Self-care is so important. But let’s face it, a lot of people struggle to make ends meet, especially since the pandemic hit.  Choosing where to spend your money is sometimes a difficult task. We have to decide what we need and what we want. But it’s not always as clear-cut as it seems. If you want an item that is related to skincare, beauty, etc, you could argue that it is a need – since mental health is so important and taking care of and pampering yourself is a part of managing your mental health. But sometimes, it just comes down to numbers – you just can’t afford an item.

Self-care should be something that we all make time for whether we have the money or not.  If you don’t have the money to spare, review this list of more affordable (and some free) options for you to consider to make sure that self-care is an important part of your life.


  • There are a multitude of apps out there for both Android and Apple and many are free or offer free trials or free versions with fewer bells and whistles (or with ads).  There are apps for meditation, yoga, mindfulness, etc.  Some of the more popular ones I can think of are Headspace & Calm.  Now, these do have paid memberships but they do offer free versions that you can try out to see if they would be worth it for you to save up for.  If you do decide it is something you want to pay for, search for coupon codes first.  There are always lots of discount codes available online. You may have to try a few until you get one that works. You can also check out Balance – they seem to have a lot of special offers, Jenn got it free for a year.


    • You can search for just about anything on youtube and it’s free. You will find Yoga, guided meditation, music that is designed to relax you, tips on skincare and if you feel like a good laugh, there are tons of comedians. Explore and see what you find!

    The options above include screentime, so be sure to also plan some self-care that doesn’t involve screentime.


    • Make a playlist of calming music that you like that you can listen to when you are in the bath or just want some downtime.  I would suggest the song Weightless by Marconi Union.  The song was written specifically to reduce anxiety, blood pressure and heart rate. If you haven’t heard it before I highly recommend it. I actually have it playing as I write this, for inspiration. You can also create playlists with songs that remind you of a certain time in your life, or people. 

    Take a bath

    • If you have bubble baths or bath salts, great, but if you don’t just the act of taking a bath and soaking in the tub can be very relaxing. Light candles (or even better use LED ones, they are safer), play music, were an eye mask, or put a face masque on. Put a hair treatment on. Sing or hum. Talk to yourself if you need to work through a problem. Use a nice sugar scrub. There are endless ways to enjoy a bath. Find what works best for you.

    Read a book

    • If you don’t have a book that you like, ask a friend or go to your local library and take out a book. You may want to read personal or professional development or maybe you prefer a novel. Jenn has a few books on the go, depending on what she feels like in the moment.

    Go for a nature walk

    • Now I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but being out in nature can be very calming.  Find a local hiking trail and don’t forget to bring your water. Speaking of water, walking near water is also very soothing. I find the sound of running water very calming.  

    Cook or craft

    • If you find joy in cooking, baking or crafting, those are great ways to get creative and enjoy. They say you also feel a sense of pride and increased confidence when you complete a craft project or meal/dessert. It’s from the feeling of accomplishment.

    Not everything on this list may appeal to you and that’s ok.  The idea is to find something that works for you.  Figure out what brings you calm and schedule it into your day or week.  If you don’t know what brings you calm then try some of these suggestions and you may be surprised at what you find. Self-care is also a process of self discovery sometimes!