25 Totally Free Ways to Practice Self-Care
Pampering yourself sounds fabulous in theory, but between the spa days, the yoga classes and the movie tickets, prioritizing your mental and physical health can get expensive. But luckily, it doesn’t have to cost anything. The next time you want to relax without spending any money, try one of these totally free ways to practice self-care.
1. Take a long, luxurious bath. Pop on a relaxing playlist, light a candle or two and wait for your skin to get pruny.
2. Write a to-done list. Aka things you've already accomplished versus things you have to do.
3. Take a nap. Twenty minutes or two hours. Choose your own adventure.
4. Call an old friend. A good catch-up sesh is sure to put a smile on your face.
5. Take a walk. No final destination necessary; just walk until you feel like stopping.
6. Watch a Netflix movie or show that always makes you laugh. Might we suggest one of these hysterical, female-led comedies?
7. Do a yoga tutorial on YouTube. We’re huge fans of Yoga with Kassandra’s free videos.
8. Put your phone on "Do Not Disturb." If only for an hour, spending time without texts, emails and Instagram stories looming over your head is so refreshing.
9. Paint your nails. It’s cheaper and often longer-lasting than a salon mani.
10. Look at positive affirmations on Pinterest. Cheesy? Yes. Inspiring? That, too.
11. Watch videos of animals being cute. Whether you’re into puppies, pandas or polar bears, @AnimalsVideos is an Instagram treasure trove of adorable clips.
12. Tidy up your house. Do laundry, de-clutter, meal prep. You’ll feel so much better once it’s done.
13. Create calming morning and nighttime routines. Think about the things that set you up for a happy day and a restful night and turn them into habits.
14. Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read. Wine is optional, but recommended.
15. Light a candle and listen to music. Everything feels more relaxing with a candlelit glow.
16. Get into your comfiest clothes and meditate. Here are four super-simple ways to start.
17. Clean up your social media follows. That Australian teenager whose abs always send you into a downward spiral? You officially have our permission to unfollow her.
18. Try a calming breathing technique. It takes only 16 seconds to feel more relaxed—what are you waiting for?
19. Create a gratitude list. Physically writing down the things you’re thankful for will make you appreciate them even more.
20. Jam out to your favorite playlist. You + your empty house + Beyoncé’s greatest hits = unbridled joy.
21. Take your time going through your skin-care routine. Pretend like you’re at a spa, even when you’re just dealing with the remnants of your last pesky breakout.
22. Do something nice for someone else. Whether that means buying coffee for your work wife, holding the door for someone or just smiling as you walk down the street, random acts of kindness are so satisfying.
23. Eat something green. Then follow it up with something chocolate, because balance.
24. Say no to something that's been stressing you out. Skipping one happy hour isn’t going to kill you, and sending that rain check text will feel almost euphoric.
25. Pencil “me time” into your schedule. Yep, physically block off a few times during the week where you can’t plan anything else.