When you hear the phrase “self care,” what immediately pops into your head? If you said bubble baths, massages at Hand and Stone Spa, and relaxing lunch dates with your girlfriends at S3, you aren’t wrong and are among the many women who yearn to have a self-care routine that looks like this. It isn’t realistic for many moms, especially if you are watching your finances.
Developing a self-care routine doesn’t mean you have to treat yourself to expensive luxuries and spend a lot of money. Proper self-care is about listening to your mind, body, and budget and doing what works for you. It’s about showing yourself the love that you so freely give to everyone else and taking the time to put yourself first. There are plenty of ways you can do this without overspending and blowing your budget.
1. Read a good book: When was the last time you picked up a good book and read it just for fun? We get so busy with life that we rarely allow ourselves time for a cheap luxury like this. If you don’t have any books at home, hit up the closet library and check out some for free. Take time out from all the mindless scrolling on your phone, put your little ones to nap, and curl up on the couch with a good book instead. Reading is a great way to escape and unwind after a long day temporarily, and the best part is that it’s free. I highly recommend the book, Do Less by Kate Northrup, it will change your mindset on what self-care and productivity should look like for moms.
2. Dance Your Heart Out: “Alexa, play party music!” There is something to be said about blasting some music and having a dance party in your kitchen. Make an uplifting playlist and set aside a time each day to get your body moving and your blood pumping. Allow yourself the space to be silly and free of judgment. Don’t worry about looking goofy (no one is watching); just let yourself feel the music and note how it shifts your mood. Dancing is a beautiful form of self-care and a great way to destress and give yourself a bit of fun.
3. Volunteer at an Animal Shelter: Take time to visit and volunteer at a local animal shelter. The Humane Society of Broward is always looking for kind people. Being in service to others, animal friends included, is one of the most powerful forms of self-care. You’re allowing yourself the time to do something you enjoy, free of charge while contributing to the greater good. Spending time with all those cute fur babies while helping your community out in the process – that’s a win-win in my book.
4. Listen to a Podcast: No matter what topics you’re interested in – business, parenting, entertainment, politics, self-help – you name it, there is a podcast out there to cover it. Podcasts have become one of the most popular ways to consume information today. It’s a great way to broaden your perspective and learn something new in the process. Plus, it’s completely free, so plug in your earbuds and listen to your heart’s content. Check out a few of my favorite podcasts here.
5. Waste Time: Doing absolutely nothing and allowing yourself to pause is one of the best forms of self-care. There’s no shame in allowing yourself time for pure entertainment. Binge-watch your favorite show on Netflix (I’m currently obsessed with all things home organization such as the Home Edit), play a video game, or put on some YouTube videos that make you laugh. Put down your to-do list for once. We get so caught up in being productive ALL the time that we forget to stop and have a little fun. Clear your schedule and do something that makes YOU happy, just for the sake of doing it.
One exercise I encourage you to do is journal your self-care journey every night before bed. Ask yourself a few questions:
How did your day go?
How did you feel throughout your day?
What do you wish your day looked like?
Where could you have made time for one of these or another self-care activity?
If you did do self-care, how did it make you feel?
Journaling is very eye-opening. Writing down your hopes for the day and what you did during the day will be very eye-opening to you and your self-care routine.
You don’t need a lot of money to have a successful self-care routine. These are just a few of the many ways you can keep your money in the bank while taking care of yourself in the process.
Nicole Vasco is a wife, mom of two toddlers, freelance content writer, and blogger of TheMompreneurProject.com.
When she isn’t writing, she loves taking her girls to the beach, reading a good book, or helping other moms start entrepreneurship. She is a stay-at-home mom advocate and believes all moms have a unique gift that can be monetized, bring them joy, and allow them more freedom to be the kind of mom they want to be.