Self-care, often considered a millennial obsession, is so much more than treating yourself to a mani or splurging on a Kendall Jenner-approved furry new bag; it’s about caring for yourself in ways that help you live a happy, healthy, and productive life. Luckily, this kind of thing doesn’t require the cash you might spend to try a new trend or update your look. Not convinced? Read on for 10 simple self-care acts that don’t cost a thing.
1. Start each day with gratitude. Inspirational writer and illustrator Mari Andrew recently shared some of the best advice she’s been given on Twitter, and one of the brilliant points was, “We were never even promised that the world would still be here in the morning. Start with gratitude for this alone, and just keep counting.” Challenge yourself to come up with a single blessing each morning you wake up, and be intentional about recognizing acts of kindness and good things that happen during the rest of the day.
2. Make your bed. It might’ve seemed like something annoying you had to do when you were younger, but there’s something about getting into a made bed when you wind down at night that feels really relaxing. Take it a step further by warming your pillowcase or PJs in the dryer for a few minutes before you crawl under the covers.
3. Acknowledge something you appreciate about yourself. It’s easy to pick yourself apart or beat yourself up for what you haven’t done, but it’s critical to give yourself love and props for the things you like about yourself too. Treat yourself to a moment where you do nothing else but come up with something you appreciate about your existence. Were you a great friend today? Did you nourish your bod with a healthy breakfast? Do you love your work ethic? Acknowledge and appreciate whatever it is you’ve done well or love about yourself. You deserve it.
4. Meditate. Meditation doesn’t need to be long or intense; in fact, you can accomplish a solid session in a matter of moments. The Headspace app is perfect for newbies or seasoned pros, and basic breathing exercises can help you calm your mind while providing a daily dose of zen.
5. Take a walk. Nature is a proven mood booster, and walking is one of the best things you can do for your body. Treat yourself to a stroll around the block, a couple of laps around the neighborhood, or even some steps by the beach. You’ll enjoy benefits like increased focus and energy, improved blood flow, and stimulation from your change in surroundings.
6. Change your phone screen. Given the ample amount of time that we all spend on our phones, the picture we select for our lock-screen or background is something we see often. Switch yours up to remind you of a fun time you had recently, or someone you can’t wait to see soon.
7. Shift your perspective. Instead of thinking “I have to,” reframe your thought process to have an “I can” type of mentality. For example, rather than dreading a workout you “have to do,” get excited about your body’s strength and capabilities to complete it. Feeling overwhelmed by something at work? Find an “I can” opportunity in a big project or chance to learn something new. Not only will you save yourself stress and negative energy, but you’ll find appreciation for even the most tedious tasks.
8. See a sunset. Drop what you’re doing and head to a place where you can catch a clear view of the sunset. Winding down with a natural light show is sure to make you feel grateful, calm, and inspired. Ahh, bliss.
9. Update your pictures. Fill your home and workspace with photos that make you smile. As great as social sites and digital images are, displaying the printed versions of your favorite pics will make it easy to spruce up your desk, update your gallery wall, or round out the photo album you never finished. Looking at the people you care about will remind you how good it feels to love and be loved while inspiring you to text, call, or make plans with them.
10. Play your power jam. Music is powerful, so crank up your favorite song and bask in feeling all the feelings — even if you resort to a microphone hairbrush and dancing around your living room. Seems like the fun ends way too soon? Put that toe-tapper on repeat and let loose.
How do you show yourself love? Tweet us your favorite self-care rituals @BritandCo.
(Photo via Getty)