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Self-Care on a Budget: Affordable Ways to Support Your Mental Health

Updated: Sep 17, 2023

Do you ever feel like prioritizing your mental health is a luxury you can't afford? It's a common struggle for many, but we have come up with some ways to make sure you can give yourself some well-deserved self-care on a budget. In the UK we have a wonderful national health service, but our post-covid world has left the NHS undersupplied and underfunded especially when addressing mental health services. It seems that private mental health services like therapy, meditation classes and yoga all come at a cost that can be increasingly unattainable. But practising self-care doesn't have to break the bank. In this article, we'll explore affordable ways to support your mental health without sacrificing your financial stability. From DIY spa treatments to free meditation apps, we've got you covered. So grab a cup of tea, take a deep breath, and let's learn how to prioritize our mental well-being without draining our wallets.

DIY Spa Treatments

Self-Care on a Budget

When life gets hectic, there's nothing like a pampering spa day to ease the tension. But sometimes, the costs associated with professional spa services can be a bit daunting. Luckily, there are plenty of DIY spa treatments you can do at home that won't break the bank. A quick Google search will yield plenty of recipes for homemade face masks, hair treatments, and bath soaks.

For a simple and affordable facial, try mixing some plain yoghurt with honey and applying it to your face for 15-20 minutes. The lactic acid in the yoghurt helps exfoliate dead skin cells, while the honey moisturizes and soothes. For a relaxing bath, add some Epsom salts and a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the water. Not only will the salts help ease muscle tension, but they also contain magnesium, which can help promote relaxation.

Taking the time to give yourself a DIY spa treatment can be a great way to not only care for your physical body but also support your mental health. By creating a relaxing environment and indulging in some self-care, you're sending a message to yourself that you're worth the time and effort it takes to feel good. So why not treat yourself to an at-home spa day this weekend? Your mind (and wallet) will thank you.

Free Meditation Apps

Self-Care on a Budget

If you're looking to take your mental health support one step further without breaking the bank, consider exploring free meditation apps. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, improve focus and concentration, and increase feelings of happiness and well-being. And with these apps, all you need is your phone and a few minutes of your day to benefit.

Headspace and Calm are two of the most popular meditation apps, but they both require a subscription fee for full access. However, there are many free options available, such as Insight Timer, which offers guided meditations and a community of users to support your practice. Another option is Smiling Mind, which was developed specifically for children and young adults but is suitable for all ages.

Meditation can be a difficult idea to wrap your head around, and there is always a misconception about "falling asleep". If you want to start meditation, it would be advisable to take an initial guided meditation class to learn how it works and how much time is required. Proper meditation can take anywhere between 1 minute to 45 minutes and should always be conducted in a particular area in an upright position.

Low-Cost Fitness Options

Self-Care on a Budget

In addition to meditation, incorporating physical activity into your routine can also have a positive impact on your mental well-being. However, expensive gym memberships and fitness classes can be a barrier for those on a budget. Fortunately, there are plenty of low-cost fitness options available.

One option is to take advantage of outdoor spaces such as parks and trails for running, hiking, or biking. These activities not only improve physical health but also provide an opportunity to connect with nature, which can have a calming effect on the mind. Additionally, there are many free workout videos available online, from yoga to HIIT routines, that can be done from the comfort of your home.

By adding low-cost fitness options to your self-care routine, you can improve both your physical and mental health without breaking the bank. With any new routine it's important to commit, set a schedule initially to get into the practice of exercise, it isn't always easy to get started, but setting a structure and goals can help your progression.

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Customizing Self-Care Practices

Self-Care on a Budget

By incorporating affordable fitness options into your self-care routine, you can take care of your physical and mental health while keeping your budget intact. But what if you want to take your self-care practices to the next level and customize them to better suit your needs? There are plenty of options to explore, including the practice of journaling.

Journaling can be a powerful tool for managing mental health, helping you to process emotions, identify patterns of thought, and gain insight into yourself. You don't need an expensive notebook or fancy pens to get started - any blank paper and writing tool will do. Simply set aside sometime each day to write about your thoughts and feelings, whether that's in the morning to start your day on a positive note or in the evening to reflect on your experiences.

To take your journaling practice even further, you might experiment with different prompts or formats. For example, you could try gratitude journaling, where you focus on the things you're thankful for each day. Or you could use the Discovery Journal and look more in-depth at triggers and causes. Some people even find it helpful to write letters to themselves or to someone else as a way of processing their emotions.

Remember, self-care doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. By taking small steps to prioritize your mental health, you can improve your overall well-being and lead a happier, more fulfilling life. So why not give journaling a try? You might be surprised by how much it helps.

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