How To Practice Self-Care On A Budget

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Contrary to what many brands may lead you to believe, self-care isn’t just about fancy skincare products and expensive spa treatments. In fact, there are plenty of ways to take care of yourself and prioritise your wellbeing without breaking the bank.

We know that more of us are feeling the pinch from rising mortgage repayments, hefty utilities bills and slow wage growth. The pressure of inflation (or Sheflation, as coined by Women’s Agenda) are even greater for women, particularly as the gender wage gap continues to widen.

Safeguarding your physical, mental and emotional health shouldn’t be dictated by your salary. So, we’ve rounded up seven affordable ways to practical self-care on a budget. Let’s dive in.

Self-care idea 1. Prioritise sleep hygiene

Ever heard of sleep hygiene? It’s one of the best ways to promote a good sleep schedule and actually improve your quality of rest, too. Having good sleep hygiene involves creating a restorative bedroom area and having a consistent daily routine – and it comes at no cost.

Some of the ways you can implement sleep hygiene are:

  • Keep the bed for sleeping time only.
  • Have a consistent sleep schedule where you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  • Have a relaxing pre-bed routine: maybe read a chapter of a book before bed or listen to relaxing music.
  • Keep your phone and laptop out of the bedroom.
  • Reduce your caffeine intake to only the mornings.

Self-care idea 2. Get those endorphins up with a nature walk

Exercise doesn’t have to involve hitting the gym or sweating in a high-intensity workout. You also don’t need to run to Lululemon to purchase a shiny new workout set (although sometimes it doesn’t hurt).

Instead, try a nature walk at your nearest national park or even go for a dip at your local beach. That way, you’re getting in your daily exercise plus a chance to take in some fresh air and explore the natural scenery.

Exercise is proven to help with mood stability, by releasing endorphins and serotonin (the happiness hormone) and can decrease stress by lowering cortisol levels (the stress hormone). It’s also a great way to switch off for the day after a busy and stressful workday.  In fact, people who regularly exercise have lower rates of anxiety and depression.

Self-care idea 3. Try a meditation or stress-relief app

Fostering better mental health can be as simple as opening up your phone and downloading a free mindfulness app,

MindShift is a free, evidence-based anxiety relief app that uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) strategies to help you learn relaxation techniques and develop different ways of thinking and challenging your anxiety.

With a stack of features, MindShift offers:

  • CBT tools: strategies to re-shift your thinking and behavioural strategies to make long-lasting behavioural changes.
  • Quick relief: when you’re experiencing bad anxiety, this feature provides fast anxiety tools to help you ground yourself, and take a breather and it even gives you some practical steps to cope.
  • Thought journal: write down your worries and transform them into helpful thoughts by identifying and challenging your thinking patterns.


  • Facing fears: this feature helps you overcome fears by gradually breaking them down into small manageable and achievable steps.

Self-care idea 4. Declutter your space

Have you ever heard someone say your room is a reflection of your mind? When you feel overwhelmed or out of control, your home probably reflects it. One of the easiest ways to de-clutter your mind is to de-clutter your space.

Lock in cleaning time once a week or a month to clean and organise your space. You can even spend some time going through your clothes to donate them.

Self-care idea 5. Dedicated time for fun

There comes a time when life can get a little overwhelming, busy and stressful and you may feel like you don’t have time to do things you love. But, there should always be some time in your week to schedule dedicated fun or engage in hobbies and activities that you enjoy most – it’s all about making it a priority.

Spending time on hobbies has various benefits on your mental health and well-being. In fact, research shows that people with hobbies tend to have lower stress and depression levels, and higher moods.

This could be anything from hanging out with your friends and family, doing something creative like painting or getting outdoors – whatever it is that you find meaningful and makes you happy.

Self-care idea 6. Foster social connections

When you’re not feeling your best you may want to isolate yourself from the people around you. But, did you know that loneliness can negatively impact your health and well-being? Research shows loneliness can cause disrupted sleep patterns, an increase in cortisol levels and depression.

Spending time with your friends and family can lighten your mood, make you feel happier and makes people feel a sense of belonging, safety and security.

You don’t even need to spend a cent to engage in meaningful, healthy relationships – go for a walk with your mates, have a picnic or hit your local coffee shop for a catch-up.

Self-care idea 7. Reach out

Reaching out and talking to those around you about your stressors, feelings and emotions has a positive impact on your wellbeing. When you communicate with others it makes you feel supported but also gives others a sense of relatability and can strengthen your connection and bond with others.

If you feel uncomfortable reaching out to your friends and family, there are plenty of other ways and avenues you can use to get support. Helplines and online support are great ways to seek support when you just need someone to talk to but don’t know where to turn.

That’s a wrap! Taking care of your well-being doesn’t have to be costly or complicated. In fact, there are plenty of ways to boost your health and well-being without spending a cent – pencil in some self-care time in your diary and put yourself first, lady!

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