you covered.)

“Maybe the self-care practice here is getting a certain number of hours a night, not exceeding a certain number of hours, getting to sleep by a certain time so you’re able to wake up by a certain time or creating a ritual to help you calm your body, relax and go to sleep,” Kahn said.

6. Meditate.

Practicing meditation is one of the best ways to restore and reconnect with our mind and body, said Tamara Levitt, a Toronto-based meditation instructor and head of mindfulness at Calm.

“As (writer) Anne Lamott said: ‘Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes,‘” Lamott said. “There is immense value in giving ourselves time and space to shift from ‘doing’ mode to ‘being’ mode. Meditation allows us to reconnect with the needs of our mind and body.”

If you prefer guided meditations, you can check out the free version of apps like Headspace or Calm, or find videos on YouTube. And, of course, meditating in silence is another great option that doesn’t cost a dime..

… keep reading the full & original article HERE