Self care that doesn’t cost any extra

C’mon. I’d be lying if I said that “treat yo’ self” wasn’t my very favorite phrase in the entire world.

It is. I even hung the words up at our wedding, above our donut bar.

Photo: Amanda Matilda Photography

And now the sign hangs up in my office, right above my desk. It’s a kind and zesty reminder of how I want to live, and the goals in place to make that happen.

Why? Because that’s how I want to live: lavishly, with a lush, cushy, and comfortable set up. I want to give myself everything I deserve, starting and ending with all the treats my heart desires.

And while that’s nice, treating myself is not the same as practicing self care. It certainly can be—every once in a while—but regularly buying things will not restore the balance that my mind, body, and soul crave.

Self care who?

Self care is one of those things that is fundamental for living a happy and healthy life. Sadly, it has become a normal, everyday practice to neglect our needs in the name of busyness and productivity; instead, taking moments out to pay attention to ourselves is seen as a luxury that many ignore.

I’ve been there, between skipping meals, sleeping less, putting off friendships, not exercising, etc. Personal activities took a backseat to things that needed to get done: homework, cleaning, cooking, dishes, you name it—my adult to-do list has always seemed lengthy and important.

However, it’s  proven that self care is one of those things that can actually help boost your progress in other areas of your life. If you take time for yourself, success in those adulting situations is more likely to happen.

  • It can prevent burnout. That’s right: self care helps you avoid getting to the point where you have overwhelmed yourself, filled your plate too full, and pushed yourself to the point of complete frazzle, where you feel like giving up.
  • Goodbye, stress. Stess is an important part of life and can be expected and even welcomed in small doses. However, long-term and high amounts of stress will literally break down the mind and the body, with lasting and severe consequences. Self care is an effective means of reducing stress, allowing you to operate at full capacity.
  • Refocus with self care. Sometimes taking a quick break is a really effective way of getting back on track. If you’re feeling stuck, sneak away and do something for yourself. When you come back to the problem, you’ll perform better and be more relaxed.

Alternative Methods of Self Care

The next time you are in need of a mental or emotional recharge, try not to unload your shopping cart. Instead, try out these free (or close) methods that will help to restore internal balance and alleviate the symptoms of stress.

1. Read a book

Honestly, the best thing I have done for myself recently has been to open myself back up to reading. Books allow you to escape and feel alive in ways that everyday life doesn’t necessarily provide. And, you can choose your own adventure, in a way: go for a genre that fits your mood, and what you crave. A thriller can be something to seek your teeth into, a romance novel to spark some feelings, or a self-help book to learn some new ways to take care of yourself.

The best part: books are totally free! If you take advantage of your local library, that is. (Do it!) Many libraries also allow you to rent digital and audio books, too, so you never have to leave the comfort of your online browser.

2. Soak It Off

If you don’t have access to a hot springs nearby, or the price of admission isn’t sustainable for regular use, you can replicate the experience in your own bathtub. Draw yourself a bath, soak, and meditate. If you want, you can add things like fizzy salts, bubbles, or candles to set the mood and enhance your senses. Some people like to bring a book and wine into the equation, and I can’t argue with that relaxing logic.

3. Journal, Baby

This one is a harder habit to get into, because it requires a bit of discipline. Journaling is such a good way to release whatever is trapped in your head, and transfer your energy.

You don’t need much; while gorgeous bound-books and bullet journals are aesthetically pleasing, you can hand-write your thoughts on a simple piece of lined paper, or open up a Word document. You can even start a blog, and don’t have to publish anything, if you don’t want anyone to see.

It’s not even a requirement to write a lot. Last year, I wrote in a one-line a day journal. It was liberating and so cool to go through at the end and catch myself up on my year of feelings. It really was a way to treat myself, and take care of my soul.

4. Get The Heck Outside

Sometimes I have to force myself to go outside. When my daily routine seems daunting, a break in the fresh air is really necessary. It doesn’t have to be extreme or last very long—I’ll go for a walk, or sit outside in my hammock for half an hour. If I had the time and resources, maybe I’d go drive to the lake and paddle my canoe. I’m not there yet, but that sounds like a refreshing escape.

There is something about being outdoors that is therapeutic. Even if you live in the city, the sounds of the hustle and bustle can reconnect you, in many ways. It doesn’t have to be exercise-related, but I do highly recommend stepping out your door for a few minutes to clear your head.

5. Watch Something

One of my favorite ways to relax is to indulge myself in a movie or television show on Netflix. I’m a total TV-head; though one of my resolutions is less screen-time, sometimes an engaging or entertaining binge-session is exactly what I need to treat myself.

Though this usually does cost the subscription price of the streaming service, you can also dig into your own collection of movies. I’ve been known to claw my way through my old VHS collection and watch a childhood favorite (like Babe, The Wedding Singer, or Homeward Bound) when I need a little me-time. And it’s glorious.

What are your favorite ways to relax and treat yo’ self?



Self care that doesn't cost any extra
Pin It!

48 thoughts on “Self care that doesn’t cost any extra

    1. Walks by the sea sound so incredibly therapeutic! And my husband swears by video games, and loves unwinding when he gets home from work; I think those are really valuable methods. Everyone is a little different, but we all have and need something to relax. Thanks for your feedback and for reading! 🙂

    1. That’s a great one! Since I lived in a house with a pet in a few years, that one hadn’t occurred to me, but it’s very true. I’ve never felt more comforted and loved than cuddling up with a dog. Thank you for this feedback and for reading! 🙂

  1. Such a great post! Lol I’m like you I swear treat yo self is one of my fave phrases too 😂 that and self care. I feel like I’ve learned more and more how important self care is. I mean your body and mind is a temple and if you don’t take care of it no one else will. I love going to springs and bath soaks when I get a chance. Sometimes I like to do DIY aromatherapy spas at home, such a mellow mood! And one of my fave things to do is art tbh. Super therapeutic for me. Great post hun! ☺️💕

    xx Lena |

    1. If I could get away with a big tattoo saying “TREAT YO SELF” I would, but I don’t really have any justification for it, lol. And yes, so true! I love the additional ideas of aromatherapy and having spa nights; I really feel amazing with a face mask or doing my nails. Art too! You are full of AMAZING ideas! Thank you so much for reading and for your feedback. 🙂

  2. This is so true, sometimes self care falls to the wayside. I love all of the ideas you suggested, I’d love to read more but last week around this time I quit my job to freelance full time, I feel like I might go broke one minute and I’ll snap out of it the next. Self care will help save me sanity lol.

    1. Wow, that’s a lot of change! I feel like the transition period is important enough to put everything else on pause, at least temporarily, until you get through the initial hurdles. Congrats on the big change! Self-care might be secondary until you can focus on anything other than the change, lol. I hope that soon you’ll be able to read and relax guilt-free! Thank you so much for reading. 🙂

  3. Journaling as a form of self care is so underrated! And doing it outside is even better – especially by the sea or somewhere with lots of natural beauty.

    Great post!

    1. Journaling—or really writing of any kind—by the sea sounds like a dream! I’ve never done it, so it would be like a bucket-list form of self care. I think that calls for a vacation! 🙂 Thank you for reading, Amy!

    1. That’s a great point! I think that writing in any form is at the top of my self care list, regardless of it’s a journal or blog post or short story. Good luck to both you and I for reading more! And thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment. xx

  4. These are fab ideas! My favourite ways to relax are having a nice long bubble bath, grabbing my duvet and a hot drink and watching something on Netflix =) Perfect! I also love that you had a donut bar at your wedding, what a cute (and delicious!) idea. Lovely post! <3 xx

    Bexa |

  5. Wonderful post Savannah! I’m so great and preaching about self-care, but often need reminders to follow my own advice. For me, just taking 10 minutes or so to enjoy a coffee and cuddle my dogs, first thing in the morning, sets the right peaceful tone for the day. Somehow, it centers me to just have a few minutes alone with my thoughts, and those sweet loves on either side of me.
    Thanks for a great read.
    Joan Senio
    My Best Friend Adeline

    1. I must say, cuddling dogs first thing (or last thing) in a day sounds like my absolute dream. They are so comforting and sweet and have a loving energy. I love that! I will keep that in mind for when we finally are able to get a dog of our own (we are renters with a strict no-pet policy). Thank you for reading and for your feedback!

  6. omg that sign at your wedding bar is amazing!! I have been prioritising and exploring into different ways to look after myself this year, I am already experiencing the benefits – such as much lower stress levels! I am also making sure to read a lot more! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  7. These are some great free self care activities and all of them are part of my own routine. I love a long soak in the bath or a nature walk.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: