35% of people believe that self care is only possible for those with enough money.
Too often, society associates self care with things like vacations, pricey spa visits, skincare regimens, and beauty products. While these are a fun way to treat yourself every now and again, the reality is that the most important self care you can do doesn’t cost a thing.
We all have varying levels of access and resources, but no matter what your situation, there are ways to make a self care accessible part of your daily wellness routine… without spending a dime.
Here are six totally free self-care practices you can do today:
1. Box Breathing
If you’re reading this (and alive), the chances that you have access to breathing are pretty high. Use a tool like box breathing to find a sense of calm and quickly regulate your nervous system. Even a minute can do wonders.
Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, repeat. Learn more about how to do it and the benefits here, or check out this quick video to help guide your breath work:
It’s that simple.
2. Earthing or Grounding
While not all of us have a sprawling yard to call our own, I’d argue that most of us can find a fresh patch of grass, a park, or some sort of open nature close by.
The process of grounding refers to contact with the Earth’s surface electrons by walking barefoot outside, and the transfer of that energy from the ground into the body.
Our day-to-day routines build up a positive charge in the body. Until the last few hundred years, we spent a lot of time in contact with the earth, either walking or sleeping on the ground without anything blocking the transfer of electrons between the body and the earth. That was a natural mechanism for getting back to neutral throughout the day.
If you need to feel a bit more grounded in your body or need a boost of natural energy, try this quick and easy practice. Just find a patch of grass, kick off your shoes, and reap the benefits (as long as there’s no snow on the ground).
3. Do a “Brain Dump” Journal
It’s easy to underestimate the impact that a head full of racing thoughts and worries can have on our day, but this negative emotional energy is tangible.
To do a brain dump, take out a blank sheet of paper or journal, a writing utensil, and set a timer for five minutes. Commit to keeping your pen moving the entire time to dump out any and all thoughts that cross your mind.
Keep in mind, this isn’t about documenting the details of your day or coming back to read it in time. The value of this mental decluttering is in the present moment so don’t worry about your handwriting or ever re-reading it again.
Clearing mental space with journaling makes room for new ideas, a clear head, and a healthier outlook on life.
4. Find a Supportive Community
Community is such a critical part of our social self care, and connecting with others who might be on similar paths can be hugely beneficial. We are inherently social creatures and connecting with others can be medicine for the soul.
With a little bit of research, you’ll find that there is a free support group for nearly anything you can imagine. Whether it’s something you’re currently struggling with (addiction, overeating, overworking, debt, grief) or something you’re interested in learning more about (starting a business, gardening, painting, parenting, writing), there’s a community to help you connect with like-minded people to share experiences and feel supported.
Do a quick google search for a topic you’re interested in joining, find a subreddit, or try out our self-care community for free.
5. Power Nap
Now, this may seem simple, but one thing I’ve seen with so many I work with is that so many of us live in a state of chronic sleep deprivation.
In a culture that has taught us to value hustle and doing, the practice of just being can feel wildly unproductive. The reality is, without proper rest and relaxation, it takes us much longer to get things done than if we’re firing on all cylinders.
Don’t underestimate the power of a 20-minute midday nap, or the impact of skipping a single Netflix episode in exchange for some extra overnight ZZZ’s.
6. Practice Visualization
Think of visualization as the grown-up version of the dreaming that you did so freely as a child — where you could be anywhere and anything by simply allowing yourself mind to go there.
Visualization is a powerful tool in manifesting. In most cases, our brain doesn’t know if it’s experiencing something in the physical world, or if it’s happening in the mind. The path to bring our dreams to life is simply creating that vision and those feelings first, and then trusting that the physical world around you will rise up to meet it.
In SCS classes, we often do guided visualizations where a class guide will walk you through exercises to help you imagine yourself at your highest, on your dream adventure, in your dream job, and more — or members can access our 25-minute “Dream Life Visualization.”
Another option for guided visualization is to google “visualization scripts,” record yourself reading one, play it back, close your eyes, and let your mind wander.
The list of quick and free self care options goes on and on.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a spa day here and there, but I hope these six ideas help inspire a few new, accessible options to try out in your daily routine.