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Marnie Goodfriend

Marnie Goodfriend is a writer, sexual assault advocate, and social practice artist.

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Self-Care on a Budget: 5 Affordable Self-Care Ideas

Self-Care on a Budget

Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are 5 affordable ways to practice self-care without breaking the bank.

Your Wellness

It seems like life is always jam-packed with events, gatherings and family get-togethers, but don’t forget to make time to tend to your personal wellness and prioritize self-care.

Investing in yourself doesn’t have to involve expensive spa days or luxury products. And it doesn’t have to be reserved for special occasions. In fact, budget-friendly self-care options allow us to schedule “me time” more frequently and get the same positive results that come with expensive price tags. Creating rituals around purchasing small pick-me-ups reminds us that small pleasures can have a big impact on our lives.

These five affordable self-care ideas will help you unwind, reset and focus on yourself while boosting your mood and energy and clearing space for new opportunities.

1. Set aside a monthly personal gift fund

Adding a beautiful candle or a sparkly pair of earrings to your shopping cart can feel expensive or frivolous when buying weekly essentials. Instead, set aside a small amount of money every month (say $30) to buy a gift for yourself. Get that leather-bound journal you’ve been eyeing, or spend a few hours at a favorite store shopping only for yourself. Say “yes” when the sales associate asks if it’s a gift. Then, take a moment to unwrap your present and celebrate yourself. You can even include a card with a compliment or mantra that inspires you.

2. Buy yourself the bouquet of flowers

Stop passing on pretty bouquets of flowers at the grocery store. Most pre-made arrangements cost less than $10 and fill your home with color, life and nature. “Part of my self-care routine is doing nice things for myself, no matter how small,” said Holly Eve, mental health advocate and founder and CEO of Madame Lemy, a natural beauty products site. “I love buying colorful flowers for myself. Investing in simple but beautiful things reminds me of the importance of slowing down and giving myself the care I need to approach the day with a positive outlook.”

Split the bouquet into a few separate vases and place one on your nightstand ,one on the kitchen table and one in a nook where you’ll see and appreciate it. Use mason jars, teacups or even a clear drinking glass to hold them. Old perfume bottles also make beautiful vases.

3. Create a vision board

Vision boards are a powerful tool for manifesting what we want in our life and who we’d like to spend it with. No dream is too big to fit on a digital or physical board. Without overthinking it, cut out or save photos and words online that speak to you. Then place them on a poster board or digital page using a simple design site such as Canva. Take a photo of your vision board and print it out or display it in a place where you’ll see it often.

4. Spend quality time with friends

Human connection is essential to our emotional and psychological well-being. Schedule low-key, in-person coffee dates or virtual dates to catch up with supportive people who are fun to be around and encourage you to pursue your passions. “Feeling seen, heard and understood is a calming experience,” said Denise Shull, performance coach and CEO and founder of The Rethink Group. “It literally reduces cortisol. Emotionally, positive relationships make us feel better about ourselves and reduce stress. Both lead to healthier outcomes.” If you’re catching up at home, throw on your pajamas and pop some popcorn to connect with your inner teenager.

5. At-home spa treatments

Get the luxury of self-care at home. Visit the spa aisle at the drugstore and pick out an assortment of personal care essentials such as a moisturizing hair mask, sheet mask for glowing skin, bath salts and body scrub. Then, light some candles in your bathroom and play a mellow music playlist while taking a long, luxurious bath. Afterward, stay in the Zen zone by cozying up on the couch with a good book and a cup of herbal tea.

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