Often, when we talk about self-care, we picture a day of pampering at the spa or doing a shopping spree. But self-care, at its core, is simply about protecting your happiness and well-being.
This practice is more important this holiday season when family and finances can be a great cause of stress. But if the idea of self-care through splurging on expensive spa trips and clothes cause you financial stress, then that’s not self-care at all.
Luckily, plenty of stress busters in life are free or, at the very least, really affordable. Below, we’ll show you ways you can practice self-care this holiday season without breaking the bank.
1. A long soak in the tub
This season’s long, cold nights are the perfect excuse to hole yourself up in your bathroom and indulge in a long soak in the tub.
Go all out with it by including your favorite bath bomb, hair growth oil, and face mask. Light up some scented candles, bring a bottle of wine, and cue up your favorite playlist.
With all these set up, you can have a relaxing night all by yourself.
2. A refreshing walk with your dog
If the weather permits, take your dog out on a stroll. The fresh, crisp air, exercise, and views of nature can go a long way to restoring your inner peace.
According to a 2015 study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, even a 30-minute walk can lead to a marked improvement in your health and energy, especially if you’ve been feeling down lately.
3. Catching up on your favorite shows
If you’ve been busy taking care of your family all year round, you have most likely missed episodes of some of your favorite TV shows. Thanks to the internet and streaming services, you can easily go back and catch up on them.
If you’re all caught up, you can just rewatch your comfort shows. In these stressful times, there’s nothing that can relieve stress more than watching an old favorite. What’s more, this activity is virtually free!
4. Prepare your favorite meal
Want to eat healthily, feel accomplished, and stay on budget at the same time? Why not cook yourself or your family a meal?
Much like rewatching your comfort shows and movies, eating your favorite food is an effective way to soothe stress. Combine this with the act of cooking, which can take your mind off the stressors in your life and give you a sense of accomplishment, and you’re bound to have a happy and relaxing day.
Plus, what’s better than seeing a smile on your family members’ faces when they take a bite of the mouthwatering food you cooked?
The physical and mental health benefits of meditation cannot be overstated. Done correctly, meditation can reduce stress and anxiety, not to mention help you sleep better.
According to the Mayo Clinic, research also suggests that meditation can help you manage symptoms of certain conditions such as chronic pain, high blood pressure, and tension headaches. So, take half an hour for yourself every day and de-stress through meditation.
As you can see, self-care during the holidays doesn’t have to mean spending on material things. Doing so will only give you a short happiness boost. But practicing the self-care methods above are not only inexpensive, but they are also highly effective.