In our fast-moving world, where people are expected to work long hours and always be productive, the pressure of everyday life can drown out the opportunities we have for self-care. But self-care is vital to maintain your mental health and reset so you can function at your best. 

Many people mistakenly believe that a self-care regimen should cost a lot of money when it actually does not. Sure, taking a long vacation to a tropical island is an expensive form of self-care that not everyone can enjoy, but there are plenty of ways to pamper yourself at home without spending much of anything.

It’s not just about mental wellness, either. From a physical health standpoint, self-care has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, and other serious conditions. So, a little time spent now on self-care could even save you money on healthcare in the future. 

Self-Care for Less at Home

Burning the candle at both ends can lead to burnout, anxiety, depression, exhaustion, and a host of other negative consequences. Establishing some self-care rituals at home can make a huge difference in your energy levels and your sense of happiness and well-being. If you’re looking for some ideas to get the ball rolling, start with this list of 10 cheap self-care ideas.

Cheap Self-Care Ideas

1. Drink Water

Drinking water isn’t just essential for keeping your body healthy. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can impact mood and cognitive abilities! Water is the ultimate pick-me-up, helping to boost energy levels and flush out toxins from our bodies. In addition, drinking it regularly helps promote a healthier lifestyle overall, so be sure you’re drinking enough throughout the day!

2. Take a Bath 

For many people, taking a nice warm bath is the ultimate way to relax and rejuvenate. Light some candles, turn on some music, and put a hydrating face mask on while the tub fills up with water. According to one study, you can burn as many calories in the bathtub as if you were walking for 30 minutes! To make it truly spa-worthy, try adding bubbles or an aromatic bath bomb.

3. Take a Steamy Shower

If you don’t have a bathtub, a hot shower can also make you feel relaxed and pampered. Let the water run over you for as long as you need to unwind after a long day at work or a stressful encounter. Some people like to alternate between cold and hot for a sauna-style experience. 

4. Groom Your Pets

Your cat or dog’s fur can help you relax and reduce stress. Stroking or grooming your pet releases a hormone that helps the body fight off anxiety, which can also lower blood pressure levels. Research also shows that pets soothe their owners by providing companionship during stressful times.

5. Listen to Music

Sometimes, all you need is some good music playing in the background to start feeling a little better right away. Whether it’s instrumental or one of your favorite bands, you can always find something on YouTube that will lift your spirits. Music is soul food, reminding you of good times in the past and keeping you grounded in the present moment.

6. Meditate

So much has been written on the benefits of meditation it could fill an entire library. While many people are under the impression that meditation is a difficult task, it’s really not. It’s as simple as taking a few moments to focus on your breathing and clear your mind of distracting thoughts. You can find lots of free meditation apps online to help you get started. 

There are so many to choose from; you can even sample several. Then, you can settle on something perfect for your needs. Meditation is an excellent way to care for yourself and maintain a positive mindset. 

7. Try Out a New Healthy Recipe

For many people, cooking can be a relaxing and enjoyable pastime. If this describes you, cooking is the perfect opportunity to do two self-care activities at once! First, the creativity involved in playing in the kitchen is sure to be beneficial to your well-being. But, if you choose to try a new healthy recipe (instead of something with a lot of empty calories, you will be nourishing your body as well.

8. Dance Like No One’s Watching

You already know that exercise is the ultimate form of self-care, but you are likely to avoid it if it’s not enjoyable. But hey—here’s a self-care activity that anyone can do. Turn on some music that has a good beat and just dance around the room! You don’t need any excuse, and you don’t need to know any sophisticated dance moves; do what feels good to you. Dancing can help you get in touch with your body and let you be silly and playful for a little while. 

9. Create a Gratitude List

When you are going through a particularly stressful or worrying time in your life, it can be hard to see the silver lining on the dark clouds. A gratitude list can put things into perspective. Even if it doesn’t seem like anything is going right, you can always find something that is. Don’t worry if you don’t feel grateful; write down some things anyway. Start with something like “I’m grateful for clean water,” or “I’m grateful for my kids.” Once you get the ball rolling, you’ll see that you really do have a lot of good things in your life. 

10. Read a Book

In this day and age where we have a stream of information at our fingertips, reading books is becoming a lost art. If you enjoy reading, you probably miss the times you could lose yourself in the pages of a good story. Reading is a relaxing hobby that can help calm your nerves and allow you to enter another world for a little while. Of course, you could also watch a movie, but there’s just something about a good book that “feels” like you’re taking time to attend to your own needs.

Bonus Tip:

Take Some Paid Surveys for Fun and Extra Cash!

Online surveys are a great way to squeeze in some “you” time and even make some money or score a gift card while you’re at it. With paid online surveys, you can get paid just for answering a few questions anytime you choose. That means it’s a side gig you can fit into your busy schedule on your own terms. 

If you’re the type of person that likes to have productive hobbies, taking surveys for cash is one of the most flexible and easy things you can do to spoil yourself.