Reaching a healthy place — whether physically, mentally, or emotionally — doesn’t have to be a complicated process. More importantly, these self-care strategies shouldn’t break the bank to be effective.
Here are five easy and affordable changes you can make to improve your overall health and wellness on a budget.
Try meal prepping
There really is no alternative to a nutritious diet. Exercising for insane hours won’t make up for poor eating habits. However, a healthy diet can be a huge change for some, especially for those with very busy lifestyles. Registered dietician Jessica Levinson recommends preparing your weekly meals ahead of time or doing meal prep. This way, you have more control of the food that goes into your body. Having packed lunches and dinners also means fewer takeaways and a couple of pounds saved in the bank.
Follow online exercise guides
Though they are nice to have, fancy gym memberships are not a requirement for fitness. In fact, Vogue notes that you can workout from the comfort of your own home with the help of fitness bloggers like Kayla Itsines and Cassey Ho. Itsines is known for her 7-minute circuits, while Ho is the founder of Blogilates, a YouTube channel with lots of free, easy-to-follow Pilates-based workouts. There are many resources like these online, all of which are designed to promote fitness at a very affordable price or even for free. And as we all know, that endorphin rush is very good for the body, mind, and soul!
Prioritise quality rest
Occasional late nights are fine, but we need to maintain a regular sleeping routine as much as possible to avoid the effects of sleep deprivation. Consistently missing sleep can weaken your immune system, resulting in weight fluctuations, and even increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Not to mention that being sleep deprived makes us irritable and in no condition to be around other people.
Maintain healthy relationships
As the saying goes, no man is an island. And true enough, so much of our happiness depends on the relationships that we keep. Indeed, a Gala Bingo post points out that British folk are easily entertained by a good joke, a hug, and more importantly, speaking with loved ones. These things being free is not the only reason they are top pick-me-ups across the nation — being around good company, especially the ones we love, gives us a true sense of belongingness. Humans are social creatures, and we not only seek the approval of others, but we also need them for emotional support and personal growth. So, ensure you build those relationships with your colleagues, share an interesting story or a joke. And, of course, ensure you maintain those relationships with friends and family even when there do seem to be enough hours in the day.
During concerns about COVID-19 with many people working from home and the elderly and vulnerable self-isolating, stay in touch by phone or social media even if you can’t have physical contact. For many, isolation is a challenge that causes stress and mental health issues. A short telephone conversation could be the highlight of someone’s day!
Keep a journal
The diary you kept as an adolescent still serves its purpose in your adult life. According to research, journal therapy can help with processing your daily experiences, as you can learn so much from introspection. Use your journal as an outlet for your feelings, both negative and positive, or even as a way to express what you want to tell another person but, for one reason or another, can’t. Just the act of writing them down can be very therapeutic, helping you work out some pent-up emotions.
Becoming healthy and happy is an ongoing journey and, as you can see, it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to a better you!
(Image credit: Pexels)