Updated: January 24, 2023
By Ana Garcia, Pretzel Kids content writer
You’ve heard this before: Daily life can be stressful.
Your daily routine may include going to work, cooking for your family, meeting up with friends, exercising, taking care of pets, and then working on your side hustle. At times, this feels totally overwhelming!
When is there time for self-care? The answer: You’ve got to make the time!
Self-care can be simply taking five minutes out of your day to meditate, trying a new face mask, practicing a few yoga poses, or even reading a book. In this guide, we offer you ways to practice self-care that are free (or practically free)!
Check out these 14 free self-care ideas:
This self-care tip is a mindfulness activity that can allow you to let out your fears, concerns, desires and ideas. At the same time, when writing in a journal you can feel more connected with your inner self.
The best part: You don’t even have to be a great writer. You just have to grab a notebook, a pen, and begin to jot down your thoughts. Give it a go and express yourself on paper!
2. Declutter your house
A messy house, closet or garage can make you feel overwhelmed or even depressed. But, tidying up and getting rid of what you don’t need can help you clear your clutter and feel better about your surroundings.
To break this task down, try cleaning just one room or area of your house. You may get a mood boost immediately after seeing the results!
3. Call someone you love
We know how hard it is to keep up with people you love, especially if you don’t see each other every day or if you live in different cities. Even getting together with a friend across town can seem monumental. Yet, taking a few minutes to call an old friend or your great aunt is a wonderful way to make you (and that family member or friend) feel happier.
4. Be grateful
When you are feeling anxious, a gratitude list can help put things in perspective. Gratitude is also great for your self care routine. You can start by recalling a time when you didn’t have what you have now. From there, start to write down things that make you feel grateful.
There are countless benefits to practicing gratitude, and if you are clueless about where to start, check out these six gratitude tips.
5. Read a book
We know: You wish you read more books, or that you had the time to read a book entirely.
Why not start now? Pick up a book you’ve wanted to crack open for a while and start reading! If you really put some effort into it, you’ll find the time during the day to enjoy some engaging literature!
6. Spend more time outdoors
Spending time outdoors doesn’t mean you have to move to the countryside. This can be as simple as taking a simple walk around the block to calm yourself after a stressful day. Or, perhaps you can get outside and do some gardening, swim at your local pool, or go for a hike. Maybe you can even teach your very first yoga class outside.
7. Go for a drive, alone!
When you hit the open road, you have time to think.
So next time you want some “me” time, try taking a drive with no particular destination in mind. Put on some music and stop where you see fit. If you can find a coffee shop, maybe you can even park yourself and journal for a while!
8. Exercise to Practice Self-Care
The benefits of exercise are endless, and even after a short walk or run, you will feel the benefits and the endorphins running through your body. And, if you practice yoga, this can even help you sleep better!
So, get moving by practicing yoga, going for a run, heading to the gym or taking a long power walk.
9. Just say ‘no’
Stress can be caused by doing too much. For this reason, it’s important to set boundaries, draw a line in the sand, and just say ‘no.’
When it comes to work, set healthy limits so you don’t feel burn-out at the end of your day. This may mean declining a meeting with co-workers, passing on dinner with friends, or just letting the laundry pile up.
10. Try EFT/Tapping
If you haven’t heard of EFT/Tapping before, it’s like acupuncture without needles. EFT consists of tapping the body, which activates energy points. Tapping helps release negative emotions and is known to be helpful for PTSD, phobias and anxiety. Best of all, it’s free! To learn how to do Tapping, check out these 5 easy steps.
11. Make a to-do list
You can start practicing this self-care tip by making a list of your goals for 2023.
Start by creating a to-do list of everything you need to tackle, in order of the easiest task to the most difficult to complete. This will help you get your planning in motion, which is often helpful in reducing stress. This will also help you start the new year off right.
Here at Pretzel Kids yoga, we love meditation!
We also know that it can be hard to meditate on your own, especially if you’re a beginner at meditation. To get started, try out guided meditation. There are tons of apps that can help you start a meditation practice.
Want to meditate with your kids?
13. Practice yoga
The benefits of yoga for your physical health are countless.
But, yoga can also improve your mental health, especially if you’re dealing with anxiety disorders. For example, yoga helps lower your stress levels and guides you through calming poses and meditations.
14. Teach kids yoga
If you like practicing yoga and also like working with kids, you can teach children’s yoga!
Yoga can help you destress. At the same time, you’ll help kids relax and feel more self-confident. What’s not to love about that?
Are you ready to try these 14 self-care tips?
With these 14 self-care tips at the ready, what’s stopping you from prioritizing your self-care?
Remember: Taking time for yourself is not being selfish. It’s taking care of the most important person in your life: you!
Here’s a final parting tip: If you’ve been inspired by the power of yoga and its impact on children, maybe it’s time for you to become a kids yoga teacher!
Ana Garcia is a Pretzel Kids content writer.