• Vegan Strong

10 Ideas To Improve Your Self-Care Without Spending Money

By Dani Taylor


February is the month of love, and here at Vegan Strong, we believe that you can’t fully be there for others until you show up for yourself. Although the idea of self-care has been around for ages, it seems to have been given a very Gucci twist in recent years. Self-care suggestions such as spa days, and buying yourself a whole new workout outfit aren’t something most of us could just do at the drop of a hat. And this idea that self-care is something expensive and out of reach does a huge disservice to people who deserve self-care, but may just not know how to make it work in their budget. So here are 10 ways you can treat yourself without spending a dime.


1. Go For A Walk

Getting some fresh air is just what the doctor ordered when you’ve been cooped up inside all day and staring at a screen. The combination of sunshine, fresh air, and some light exercise can really energize you and help you to refocus in the middle of your day. This doesn’t have to be an epic journey. Even a ten minute walk a couple of times throughout the day has been shown to have great benefits.


While many of us think of ice cream or chocolate on a self-care day, it really is a better sign of caring for oneself to have a hearty bowl of grains, greens & beans, or a warm bowl of veggie chili. Something that nourishes both your body and gives you warm and fuzzy feelings is generally the best. Don’t worry, you can still have some chocolate, just make the main course something that moves you towards health, not away from it.


2. Read A Book.

No, not the scrolling Facebook type of reading. Pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read, or borrow it from the library and dig into a good story. Many of us have forgotten how much we once loved to read in this age of technology where we technically “read” our screens all day. But actually reading a novel or a longer story lights up our brains in a way that social media scrolling never will.



3. Listen to Your Favorite Tunes.

Have you ever been in a crummy mood and then a song you loved came on and you couldn’t help but groove along? That is the power of music. In study after study, music is shown to be incredibly powerful to change moods, invoke memories, even change the perception of what is currently happening (for both good and bad, so make sure you’re listening to something that makes you happy!). Make a playlist that brings you joy and cue it up when the time calls for it. No one ever regretted putting on their favorite songs.


4. Play With The Kids

Not everyone has access to some rambunctious little kids in their life. But if you DO, there is something truly magical about just getting down on the floor and playing with some kids in their world. Nothing forces you to be present quite the same way kids and their imaginations do. Let go of your inner grown-up for a bit and answer your favorite kiddo’s banana phone. Play hide and seek. Make funny faces and blow bubbles. It is sure to fill your cup.



5. Make Your Doctor/Dentist/Accountant Appointments

One of these things is not like the other. Self-care is often touted as nothing more than bubble baths and facials, but true self-care means taking care of your future self, rather than just imbibing instant gratification. And this is not always glamorous. Part of being a responsible adult who takes care of themselves is setting up the not-so-fun things that you know need to be done. Feel free to reward yourself for this self-care act with a bubble-bath.


6. Take A REAL Day Off

On the flip side of #5, sometimes you really do just need a break. A real break. Not a day off from work so that you can take care of everything around the house. A lounge around, sleep in late, breakfast in bed kind of day. Used sparingly, these can be very powerful in their ability to re-set yourself for the rest of the week. Used too frequently, they can become escapism from the things that need doing, so use them sparingly for maximum benefits!


7. Create A Bucket List

Sometimes it can feel like there is nothing to look forward to, and this feeling can really drag you down. Creating a list of things you’d like to do in your life can sometimes be the kickstart into actually setting the wheels in motion of making your bucket list a reality. It can be very motivating to see a list of things you want to do! The next step is to start making them happen!


8. Volunteer At An Animal Shelter

Shelters are always looking for help walking dogs, cleaning cages, and playing with the animals. Yes, this can be heartbreaking in its own right to know so many animals out there need homes. But it can also give you a sense of purpose while adding a little bit of happiness and care to the lives of these innocent creatures. One of the best things you could ever do for yourself is something completely selfless.



9. Create a Morning or Evening Routine

Many experts swear by a morning routine. They say that having a set routine each morning can set you up for success for the day. And the longer you do it, the more the payoff compounds! I have found a nighttime routine to be equally as valuable. It helps your body prepare for a good night’s sleep, which is also a huge part of being set up for success. Whether you like to exercise, meditate or even play the piano, creating a perfect morning or evening routine for YOU, is a very kind thing to do for yourself.


10. Eat a Nourishing Meal

While many of us think of ice cream or chocolate on a self-care day, it really is a better sign of caring for oneself to have a hearty bowl of grains, greens & beans, or a warm bowl of veggie chili. Something that nourishes both your body and gives you warm and fuzzy feelings is generally the best. Don’t worry, you can still have some chocolate, just make the main course something that moves you towards health, not away from it.


Photo courtesy of The Stingy Vegan