Finding ways to prioritize your mental, emotional and physical health is paramount on a normal day for everyone. But it's a bit harder to have a "traditional self care day" when spa days, yoga classes, and going to the movies are off the menu due to your small graduate school stipend.
It can be hard to find ways to relax as a student! So here are some of my favorite cheap (or free) ways to practice self-care at home.
1. Make your bed. My mother used to bug me about making my bed every day... I didn't get it before. But now? Makes me feel infinitely more put together! Once you hop outta bed, make it be the first thing you do.
2. Stretch. Who says you have to do a whole workout?! Reach for the sky, touch your toes, and take a big deep breath. Youtube has a ton of videos you can follow along to.
3. Sing and dance. Without worrying that anyone will hear or see you, blast your favorite fast-beat song and enjoy yourself!
4. If you have a bath, take a long, luxurious one. Pop on a relaxing playlist, throw some soap in for some bubbles, and close your eyes.
5. Go for a long walk. Queue up a podcast or your favorite playlist and just stroll for a while. Nature is so healing!
6. Take a nap. Twenty minutes or two hours, one often feels much better after taking a snooze. Plus, chances are you have neglected yourself on sleep.
7. Try to learn a new skill. Open YouTube, find a tutorial (be it makeup, cooking, a craft, etc) and enjoy some "me time."
8. Do nothing. Remind yourself that it's OK to just veg out sometimes.
9. Refill your water bottle frequently. Drink water, you dehydrated house plant, you need it.
10. Watch a motivational TED Talk. There are so many thousands to choose from, so dive on in.
11. Light your favorite candle. Or melt wax, diffuse some oils, whatever you like! Nothing can calm you down like a comforting scent that wraps you up like a hug.
12. Watch your favorite movie or show. Bonus points if it makes you laugh!
13. Create a gratitude list. Writing down the things you’re thankful for will make you really pause and see the good stuff you have going on for you.
14. Put your phone on “do not disturb.” If only for an hour, a digital detox can be super refreshing.
15. Change your sheets. There's really nothing like falling asleep on a fresh-smelling, clean bed. Sort of makes you feel like you are at a hotel!
What are your completely free self-care ideas?
Hi! I'm Melissa, an Australian-based Latina science educator, podcaster, and freelance writer. I spend a lot more time on Instagram and Twitter, but blogging is my first love. Thanks for stopping by — I hope you stay a while.
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