I have always been a strong advocate for self care and prioritizing yourself. I am that person whose advice to someone with relationship problems is always “what do YOU need? Take some time for yourself.” But whether or not you are in a relationship, it is always important to practice self-care. I am definitely someone who tends to shop as a way to practice self-care, but sadly my bank account does not agree with this method. So I have found some ~budget friendly~ alternatives!
Prioritize What you Need
It’s so easy to put other people first. Especially being a woman, we are expected to take care of everyone and everything. But it gets to be too much! School, work, internships, clubs, social life, family — no one can balance it all and take care of everything. And that is OKAY. When it gets to be too much, figure it what you need and prioritize that! Being a student, that is easier said than done — there is literally no time ever for the things we need to do, let alone the things we want to do. That being said, really try to make time throughout the day to relax. For me, this means staying on campus all day and working hard so that when I get home, I can just relax and watch Netflix. Of course, this doesn’t always go as planned, so when I can’t veg out when I get home, I make the effort to wake up early the next day so I have that time to myself.
This may not be for everyone, but making lists allows me to create that time for myself. If I outline what I need to do, I know exactly what I need to finish. Also, visually seeing everything that I need to do de-stresses me (just a little).
Find Little Things that Make you Happy
Not everyone can afford a day at the spa, or a monthly massage (Maybe one day *sigh*). So find little things that you can do throughout the day to make you happy. For me, that’s painting my nails or watching YouTube videos. Both of these only take about 10-20 minutes but allow me to relax and take a break from whatever I am doing.
This is something that I do not have a lot of experience with, but is also something I have heard nothing but good things about. Aromatherapy has many benefits that will help with illnesses like the common cold, and even stress. Oils can get expensive, but stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls have oil diffusers and oils for a reasonable price. You can use oil diffusers while you’re doing your homework, cooking, or just watching TV.
I honestly don’t know how often you’re supposed to use face masks, but I probably (definitely) use face masks more than is suggested. I can’t help it, I love them. There are a bunch of DIY ones that are super cheap and easy. My personal favorite is a mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar and Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. Lush is also a great place for some amazing natural face masks.
Know it’s Okay to Take a Break
Say it with me: It is OKAY to take a break. There’s so much pressure to be “on” 24/7, but we need to make sure that we are taking care of our bodies and of ourselves. The world isn’t going to end if you take a break. It may feel like it, but I assure you it won’t. Even if it means turning in something late, or missing a club meeting, or staying in one night, sometimes you need to prioritize your mental health by taking a break from whatever is going on.