10 Inexpensive Self Care Practices to Add to Your Daily Routine

10 Inexpensive Self Care Practices to Add to Your Daily Routine

For most of us, the phrase “self care” calls to mind perfectly-crafted Instagram posts of toes in white sand beaches, glowing skin from a professional facial, or rested eyes after a massage.

But self care doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, anything that makes you feel happier, healthier, relaxed, or restored can qualify as self care. Here’s a list of our favorite inexpensive ways to make self care part of your daily routine.


Is Working Out on No Sleep a Good Idea - Woman sleeping with cat mask

1. Get Some Shut-Eye

Who doesn’t love sleep? In all its many forms — power naps, nappuccinos, sleeping in on weekends — sleep qualifies as self care. (Best of all, it’s free!) But according to the CDC, 35 percent of adults in the U.S. aren’t getting the recommended seven hours per night. Sleep can help you stay healthy and put you in a better mood, and research suggests it plays a role in workout performance and recovery too — so make sleep part of your self care routine.


2. Try Lavender for Aromatherapy

There’s evidence that the scent of lavender has a relaxing effect and may even improve sleep quality. Either way, it smells amazing — so keep a bottle of lavender oil next to your bed and sprinkle a few drops on your sheets each night to luxuriate in the calming scent.


3. Daydream

Daydreaming can get you into trouble at a boring work meeting — but at home, it can be a valuable self care tool. Doodle, write in a journal, or simply sit in silence and let your mind wander. This is a moment for your brain to rest, recharge, and be creative.


running for weight loss

4. Get Moving

This doesn’t have to be a workout (although a good sweat sesh definitely counts as self care, too). You can go for a short hike, walk up and down the stairs, do yoga, take a self-defense course — anything that helps you feel healthier and stronger.


home workout equipment

5. Soothe Your Muscles

Self-myofascial release can help you relieve tightness and tension in your muscles without the expense of a massage. Try a foam roller to help optimize recovery after a workout, or use a massage ball to knock out a knot in your back.


6. Be Nice to Yourself

It’s always nice to hear a compliment — but why wait for someone else to tell you you’re awesome? Set a reminder on your phone or use a positive affirmation app to give yourself a pep talk.


7. Add Gratefulness

Gratefulness has been shown to improve your wellbeing. And there are plenty of simple ways to add gratefulness to your life — start a gratitude journal or create a “ta-da list” to celebrate your accomplishments.


8. Reach Out to Friends

Spending time with people you love can be uplifting. Call a long-distance friend you haven’t heard from in a while, or set up a brunch date with that person who makes you laugh ’til you can’t breathe.

9. Pamper Yourself

You don’t need a spa day to pamper yourself. Draw up a hot bath with epsom salts or a bath bomb, put on a sheet mask, or slather your skin with your favorite body lotion.


10. Waste Time

Wasting time — guilt-free! — is an underrated form of self care. Allow yourself time to do something completely unproductive:

  • Sit in a coffee shop and people-watch.
  • Watch silly YouTube videos. Kittens, puppies, silly pranks — take your pick.
  • Walk in the grass barefoot. (Just watch out for fire ants!)
  • Color a mandala.


After grabbing her journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma, Page hopped a plane to backpack through Europe. She was hooked. To sustain her travel habit, Page is a freelance writer, editor, author, and RYT 500 through Yoga Alliance. When not in Austin, Texas fostering kittens, you can find Page traveling the world, scuba diving, hiking, visiting museums, and sampling the local cuisine.