This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
When I worked at a domestic violence shelter they used to talk to us about self care all the time. I thought it was nice for other people but I always ignored it and didn’t think it applied to me. I was too busy working and going to grad school. It was great for my coworkers who could make time to relax but I didn’t have the time and I had a real “power through it” mentality. I’m sure you can guess where this is going and you’re right, it ended badly in a spectacular breakdown that took me weeks to recover from. These days I take self-care really seriously and I make my mental health a priority on my to-do list. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of articles on Pinterest about self-care activities that involve spa days and pedicures. If you can afford to get massages and facials then freaking do it girl and drink a little cucumber water for me. I know I’m too freaking broke for that and I’m sure that I’m not the only one. Here are some ideas for free self-care activities. Learn from my mistakes and make it a priority to do something for your mental health today, even if you feel like you don’t have time. Shameless plug-checkout my article on how to afford self care when you’re broke.
- Get some library books (mine even has Kindle books!)
- Send your friend notes some love notes via text message
- Write a gratitude list
- Take a free online class from Harvard
- Sign up for a free trial of Showtime or HBO and do some binge watching
- Clean out your closet and donate your old clothes
- Go for a walk, bonus points if it’s somewhere you haven’t been before
- Call a friend or family member on the phone
- Make a playlist of songs that put you in a good mood. Check out mine here.
- Rearrange your furniture
- Listen to a podcast
- Commit to not complaining for a whole day
- Setup a Mental Health Planner
- Take a bath
- Turn off your phone, computer and TV for 24 hours
- Write down affirmations for the week
- Join a support group
- Get outside
- Write a bucket list of things you want to do in your lifetime
- Listen to stand up comedy on Pandora
- Clean your room
- Have a dance party
- Challenge yourself to drink a shit ton of water
- Volunteer at an animal shelter
- Watch a sunset
- Watch some TED talks
- Go to bed early
- Make plans to see friends that make you happy
- See if there are any free museums where you live
- Find an organization to volunteer for
- Invite friends over to play board games
- Declutter your house and see how much stuff you can get rid of
- Write new goals
- Start a blog
- Watch some motivational speeches
- Do a workout
- Pick up trash in your neighborhood
- Build a fort
- Take a nap
- Play with a pet
- Find a local club to join
- Read articles on Wikipedia on a topic that interests you
- Go stargazing
- Ride bikes
- Pick wildflowers
- Organize your closet
- Light candles
- Swing on a swingset
- Sleep in
- Learn something new
- Do your hair and makeup
- Forgive someone
- Cancel plans and stay home
- Write a to-do list
- Share something positive on social media
- Take selfies and share the best ones
- Learn a new language
- Wash your sheets
I hope this list helps you think of some self-care activities you can do today. Taking care of yourself is so important and it will help you show up stronger for everyone in your life. Self-care doesn’t have to cost money. Make your own list of free self-care activities that you like to do and keep it handy so you remember to do them. Yeah, going to a spa is great but you still need to take care of yourself when money is tight. Get in the habit of practicing free self-care and save the extravagant items for special occasions. If you’re interested in more mental health resources be sure to check out my posts on depression and anxiety.
I am not a licensed therapist. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. You can download a free printable list of hotlines here and join the free mental health support group on Facebook here. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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