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10 Ways to Practice Self-Care Without Spending Money

“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” - Audre Lorde

At Blanket & Board, we are passionate advocates of the importance of self-care. When many people hear the term self-care, they think of an expensive spa day or a vacation, but practicing self-care doesn't always have to involve spending money.

Here are ten ways to take care of yourself without breaking the bank:

1. Take a digital detox

Disconnect from technology for a set period of time, whether it's an hour, a day, or even a whole weekend. Use the time to engage in activities that recharge you, such as reading a book, journaling, or spending quality time with loved ones. Social media can be an incredible creative outlet and can provide so many ways to connect with others, but sometimes it can also lead to unnecessary stress and a lack of productivity, so take a break every once in a while and live in the present!

2. Go for a nature walk

Spending time in nature can have a calming and rejuvenating effect on your well-being. Take a walk in a nearby park, through a forest, or along a river, and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Some of my favorite spots to spend time outside in Pittsburgh are Schenley Park and the overlook at Mount Washington!

3. Have an at-home spa day

Create a soothing spa experience at home. Take a long bath with essential oils, light some candles, give yourself a homemade facial or hair mask, and pamper yourself with a DIY manicure or pedicure. Whatever helps you relax!

4. Practice meditation and mindfulness

Set aside some quiet time to practice meditation or mindfulness techniques. Focus on your breath, observe your thoughts without judgment, and cultivate a sense of inner calm and presence. Sometimes with a busy lifestyle, all you need to feel recharged is a few moments to yourself. This can be especially helpful when you wake up in the morning if you have a few minutes to spare because it can help set you up with a better mindset for the day ahead.

5. Engage in creative outlets

Use art, writing, or any form of creative expression as a means of self-care. Paint, draw, write poetry, or engage in any other creative activity that allows you to express yourself freely.

6. Try a new hobby

Discover a new hobby or revisit an old one. Whether it's playing an instrument, knitting, cooking, or gardening, engaging in activities you enjoy can be both relaxing and fulfilling. It’s never too late to try something new! You can also check Facebook for local groups to meet up with other people in your area with similar interests.

7. Practice gratitude journaling

Take a few minutes each day to write down things you're grateful for. Focusing on the positive aspects of your life can shift your perspective and improve your overall well-being. Sometimes we can get wrapped up in the negative aspects of our current season of life but try to focus on the positive moments in your day, no matter how small. You can even get your friends and family involved by sitting down at the dinner table and each sharing one thing you are grateful for that day.

8. Have a dance party at home

Turn up the music and let loose! Dancing is a fun and energizing way to uplift your mood and release stress. Dance like no one's watching and just have fun!

9. Connect with loved ones

Reach out to friends or family members and spend quality time together. Arrange a movie night, have a picnic in the park, or simply engage in meaningful conversations (virtually or in-person). Maybe reach out to family members you haven’t gotten a chance to talk to in a while.

10. Practice self-reflection

Set aside time for self-reflection and introspection. Journal about your thoughts, goals, and dreams. Ask yourself meaningful questions and explore your inner thoughts and desires. This is a great way to make sure you’re living the life you want to live and if not, what are some small changes you can start making to move closer to the life you envision for yourself.

Remember, self-care is all about prioritizing your well-being and finding activities that nurture and recharge you. These ideas offer a starting point, but feel free to adapt and customize them to suit your preferences and needs.

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