14 Absolutely Free Self-Care Ideas to Benefit Your Physical and Mental Health
It’s no secret that the benefits of self-care can be truly transformational to our mental and physical health and wellness. Self-care reminds us to protect and care for ourselves through activities that replenish our spirits.
While self-care practices can be as unique as each of our fingerprints, it’s easy to scroll through social media and think that self-care means facials, mani-pedis, massages, shopping trips, and other pricey activities. However, some of the most beneficial self-care activities you can do are actually completely free!
Keep reading to see our list of 14 no-cost self-care ideas to restore balance and put yourself first.
14 Free Self-Care Ideas
1. Go for a walk.
Physical activity and sunshine are great for boosting serotonin levels. Even just spending time sitting outside can help you reset your mindset and de-stress.
Start your day and end your workouts with some nice stretches to increase energy and reduce muscle tension. Stretching can also help improve your posture, increase flexibility, and increase your range of motion. Check out this 5-minute daily stretching routine for a great place to start.
3. Practice yoga at home or outdoors with an online instructor.
Whether you’re a beginner or advanced yogi, YouTube is chock-full of tons of excellent options for free yoga classes. Here, we’ve put together a collection of 12 feel-good yoga flows to match any mood.
4. Try a new recipe.
Eating healthy, plant-based food is a wonderful way to practice self-care and nourish your body. Try a few of our popular recipes like cauliflower buffalo chick’n wings, healthy smoothies, or balsamic and basil avocado toast.
5. Create a vision board.
Setting goals and defining your ideal future gives you a sense of control and confidence. Gather materials and pictures from magazines and the internet that resonate with you and represent the things you want to achieve. Seeing a visual manifestation of where you want to be is a great way to motivate and remind yourself of the direction you want for yourself.
Meditation is a beautiful and calming self-care practice that helps us look inward and de-stress. Check out these apps for free guided meditations.
7. Donate 5 things you don’t need anymore.
Decluttering helps reduce stress and improve focus. By donating items you no longer want or use, you can help others in need.
8. Drink more water.
If you’re reading this, take a quick sip of water right now! Staying hydrated is so important for our overall health. Doing so helps us maximize physical performance, increase energy levels and brain function, and even alleviate headaches.
9. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for.
Take the time to recognize and be thankful for all of the simple pleasures in your life. Practicing gratitude is a great self-care idea that can both increase your mood and long-term happiness. Whether it’s a roof over your head, delicious food to eat, the smell of summer rain, or your loyal canine companion, take the time to appreciate and show gratitude for these joyful aspects of your life.
10. Call a friend.
Have an old friend who’s been on your mind for a while but you haven’t seen each other? Pick up the phone and call or Facetime them! You’ll hang up smiling and feeling better. Plus, connections like these are great for mental health.
11. Take a soothing shower or bath.
Unwinding after a long day in a warm bath with wonderful soapy scents is just plain therapeutic. Light some candles, play some relaxing tunes, and just let yourself soak.
12. Indulge in your favorite show.
Sometimes we need to unwind and escape from reality and into our favorite TV shows. Don’t cast judgment on yourself — if it makes you smile and de-stress, it’s good for your self-care.
13. Take a digital detox.
Technology is great, but taking breaks away from it is even better. Digital detoxing can decrease stress and help you sleep better. Check out these 9 steps for starting a digital detox.
14. Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
Getting enough quality sleep is so important for our overall health. That’s why creating a gentle and relaxing bedtime routine is a great self-care idea to practice every night. Everyone’s routine will look a little bit different, but your routine may include some gentle stretches or yoga for sleep, guided meditation, reading, or sipping chamomile tea. Follow a set bedtime every night, and be sure to give yourself enough time to start your routine before it’s time to go to sleep.
Looking for more inspiration for your self-care practice? Check out these blog posts:
- Why Self-Care Isn’t Selfish – And How to Stop Thinking It Is
- 20+ Affirmations for Cultivating More Self-Love, Today and Every Day
- 30 DIY Self-Care Ideas That’ll Make Your Home Feel Like a Spa