Self-Care doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, some of the most influential ways I take care of myself cost nothing.
Sometimes we think of Self-Care and imagine paying for massages, buying those expensive food items we see on Instagram (like ashwagandha!?), or investing in top-of-the-line bath products or makeup.
I do believe that there is a place for investing in ourselves financially, but I also believe that the MOST powerful ways we take care of ourselves have very little to do with money.
So today I want to share with you 10 Self-Care Practices that will make you feel more lit up, grounded, and taken care of and will also cost you basically nothing.
Ready? Let’s do this…
I used to be very against journaling and thought it was an annoying task that didn’t really do anything for me.
But then I learned how to journal in a way that actually showed me results, and I was hooked.
My favorite way to journal is to write a letter to my intuition, getting all my thoughts and questions out, and then write a letter back to myself, from my intuition.
I write “Dear God / My Intuition” (whichever feels right that day), and then I write everything that’s on my mind. I complain, I write how scared I am, I write about how confused I am… and then I ask for help. I ask specific questions. I ask to please show me my next step.
And then I write “Dear Jamie”, and I write back to myself from My Intuition / God. I let the response come out of me naturally. And it’s amazing…every time.
I’ve had hundreds of women do this through my various programs, and although many are skeptical at first (will my intuition have anything to say?), they always come back blown away by the experience.
Journaling is an incredible way to connect to that wise, calm voice within you.
2: Let your wild side choose your outfit for the day
I’m working with a client right now on helping her connect to her wild / sexy / rebel side. She was turning to sugar as an outlet for that wild side in her, so we’ve been finding ways for her to let her wild side be expressed in her day to day life. It’s been so much fun!
We had her think back to when she last felt “wild”. For her, it was her high-school self. So before getting dressed, I told her to ask that 16-year-old version of herself what she wants to wear.
I do this type of thing all the time with my style. I ask myself, “what outfit feels inspiring today?” and I try to mix and match until it feels fun and exciting to me. Sometimes it’s sexy, sometimes it’s professional, sometimes it’s casual.
I also do this with things I already own. You’d be surprised at how much fun you can have with what you already own when you allow yourself to get a little creative and wild!
Humans are built for connection and especially as women, we NEED to connect. As an introvert, my natural inclination at times is to be on my own. However, connection – in the right ways – is a non-negotiable form of my Self-Care.
Over the years in my career coaching women, I’ve been surprised to see how often women hold back from sharing what they’re going through and putting themselves in the position of needing support.
I’ve coached so many women to let go… to share… to be real with other people in their lives. And every time, the response is positive.
People WANT to be there for you. We are all fighting our own battles – people will understand more than you think.
Share honestly. Get real. Open yourself up. Your soul will thank you.
4: Let there be QUIET
Oh man, doesn’t it feel so hard to find quiet in the loud world we live in? We are constantly connected, there is so much coming at us, and there is every opportunity to NOT be quiet.
We walk and listen to podcasts.
We eat and watch TV or scroll on social media.
We drink our coffee and read the news.
We are always DOING something. Taking something in. NOISE.
One way I absolutely love taking care of myself is to give myself small moments of quiet. Just today, as I was walking home from work, I decided to not listen to any music or call someone to catch up. I just let myself enjoy the sounds of nature and quiet. Of course, I had some amazing ideas come to me during my walk.
Quiet time allows our brains to calm down. It breeds creativity and ideas. It helps us feel centered.
You can get quiet with your cup of coffee by just sitting there with it, looking at it, just being.
You can get quiet during your commute. No music or podcast. Just being.
Even 5 minutes of quiet goes a very, very long way!
5: Get Creative + Play!
Playing and letting our creativity express itself are two ways to truly feed your soul. I believe that creativity and playfulness are innate parts of every one of us, but so many of us are detached from these aspects of ourselves.
Of course we were playful and creative as kids, but somewhere along the line, we got SO serious! This rigidity leads to stress and often a feeling of unfulfillment or like something inside you just isn’t being fully expressed.
Try expressing your creativity and see how it feels. Some easy ways to do that:
- Play with your style (like #2 above)
- Cook a new recipe that sounds purely fun to you
- Reorganize / decorate a small area of your home (even just a shelf) – make it look inspiring and beautiful to you
- Go to a flower market and pick out a few flowers that light you up
- Draw / color / paint
6: Know your work “flow”
This is one of my favorite, most important ways to take care of myself. I was an active kid. I have memories of always moving around and being told to sit still. Well, some things never change. Over the years I’ve learned that I can’t sit at a computer for more than a couple of hours without needing to move my body. I’ve also learned that I adore mornings, but by the evening, my brain is checked out.
So, I schedule my days to match my workflow as much as possible. I did this when I worked a corporate job too. I tried to schedule group meetings in the afternoon when I had less personal energy and I worked on bigger projects in the morning when I was energized.
Start paying attention to what naturally feels good to you in terms of a flow to your days. Then see where you can plan around this.
If you need to move, can you plan walking breaks?
Do you like a change of scenery throughout the day?
When do you have the most energy?
7: Have a little talk with yourself about your technology
Um, yep, the way we manage our technology is a MAJOR form of Self-Care that we need in this day and age!
It is far too easy to get lost in social media land or to always be texting when we should really be focusing on our own lives.
Setting boundaries for yourself around what tech feels good to you and what doesn’t is so, so important.
A great question to ask yourself while you’re on your phone (or computer, etc.) is, “Is this REALLY what I want to be doing right now, in this moment?”
Sometimes the answer is YES! Sometimes scrolling through Instagram feels great and fun.
And then sometimes, the answer is NO. Scrolling at that moment may be taking away from something you actually want to be doing for YOU, or it might be making you feel certain feelings that just don’t feel good.
Get in the habit of consciously checking in and just being honest with yourself about if your technology is serving you in that moment at that time.
Haha! Crying costs nothing, and it heals everything. Okay just kidding, not everything, but crying is just the best. I cry all the time – mid-sentence while talking to Ryan, curled up in my bed at night, in the middle of the day. Mostly about hard things, sometimes about happy things.
Life is emotional. Things are sad. Things are hard. Things hurt.
And feeling those feelings is 100% normal and acceptable. In fact, it’s necessary. If we don’t, we turn to food, alcohol, lashing out, overscheduling, or we bottle things up and blow up unexpectedly at some point.
You may not be a crier and that’s okay. But you certainly feel hard feelings.
Find your release. Maybe it’s crying or punching a pillow, whatever it takes to go INTO your feelings instead of trying to escape them.
9: Eat when you’re hungry, eat what sounds good, and stop when you’re full
I struggled with the diet / binge cycle for 10 years and finally healed my relationship with food through intuitive eating – listening to MY body and my desires, not any sort of diet out there telling me how to do it all.
We have to eat every day anyway, so why not eat from a self-care perspective, taking care of your mind, body, and soul every time you eat.
Are you hungry?
What sounds delicious and satisfying?
Can you stop when you’re full?
Your relationship with food is an incredible daily form of Self-Care to keep working on – it costs you nothing, but it can be life-changing. (If you want more on this, check out my 21 Day Intuitive Eating Challenge here).
10: Do something that scares you
The best things that I have in my life today have all come from pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.
When we put ourselves in a new situation, we get to feel proud of ourselves. We get to see our own strength. We get to explore a new aspect of ourselves. We get to open up to the unknown and life’s magic.
It doesn’t need to be every day, but maybe you could commit to doing one thing each week that scares you.
Send that email. Go on the date. Ask that question. Wear that outfit you want to wear.
This is what pushes you forward. It builds your confidence. It creates change. It makes you feel alive.
I hope this list serves as inspiration for ways you can take care of yourself today, with no additional resources needed.
These are the practices that go a LONG way. The massages and $35 fitness classes are nice, but there are so many meaningful ways to feel taken care of that just require you and your own attention.
I’d love to hear in the comments: What’s your favorite way to take care of yourself that doesn’t cost anything (or very little)?
Sending you lots of love!