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Self Care On A Budget

Self Care means different things to different people. To some people thinking of self-care instantly inspires feeling of comfort and joy. To others the mere mention of Self-Care can bring up feelings of discomfort, scarcity or loneliness because Self Care is a luxury that requires time and often money.

Keeping this in mind, I wanted to write a blog post with some tips for self care at any point in your life. Whether you have an abundance of free time or none of it. Whether you care for others more than yourself or have the ability to make yourself a priority. Whether you have all the yoga & meditation props or none. Whether you have time & money to invest in self care or whether you don't. Because self care should be accessible to everyone. 

As a mother of two young boys and a business owner, I don't often have spare time. But I am fortunate enough to have support from family and friends, so I am beginning to schedule small bits of me time into my weekly calendar. I've learned that it's important to fill my cup, otherwise I will have nothing to give my family, friends or business. 

Self Care - Can't Pour from an Empty Cup

The statement above is a popular one, but that doesn't make it entirely true. I think it's rare for your "cup" to be completely empty. And I think humans are so resilient that we can do pretty much anything if a friend or loved one truly needs our help, energy or attention.

But that's just it - we're all human. We have good days and bad days. Hard days and easy days. Times where we can give unlimited amounts of love & energy and times when we don't have enough to spare. We live in a time where we are expected to do all the things and none of the things at the same time. We live in a time of instant gratification. It can be overwhelming but I'm hoping to give you some simple suggestions for how to take care of your self with a small amount of time and money.

Below you'll find some of my go-to acts of self care for any time or financial budget.

Legs Up The Wall

One of my favourite yoga poses of all time. It's such a simple pose to practice. You can do it against a wall or not. You can add a yoga bolster, cushion, sandbag or blanket for extra support. You can lay in this pose for one minute to twenty minutes and still experience some amazing benefits.

Legs Up The Wall for Self Care

Time: 1 to 20 minutes

Cost: $0 - $100 (cost if you invest in props)

Benefits of Legs Up The Wall:

  • lowers heart rate to elicit your body's relaxation response
  • can relieve low back pain
  • stretches hamstrings and lower back
  • soothes swollen legs and cramping in feet
  • reduces anxiety & stress

Go For A Walk

Walking is my favourite form of exercise and socializing. I love that I can combine two things I need/want to do that also fills my cup. When walking by myself I listen to music that boosts my mood. Or turn it into a power walk to increase my heart rate and sweat it out. If I walk with a friend, we get to support each other with conversation and advice. Walking is always a win-win in my books.

Walking for Self Care

Time: 15 - 60 minutes

Cost: $0

Benefits of Walking:

  • builds strength and lubricates the joints
  • gets you outside to connect with nature & breath fresh air
  • can help regulate blood pressure
  • improves digestion and blood circulation
  • reduces stress and improves your mood

Meditate

Another one of my personal faves for relieving stress and making time that's just for me. Meditation is truly an act of self care because it gets you out of your head, away from the endless chatter and reminds you who you are at your core - a human being experiencing all the joys and sorrows of life.

There are so many options for meditation techniques to make it accessible for everyone. Sit on a meditation cushion or a chair. Lay down on the floor or bed. Cover yourself in a blanket or add props to support your body. Listen to a guided meditation or sit in silence. Whether you meditate for one minute or one hour you should come away feeling a sense of peace and clarity.

Meditation as Self Care

Time: 1 - 60 minutes

Cost: $0 - $200 (only costs if you purchase meditation cushions or pay for a subscription to a meditation app.)

Benefits of Meditation:

  • increased self awareness
  • gets you outside to connect with nature & breath fresh air
  • can help regulate blood pressure
  • improves digestion and blood circulation
  • reduces stress and improves your mood

Make A Cup Of Tea

Choose your favourite mug and any tea you like. It could be caffeinated or decaf, hot or cold. The simple ritual of doing something familiar can be a powerful act of self care. Something you do without thinking too much. Something that brings you a measurable amount of joy and pleasure. Rituals increase your confidence by providing you with a sense of security.

Drinking Tea for Self Care

Time: 2 - 5 minutes

Cost: $0 - $5 (no cost if you're using ingredients you already have on hand.)

Benefits of Making Tea:

  • theanine (found in tea) combined with caffeine helps to boost your brain activity and your mood
  • many teas contain an amino acid that reduces stress
  • tea modulates serotonin and dopamine which makes us feel good
  • engages all 5 senses 

Practice Yoga

Schedule in some time to practice 3 of your favourite yoga poses, complete 5 Sun Salutations or sign up for a yoga class with your favourite teacher. As little as five minutes of mindful movement can shift your perspective from feeling distracted and busy to feeling capable and strong. 

Yoga as Self Care

Time: 5 - 60 minutes

Cost: $0 - $20 (cost if you sign up for a zoom class)

Benefits of Practicing Yoga:

  • improves cardio and circulatory health
  • increases strength and flexibility
  • reduces stress and anxiety
  • increases self awareness and the ability to be present to your body's messages

Take a Nap

Naps are definitely an act of self care. A short nap allows you to disconnect from anything that might be causing stress. Create a restful environment with minimal distractions. We sleep better in the dark so improve your nap by closing the curtains or adding an Eye Pillow. They say a 20 minutes nap in the early afternoon has the most benefits. Sleeping for too long or after 3pm can interfere with your regular sleep schedule. 

Napping as Self Care with an Eye Pillow

Time: 10-30 minutes

Cost: $0

Benefits of Napping:

  • helps you relax
  • reduces fatigue
  • increases alertness
  • regulates emotions
  • improves memory and brain function

Don't love these ideas? Here a quick list of a few more Self-Care Acts that you might want to try.

  • Do a Puzzle
  • Have a Bath
  • Hug Yourself
  • Call a friend
  • Read a book
  • Drink a glass of water
  • Eat ice cream or chocolate
  • Do a Sudoku or Crossword

Take care of yourself as best as you can in the ways that are the most meaningful to you. Love yourself. Do Good & Feel Good.

xo Shelley xo

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