Sometimes the idea of self care can seem inaccessible. The phrase conjures up images of face masks made of gold dust, tropical vacations, and candles that cost more than a bottle of good wine. However, there are lots of little ways you can treat yourself, even if you’re on a budget! These 27 ideas will have you on your way to indulgent relaxation in no time.
1. A hot Epsom salt bath.
If you don’t like the idea of spending $10 on a bath bomb that will literally dissolve in seconds, try Epsom salts! You can get a bag at the grocery store or on Amazon for under $5 that will last for multiple baths. Epsom salts help ease muscle soreness and promote relaxation, and now come in scents like Eucalyptus and Lavender.
2. A pair of fuzzy socks.
No cash for a pedicure? Give your feet the rest they deserve by lotioning them up and then slipping into a pair of brand new fuzzy socks. Having comfy feet will make the rest of you feel warm and cozy, so stay in and watch Netflix with your new socks—you deserve it!
3. A delicious home cooked meal
Dining out is fun but the bill adds up quickly. Even a fancy recipe will come out cheaper if you buy the ingredients yourself and cook at home. Find an interesting new recipe on Pinterest, put on your favorite playlist and get cooking! You can even put out a tablecloth and candles and enjoy a fine dining experience from the comfort of your own home.
4. A YouTube yoga class
If a long day at work has left you with a lot of pent up stress, release that negative energy with a yoga class that you don’t have to pay for. There are tons of sessions to pick from for people with every level of experience, and you don’t have to worry about being judged for the noises you make when you get a really good stretch.
5. A trip to a local museum or art gallery
Museums and galleries are often cheap or free to visit and are a great opportunity to get out of the house and enrich your day by learning something new or looking at something beautiful.
6. A trip to the library
Libraries are free, and a great place to get some quiet relaxation. Pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read, find a corner, and remember what it was like to read for fun!
7. Fresh flowers
You can add fragrance and color to your home for under $10 with a fresh bouquet. If you really want to feel luxurious, buy them from a roadside stand instead of a grocery store—you’ll feel good about supporting a small business, and you’ll know you have something special.
8. A mug cake
Mug cakes are quick and easy to make with ingredients you probably already have! A quick google search will have you indulging in minutes.
9. A matinee movie
If there’s a movie you’ve been wanting to see, stop waiting for your friend or partner and take yourself to a matinee! Tickets earlier in the day are often half-price, and you can enjoy your movie without worrying whether another person is enjoying it. Bonus points if you sneak a bag of M&Ms in your purse!
10. A leisurely hike
Take a hike somewhere beautiful. Take pictures of the flowers, birds, and trees you see. Enjoy the sun on your shoulders and some light exercise, and you’ll feel refreshed and reenergized without giving your credit card a workout.
11. An affordable face mask
At Sephora and Target you can pick from a wide variety of masks for under $10. Pick one that looks good and have a mini spa night in your comfiest pajamas. Your skin will thank you!
12. A fun coloring book
Spend the afternoon reconnecting with your inner child and working on a coloring book. Coloring books for adults come in all categories, from florals to animals to curse words! Pick the one you like best and enjoy a quiet, stress-relieving activity.
13. Flavored water
Punch up your daily hydration with some fruits and herbs! Lemon and cucumber, watermelon and mint, and strawberry basil are all great flavor combinations. Just cut up the ingredients, add them to a jar of water, and let them infuse in the fridge.
14. A shopping spree… at the thrift store!
Your local thrift store is a treasure trove waiting to be explored! Whether you’re in the mood to vary your closet, redecorate your home, or restock your home library, the thrift store has something for you, and probably at an unbeatable price.
15. A phone call to a friend
Set aside time to call someone you’ve been meaning to catch up with. Connecting with others is one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being, and you’ll probably brighten their day, too!
16. Your favorite candy bar
For less than $5 you can indulge in something sweet. Savor your favorite candy while watching a movie or taking a bath—you’ve earned it!
17. Freshly washed sheets
Doing the laundry may feel like a chore, but there is nothing more luxurious than getting into a freshly made bed with clean sheets. Use a scented dryer sheet for an added treat, and get the best night’s sleep you’ve had in weeks.
18. A vacation planning session
Sometimes half the fun of taking a trip is planning it! It may not be in the budget now, but set aside some time to research where you want to go and how much it might cost so that you can start squirreling away change for it. Put together an itinerary and share it with a friend or partner so that they can get excited, too!
19. An upbeat playlist
Make a playlist of your favorite songs and have a little sing and dance session in your kitchen. It’s a good way to get moving and uplift your mood!
20. Movie Night
Rent a new movie from RedBox, make some popcorn, and snuggle up with someone you love for a cheap and comfy movie night. Turn the lights down low and put your phones away for a real quality experience.
21. A fun makeover
Spend a couple hours experimenting with the makeup that you never use. Try new eyeshadow techniques and lip colors and see if you find something you like. You just might end up adding something to your every day routine!
22. A meditation session
An app like “Calm” or a guided meditation on Spotify will help you clear your mind in minutes, for free.
23. An upgraded shower head
For under $20, you can upgrade your shower experience for the foreseeable future. Investing in a Waterpik or something similar will be one of the best choices you’ll ever make.
24. Your favorite hot beverage
Make a cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa just the way you like it, taking time to get all the proportions and ingredients right. Then, sit and sip while you read or do one of the activities above.
25. A clean space
Like washing your sheets, it can feel like a chore at first, but decluttering is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Set aside as little as ten minutes or as much as half a day to clean up your living space, and then set aside time to light a candle and enjoy it. It’s much more pleasant to relax in a clean, tidy area, and it’s better for your mental health, too!
26. A few laughs
Watch a Vine compilation on YouTube, tune into your favorite stand-up comic, or read the Sunday funnies. Laughter is the best medicine, and a great way to start or end a rough day.
27. The gift of giving
Volunteer your time. Doing something kind for another person is the best way to gain perspective, lift your mood, and improve your overall mental health.