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Ten budget-friendly ways to practice self-care

Team HLN has rounded up our list of 10 budget-friendly self-care options to help us all take a little time out to look after ourselves – without breaking the bank or compromising our busy schedules...

By Helen Bowman

Looking after our own mental and physical health should always be a priority. And yet, so many of us push it to the bottom of the priority list because we can’t find enough time, money or motivation to look after ourselves.

The days of decadent, languorous spa days are, for most of us, a thing of the past. So how do we ensure we’re putting aside some quality time to look after ourselves as our lives seem to get busier? Here are our favourite ways to take some time out…

Get out for a walk in nature

Fresh air has long been hailed as one of the best medicines for the soul. Striding out and raising the heart rate also helps with stress reduction, calorie-burning and circulation improvement. All of which results in a real, undeniable feel-good high. 

And while you’re out and about, take in the beauty of your surroundings. Taking in nature has also been proved to decrease the risk of depression, lift your mood and relieve stress.

Give journaling a try

There’s something to be said for writing your feelings down. It’s a great habit to formulate. It relieves the weight of the world and allows you to focus on sleep or other tasks at hand, rather than worrying about any issues you have.
Write about your day and your feelings, and you’ll soon feel lighter.

While you’ve got the notebook and pen out, why not try writing down the three things for which you’re most grateful? Gratitude reaps positivity. So, write down three things from your day for which you’re genuinely grateful. From your dog welcoming you home or that fabulous cup of coffee you enjoyed with your lunch to a new client win or your new car – big or small, show gratitude and enjoy the benefits.

Try yoga or meditation

Slowing down, stretching and meditating are some of the best ways to combat stress. Whether you enjoy the challenge of yoga or the slumbering calm of meditation, both will provide rest and recovery time to catch up in a hectic world.

Have a bath

There’s not much more relaxing than shutting the bathroom door, lighting some candles and slipping into a welcoming, hot bath.

Close your eyes, read a book or listen to some music. It doesn’t matter, enjoy the quiet, the warmth, the relaxation.

Read a book

Escaping into a different world reduces stress and boosts our feeling of wellbeing.

Whether your chosen world is real, fiction, self-help or business, escape into the pages to indulge in a story or a spot of learning.

Why not check out our favourite self-help books to inspire you? 

Or if it’s non-fiction you love, check out the recommendations on our latest culture round-up…

Do nothing

Literally. Do. Nothing.
It’s tricky, this one. We always feel there’s something we should be doing. But give it a go.
Sit down, set the alarm and allow yourself to do absolutely nothing.
Taking 10 minutes out of your day to sit and do nothing will bring benefits to your body, soul and mind. Try it.

Meet a friend

Loneliness not only takes its toll on us mentally but also physically.
Feeling lonely can lead to an increase in blood pressure. So, there’s no better excuse to get out and meet up with a friend. Whether you go for a walk, take a class together or head to your favourite coffee shop for a catch up over a flat white, catching up with a friend or family member will lift your spirits no end.

Listen to music

If you’re a music lover, you know that listening to some of your favourite tunes can be relaxing, cathartic and invigorating. It’s been proven that if you are feeling negative and low, putting your favourite music on can help to completely change your mood and make you feel more positive. 

Choose a playlist that suits your objective and let the joy wash over you.

Have fun

Why should we stop having fun just because we’re ‘grown-up’?
Get out, find a hobby that makes you smile, spend time with friends who make you laugh, visit places that lift your heart.

Have fun and enjoy this thing we call life.

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