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Simple & Low Budget Self-Care Ideas You Can Do In The Comfort Of Your Own Home

by Coralina Liew. |

We’re now a good few months into 2020, and I hope most, if not all of you are still going strong with maintaining your resolutions for this year! If you are, kudos to you! If you aren’t, don’t worry, we understand how difficult it is to stick to new habits or routines, especially when the motivation keeps decreasing as the year goes on. However, know that we won’t always be pumped 24/7, and these spurts of motivation will not last long without taking breaks in between the hustling. So, to avoid burning yourself out early in the year, here are a few ideas you can utilize to give yourself some proper ‘me-time’ to recharge after long days working hard to achieve your goals.

1. A good, old-fashioned reading session

If you’re a book lover like me, or if reading more books is one of your New Year’s Resolutions, look no further, because you’ll love this. Depending on the ambience you like to read in, you can put on some music that soothes you (I recommend this lo-fi playlist!), make yourself a hot cup of tea, and curl up in bed (or your comfiest sofa) with your favourite novel or collection of poems. It doesn’t have to be fiction, either; if reading self-help books and autobiographies is more of your thing, go ahead!

And it’s just personal preference, but I like having a warm drink to sip on as I read. Some nice stress-relieving teas include, but are not limited to: peppermint, chamomile and green tea. You can get 25 sachets of BOH Tea Peppermint Tea Bags in your local supermarket, and they’re super affordable!

2. Entering a state of zen

Breathe in, breathe out. It’s time to pull out the yoga mat. Actually, contrary to popular belief, you may not need a yoga mat at all! Just pull yourself into a comfortable sitting or lying position, close your eyes and focus on your breathing patterns. Even if you’re a total beginner when it comes to meditation, there’s no pressure to start as you can just begin this mindful practice in the privacy of your own home. I recommend The Mindfulness App, a free guide to meditation techniques that’s available both on the App Store and the Google Play store. The app offers timed or silent meditations from 3 to 30 minutes, best for those with busy lifestyles so you can adjust the time to your liking. If you’re feeling extra, it doesn’t hurt to light a candle (or two) to set the mood! Scented candles like this one can be found anywhere, but if you’re on a budget, Daiso and IKEA sell them for as low as MYR 5.90.

If meditating isn’t for you, simply take a power nap! A short 10-20 minute nap can do wonders and you’ll definitely wake up feeling energized. Just be careful not to stretch that nap and end up waking up at 9pm feeling more tired than ever. Remember, self-care is supposed to help you, not hinder you.

3. Journal

Research suggests that gratitude is the secret to leading a happier, more stress-free life, which brings us to our third point: gratitude journaling. Take some time out of your day, preferably just before crawling into bed, to jot down your feelings on how the day went. Try to steer your thoughts towards positive emotions and reflect on the good things that happened throughout daily life.

As we’re often caught up in the hustle and bustle of our errands and appointments, it can become increasingly difficult to notice the day-to-day magic in our lives. But when we really sit down to think about it, isn’t life wonderful? Didn’t that stranger smile at you while you were on your morning commute? Didn’t your coworker or friend go out of their way to bring you coffee? Weren’t you told a kind word earlier today that you brushed off or forgot? All it takes is some pen and paper, but a simple notebook can help collect your thoughts and allow you to look back on all the good memories later in the year.

The best part of journaling is that you don’t necessarily have to write; you can draw, paint, or even make collages if it helps your unwind better. There are no rules! Find out what works best for you and fork out just 10 minutes of your day doing that.

4. Pamper yourself

Image: Cataleya Aesthetics

I’m sure we all like the refreshing feeling on your face after a good wash, and the soothing sensation as you moisturize and feed your skin the nourishment it needs. If you’re anything like me, the daily skincare routine becomes a habit that you can’t procrastinate – and it’s somewhat relaxing to just go into autopilot mode and start the self-care routine, all in preparation for a good night’s sleep!

Skincare doesn’t have to break the bank; there are plenty of goodies and rare finds on the market waiting to be discovered. For starters, try scanning websites or follow beauty bloggers that review affordable toners, moisturisers and serums. If your skin is particularly sensitive and requires extra care, take a look at this article to give yourself ideas on where to begin. And if you already have a well-established routine, congratulations! Just switch it up every once in a while - try using a different sheet mask, clay mask or exfoliant to keep things fresh and exciting.

5. Put your electronic devices away

Image: Smallbiztrends

Yes, you’ve all heard this one before. Yes, I agree – social media is addictive. We never want to put our phones or laptops away, because what if? What if a new message comes in? What if another urgent work email appears in my inbox?

I’m going to stop you right there and tell you this. These are just excuses. Downtime is extremely necessary for all of us, as scientific evidence has already shown us the harmful effects to our health from constantly being on our electronic devices.

An hour before bedtime, take a break from the virtual connection that bombards you with all the information you don’t need. Shut down your laptops and tablets, set a reminder on your phone to do so, if you must. Turn on Do Not Disturb or silent mode on your phone, or better yet – just power off until the next morning. It’s best to keep all these devices in a different room altogether, so that you won’t be distracted by the notifications. Doing all this will guarantee you better sleep quality, due to lack of exposure to blue light which tricks our minds into thinking it’s daytime.

There you go! Five effortless self-care methods that you can incorporate into your life, even on a tight budget. Self-care is sometimes pictured lavishly in social media; shopping sprees, fine dining, massages, it seems as if self-care is a luxury. But we’re here to tell you that you deserve to be good to yourselves, and you don’t need to break the bank doing so. Remember, when faced with stress and anxiety, whether it be in school or the workplace, it is never shameful to take time off for yourself to rest and recharge.

While these tips may be helpful to some extent, please do not hesitate to contact services such as your school counselling department, Befrienders, and the local authorities if you are in serious need of emotional support.

You may find out more about Coralina on her Instagram too.

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