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10 Affordable Self-Care Items to Treat Yourself to
Happy early Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mommies out there! In honor of Mother’s Day this coming weekend, I want to share with you some of the self-care items I use to keep me going. The best part about this list is that the items are easy on the wallet! So you can treat yourself to one (or all) of these affordable self-care tools this Mother’s Day without feeling guilty.
In order to take care of a child or family, you must first take care of yourself. However, as mommies, we often tend to put ourselves last. But if we don’t take care of ourselves, we are not able to give our best to our children. Without self-care, we are more likely to lash out at our kids or model inappropriate responses to stressors. Therefore, there’s no need to feel guilty about taking care of yourself… because you are ultimately doing it for your child. Plus, we can all benefit from having a list of coping skills stored in our back pockets to use when we need a pick-me-up. So treat yourself to some self-care, and make a list of ways that you can cope with feeling down or stressed. And try out some of my personal favorite self-care tasks and products:
10 Affordable Self-Care Ideas:
1. Mix up your coffee routine
OK… I know this is a little bit of a stretch to suggest drinking coffee as self-care, but for me, it totally is self-care. Having my cup of coffee in the morning is a comfort thing (and I need it to function, of course). So with summer coming up, I wanted to share this super awesome cold brew coffee maker with you. My husband got it for me for Christmas, and I love it! It allows you to take your favorite brand of coffee and make a batch of concentrate that you can store in your refrigerator for several weeks. That way, when you wake up in the morning, you just add water and ice, and you’re done! Plus, you can heat it up if you’re in the mood for a hot cup of coffee instead.
2. Drink a Cup of Calming Tea
If you’re not a coffee drinker, here is a great organic tea for you. Just like my morning coffee, having a cup of tea at night is so comforting. Drinking tea also helps to keep me from late-night snacking. This Cup of Calm tea by Traditional Medicinals is the first calming tea that I have actually felt the effects of. Plus, this brand in general is just so good because it uses organic tea leaves and natural materials for the tea bags.
3. Diffuse Essential Oils
I started reading about essential oils within the past two years and then officially jumped on the essential oil train last year after attending my first essential oil party. Now… I am by no means an expert on the subject, but what I can say is that when I diffuse essential oils, I feel like I am treating myself. I enjoy the smell, and it gives me the feeling that I am at a spa (one that happens to have a crazy toddler running around). Therefore, I like to diffuse essential oils as a self-care technique or coping skill.
So I know I’m going to take a lot of heat for this, but I just can’t afford some of the essential oil brands that are out there. And I don’t buy enough oils for it to be worth it to join their rewards programs. So if you’re like me and want essential oils that do the trick and are organic yet cost-effective, check out Plant Therapy (affiliate). They offer free shipping and a rewards program. Plus, you can get cash back from them on Ebates, and they constantly provide offers through their newsletter.
Writing is such a great self-care technique and way to express ourselves. But we rarely give ourselves the time to do it. As a child therapist, I highly recommend journaling as a coping strategy. It helps you to express your emotions while also helping you to process and problem-solve through life’s troubles. Another way to write that has been personally rewarding for me is through blogging. Once I got rolling with blogging, I noticed that my postpartum blues, which I had been experiencing for a year, immediately started to dissipate. And one good thing about blogging is that you don’t have to do it for money. You can do it for enjoyment or to make friends or to enhance your current professional career.
So what turned everything around for me was reading the Blog by Number eBook from Start a Mom Blog (affiliate). As I was reading that, I realized I wanted more, so I went on to buy the Blog by Number Course as well. This helped me to launch my blog within 2 weeks, and more importantly, it gave me motivation to get moving and stop procrastinating. And best of all… It was affordable!
5. Read a Good Book
Reading is a great self-care technique as well. And it’s also something that we might have trouble finding time for. So… I know this book has been out for a while, but if you haven’t read it yet, go get it. It’s called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. It’s an easy read that helps you to not only think of ways to declutter your home, but to also declutter your life. What mom doesn’t want that? Plus, if you haven’t read it, then you’re probably missing out on jokes and memes about “sparking joy.”
P.S. Joining or starting a book club will help you to hold yourself accountable by making sure that you get the book finished on time. You can start a book club in which you meet in person or one in which you discuss books via a Facebook group (which is convenient for busy moms!).
6. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have a hard time getting myself to sleep at night. My mind racing with things that I need to get done often prevents me from getting good sleep. So I use a lavender pillow spray before bed to help me relax and fall asleep more easily. I’ve tried a couple different kinds. Plant Therapy (affiliate), which I mentioned earlier (Remember the free shipping, rewards, offers, and cash back?), offers an organic lavender hydrosol that you can check out.
Even if you can’t cook, cooking and baking are awesome tasks to do for self-care. They help you to focus on something else besides the things that are stressing you out. Plus, when you come out with a delicious finished product, they help you to feel better about yourself. If you hate cooking, give baking a shot. Baking is more difficult to master, but perhaps more fun.
So I want to share my favorite cookbook with you. Have you seen the movie Julia & Julia? Well, this is the cookbook that Amy Adams cooks her way through in the movie. While many cookbooks are just a list of recipes, this cookbook actually teaches you how to cook food that is such a step above how we cook our food here in America. There are French baking tips included as well. I’m getting hungry now just thinking about it.
8. Take a Warm Bath or Shower
If you’re a mother to an infant or toddler, then you know that getting a daily shower is a luxury. Therefore, taking a shower can certainly be considered a self-care technique. If you have the chance to take a bath, even better! So here’s how to step up your game with your bath/shower: use aromatherapy. Light a candle or diffuse essential oils, use bath salts or shower bombs, or use a soap or body wash with eucalyptus or lavender. Can you tell I’m obsessed with lavender? I have come to love this natural lavender bath wash for everyday use.
9. Engage in a Hobby or Start a New Hobby
Having a hobby or something that you can do while your hubby or mom watches the kids is so important. I personally take Zumba and dance classes, bake, blog, and love to plan parties. But there are so many hobbies to choose from. So I don’t really have a specific product in mind to help you out with this one, but I wanted to mention this as a self-care technique because it’s super important to remember to do the things that you like to do most.
10. Do yoga
Lastly, yoga has so many benefits in terms of both physical and mental health. So get yourself a yoga mat (totally going to get one of these yoga mats– so many color/pattern options!), and take a yoga class. I recommend taking a class at a local gym if you are just starting out. The classes at local gyms tend to be easier than the ones offered at yoga studios. Here’s a good way of telling how difficult a yoga class will be: the more “man-buns” you see, the more challenging it will be!
What items or activities do you enjoy using for self-care?
Disclaimer: Although I was a therapist before I became a stay-at-home mom, I am not your therapist. Reading this post does not enter you into a client-therapist relationship with me. The content in this post is meant to be used as a general guideline. It has not been individually tailored to your needs. If you are in need of therapeutic services, please seek the support of a mental health counselor.