In today’s world, taking good care of yourself can feel impossible. So many of our self-care staples, from getting a massage to hanging out at a bar with friends, have been complicated or outright banned thanks to COVID-19. Though our opportunities to take care of ourselves have changed, they’re not gone. Here’s a look at several easy, budget-friendly ways to give yourself a boost:
Treat Yourself (Responsibly)
Even when you’re on a budget, there’s something to be said for retail therapy. We’re not advocating maxing your credit card on stuff you don’t need. However, picking one or two nice items that will bring you joy might be worth the price. For example, you can get yourself some snacks from your favorite local bakery, or buy an outfit to show off on your first post-quarantine outing.
Splurge responsibly by using online coupons and searching for great deals. Set aside a reasonable portion of your budget to spend on something you really want. After all, you can still enjoy nice things right now to help boost your mood.
Eat Right and Stay Hydrated
A healthy diet is one of the simplest and most effective forms of self care you can practice. Eating the right foods isn’t just about losing weight or looking a certain way – it has a major impact on every aspect of your health. Energy levels, physical comfort, and even your mood can all be improved or harmed by your diet. If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety right now, consider adding some mood-boosting foods, such as avocados or dark berries, into your meals. The nutrients in these items help your brain to function at its very best.
Additionally, you should make sure you’re staying properly hydrated. Most of us spend our lives mildly dehydrated. The Mayo Clinic recommends we drink a minimum of 10-15 cups of water a day. Having water on hand makes it much easier to reach your hydration goals. Invest in a reusable water bottle – it may cost you more upfront, but it will save you money on disposable waters in the long run.
Stay Safe Outdoors
Getting outside is a safe, totally free way to enjoy movement, sunshine, and fresh air. However, it’s important to make sure you’re doing it safely. For example, you should make sure you use sunscreen. Properly applied, sunscreen dramatically reduces your risk of developing skin cancer – not to mention, sunburns are no fun, even if they don’t turn into something worse.
As things open back up, you may wonder how to enjoy your neighborhood without putting yourself or your community at risk. Stick with safety guidelines such as mask usage, social distancing, and proper handwashing. These measures lower your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, meaning we can continue to keep the curve as flat as possible while enjoying our favorite places.
If you still aren’t comfortable venturing out, that’s okay. People who are at risk, such as those with diabetes or asthma, or those who live with an at-risk person, may not feel comfortable reentering the community as things open back up. Follow your gut, and do what’s best for your situation. Don’t let peer pressure or FOMO put you in danger. If you do decide to stay home a little longer, consider setting aside the money you might have spent on outings into a savings account. When you do feel ready to enter the world again, you’ll have a fun-budget nest egg you can use to fund something special.
Self-care in the world of COVID-19 may not look like it used to, but it’s as valuable as ever. One day, you will look back at this time and think of how you managed while the world stopped. Treat yourself with kindness.