As we delve into all the ways in which COVID-19 has brought us to a new normal, self-care is one that is always at the top of my mind. There are so many ways we practice self-care (whether we call it that or not) that are shut down or are out of comfort zone right now. I know I am missing my Saturday morning massage once a month and meeting up with girlfriends at a cocktail bar for ladies night. These are important routines that help me de-stress, connect with myself, and connect with my community. With all the uncertainty, anxiety and stress that the pandemic has created, it’s important now more than ever that we find new ways to cultivate peace of mind, find moments of calm, and focus on our mental health—all in ways that are kind to our budget as well! Below are some affordable self-care tips.
1. Head Outside
It’s amazing how much a walk in the woods can calm your mind and give you renewed energy. And it’s a great way to get your physical and mental exercise in at the same time. Whether it’s a walk in the park in the evenings or taking a weekend away to camp at a state park, find a way to get outside and connect with nature.
🤳🏽 App Hack: Use All Trails to find trails near you. You can read reviews, see maps and pictures!
2. Declutter & Organize
Okay, it might not be the most fun activity on the list but organizing your home and finances can have profound impacts on your mental health. Physical clutter and financial uncertainty create stress and anxiety. It is so important for your physical space to bring you joy right now since we are spending so much time in it! And organizing your finances removes that mental anxiety and worry, giving you mental space to find joy. So while the process may be painful, the ultimate result is more joy!
🤳🏽 App Hack: Use an app like Zen Den to make home organization easier. It can help you organize tasks, send you reminders and even divvy up chores amongst your household! (this is self-care we can bring the whole family in on 😊).
3. At Home Spa Day
It’s certainly not the same but it’s definitely easier on your budget. Setting up your own at home spa day can provide some much needed R&R and give you space to clear your mind. Some key elements for your at home spa day include: face masks/bath bubbles or Epsom salts/mellow music/candles. Combine these to turn your bathroom and extra bedroom into a mini spa and let the vibe transport you to a place of relaxation and calm.
🤳🏽 App Hack: Check out Headspace or Calm apps. They have a wide variety of mellow mood musical selections and short daily meditations that can help you shut out all the noise and get into that spa space. Right now headspace is offering free membership for healthcare professionals!
4. Tap Into Your Creativity
This is a great time to tap into your creativity and find ways to express your feelings in new forms. Choose a creative outlet that feels comfortable or appealing to you, whether it’s writing, drawing, playing music, scrapbooking, or crocheting (or one of a hundred other creative outlets). Don’t worry about being “good at it.” The point isn’t to produce a masterpiece, it’s to express yourself in a new way. This can really help us work through our emotions and give our minds break from our normal thought patterns.
🤳🏽 App Hack: Youtube! You can learn anything on Youtube these days. This can be a great way to build on your creativity practice, get ideas for projects and enhance your skills!
5. Put Down Your Phone
We all know it’s not healthy, but it’s so hard to stop scrolling. The simple act of ignoring your phone (especially before bed) can really make a big difference in your mental health. Use this time to do one of the self-care tips above or another hobby you enjoy such as cooking or reading. Just don’t turn on the news or choose another stressful hobby. The key is to get out of the noise and give your mind time to relax.
🤳🏽 App hack: It’s not technically an app, but with many phones (including the iPhone), you can set limits on your social media usage on a daily basis. Start by checking your average daily usage and then cut it down by an hour. You’ll get an alert when you only have 15 minutes left. Commit to putting down the phone when you hit the limit.
Bonus Self-Care Tips
We know sometimes setting out to tackle finances could cause more feelings of anxiety. You don’t have to navigate your finances alone. You can have a Financial Expert to guide you through the process to help minimize the stress. Take advantage of our free financial review. The entire free session includes a financial analysis, help creating a budget, and a free custom financial action plan with credit and debt solutions. The financial review can be done all online with IRIS, via video chat, or via phone. To book your video/phone session, click here to learn more.
More Self-Care Tips: