Self Care on the Cheap – Low or No Cost Ways to Encourage Better Mental Health

It seems that recently self care has become more and more of a hot button topic. I recently was browsing facebook and saw a post about how self care isn’t all “bath bombs and face masks” and that had me feeling some sort of way. As someone who (loudly and proudly) talks about how important mental health is, I love self care. It can seriously make a massive difference in your outlook and life if you suffer from anxiety, depression, and other related ailments.

Self care is a personal and unique experience for each person. That somewhat shady post had me a little sad, as the person who loves a good bath bomb or skincare after a bad day. But I was missing what the post was getting at all together; that self care doesn’t have to be expensive, and in some cases, won’t cost you a penny. No shame in your game if your self care routine involves bath and skincare products, though.

Low Cost Self Care Ideas

  1. Go for a day trip to a near by city or town. Explore the area, take photos, maybe stop at a cafe or restaurant or snack. Getting some steps in will help you to feel a little better!
  2. Get your nails done. This one is a little more pricey, but this is one of my favorite things to do when I feel gross!
  3. Get some ice cream! Totally soothes all wounds
  4. Have an at home spa day. Get some face masks from the store, put on some comfy clothes and have a day in. Ah, relaxation.
  5. Cook a new recipe. Just immersing yourself in a new recipe and focusing on cooking can lift you up. Plus, a healthy meal makes everyone feel good inside!
  6. Grab a coloring book and have at it. I love spending some time with some colored pencils and a nice picture, it helps so much to clear my mind.

No Cost Self Care Ideas

  1. Go for a walk! Studies have shown that exercise can help you lift your spirits. Plus, walks are good for everyone! Find a local park and take some time to explore.
  2. Take a bike ride. Like walks, find a trail, pack a snack and some water, and get going. You’ll feel better after!
  3. Do a mani/pedi at home. Grab some cute polish, and decorate your nails. I love having pretty nails, and it can help you to feel more pulled together on the days where you don’t feel yourself.
  4. Drink water! Grab a cute tumbler cup, and sip all day long. Staying hydrated keeps you feeling good.
  5. Take time for yourself. Feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Make sure you are scheduling time for yourself so you can destress and recharge. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
  6. Make sure you’re getting the proper amount of sleep. Again, can’t pour from an empty cup.
  7. Take time for your hobbies. Make sure you make time for the things you love!
  8. Spend time with friends and family. Surrounding yourself with positive people can help to lift you up.
  9. Take a warm bath or shower. Getting cleaned up can seriously help you to feel better.
  10. Understand that some days aren’t going to be amazing, and roll with that. Somedays will be hard, but always understand that there are positive days ahead.

What is your go-to self care technique? Share in the comments below, who knows, it might help someone else out!

If you’re looking to shop for some self care related treats, check out this article of mine!

Have a wonderful and healthy day!

XOXO Em

Father’s Day is Around the Corner! 8 Perfect Gifts for Dad

Mother’s Day has come and gone, but now it’s time for Father’s Day! We had a great time at our house celebrating our mom, doing some crafts and just visiting, but now we get to look forward to the day for our dad. We are just over a month away now (June 17th!) but it is never too early to brainstorm gift ideas!

For me, at least, I think that Father’s Day gifts can almost be more tricky than Mother’s Day gifts are. For my dad at least, it can be difficult to pick out something that he would both like and use. Let me throw you a life line and show you some ideas for dad this year!

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click the links below and make a purchase, I may be compensated. This is at no additional cost to you and helps keep my blog up and running. Thanks!

Gifts for the Outdoorsy Father

Dad looking to get outside more and get more active? Maybe the new FitBit Versa would be a good gift! I love my fitbit, it helps me to be more active, and encourages me to get outside and get more steps everyday. Maybe dad would like one, too! I feel like I always mention these, but I love S’well bottles and they would be a perfect gift! I use mine all the time, and everyone could drink more water! Reusable bottles make drinking more water easier, more economical and better for the environment than traditional plastic bottles. Plus, you can save dad some money by ditching plastic bottles for good!

Live someplace sunny and warm? Nike Baseball Caps help keep the sun out of dads eyes when he’s working outside or getting some sun. High quality and sturdy, a good baseball cap can keep up with all the running around he does on the daily. Plus, they come in a million different colors!

Gifts for the Tech-y Father

Get dad a new virtual assistant! The Echo Spot displays as a clock, but also integrates Alexa to help to play music, podcasts, make calls and more. We love using Alexa in our house to play music and more. This would be a great gift for dad that will keep working for him all year long!

I have to say, I LOVE my Beats wireless headphonesThey make working out so much more fun, and the fact that they’re wireless seals the deal! This makes them a perfect gift for dads that may have their hands full already, but want to listen to music or podcasts when they get a free second!

As I’ve mentioned in previous gift guidesAnker Portable Chargers are perfect for anyone these days. Every dad has a phone, and having back up power for when you can’t get to an outlet is priceless. I love mine for day trips and travel, but these are great to keep with you all the time to help keep you (or dad!) connected!

Gifts for the Active Father

A Gaiam Yoga Mat is good for more than just yoga! Great for stretching, home workouts, and of course, yoga. Gaiam’s products are super high quality, last forever and come in tons of fun colors (or neutrals!). Active dads would love a good mat to take their workouts up a notch.

A new pair of running shoes is always a good idea! Perfect for running or anything else dad would need, a new pair of tennis shoes are always needed. This pair from Nike comes in a variety of colors and sizes, perfect to fit just about any dad’s personality.

What are you planning on picking up for the father in your life this year? Let me know in the comments below; the more ideas the merrier!

XOXO Em

Constant Anxiety – What It’s Like Living With Anxiety Disorders

If you know me personally, good chances are that you are more than aware that I have had chronic anxiety for around 12 years now. At this point, mental health awareness and understanding has become a little more than important to me, because, in my humble opinion, it is one of the most misunderstood things around right now. The US hasn’t quite caught up to the rest of the world in the means of healthcare, which can leave mental health services in the dust. I’ve never shared what my day to day with anxiety is like before, but I figured that it was about time.

I’ve known the feeling of anxiety since I was pretty young. The earliest I felt it was probably around when I was in third grade, but I didn’t recognize it as anything other than feeling nervous. I was really young, and for the most part, it probably looked like I was just going through a phase as a kid. Over the years, it was pretty clear that I was always anxious about something, even if there wasn’t anything worth worrying about.

So, what does anxiety look like now?

Now that I’m starting into adulthood, anxiety is a little different because I recognize the confused and messy feelings as being anxiety. As a kid, it was a little more confusing, but now I know that it’s only temporary.

On a normal day, I usually wake up feeling that familiar nervous feeling in my chest or stomach. Once I start moving, it usually lifts, and I start to feel ready to start the day, have some breakfast, and either get to class, work, or hang around home on the off days. For me, anxiety is usually felt in my chest, with a tingling feeling, racing heart, and sometimes heart palpitations. You get that feeling that something absolutely terrible is about to happen, even when you’re totally safe at home. It can throw a wrench into a normal day, turning it into something terrible for no reason. That is the worst part, in my opinion.

How is someone affected by anxiety?

Another part that people don’t seem to totally grasp is that anxiety has such a massive effect on a person’s energy. For me, I’ve learned to adjust to living while constantly pretty tired. Be patient with us, please! We’re constantly trying to reason with our minds, reassuring ourselves that the world is, in fact, not ending and all will be okay. Doing this all day long is exhausting. It might not sound like much, but when your mind refuses to quiet down all day, it takes a serious toll. For myself personally, I work pretty hard to keep the emotions and panicked feeling way below the surface, so I can work and function on a daily basis. This takes an insane amount of energy, and leaves me usually pretty drained. But, hey, it works for me, and lets me live my life.

Some days are better than others, but every once in a while, it can be hard to smoosh all the feelings down. It is so easy to get overwhelmed, stressed, and upset over seemingly menial things. When you’re constantly bargaining with yourself mentally, it can be hard to keep up.

With all the negative, it doesn’t mean that life is all dreary and sad for me. Yeah, it can definitely complicate things, but for the most part, I live just like everyone else, just with little adjustments here and there. The media can demonize people who live with mental health issues, but in all reality, 99.9% of people are just trying to be happy and healthy like everyone else. And, you more than likely have someone in your life who has a similar struggle.

So, how can I help a friend with anxiety?

Everyone is different. Just like any illness, it effects everyone differently, and everyone likes different things to help with the stress. For me, I like the following things:

  • Support from friends and family. Just asking me how I’m doing lets me know someone is there for me, and opens up the conversation if I haven’t been feeling very well. However, this is something that everyone needs, regardless if they suffer from anxiety or any similar ailments. Everyone needs support!
  • Understand that it isn’t something we are doing on purpose. These feelings are usually out of our hands! While it doesn’t excuse any behavior, it is really helpful to understand that we are doing our best to manage how we feel.
  • Understand that somedays I need a day off. I can get really overwhelmed, and a day off is worth its weight in gold.

In addition, if you need some self care yourself, feel free to check out my post about my favorite forms of self care! Everyone can use a little TLC now and again!

Do you know someone that has anxiety, or maybe you do? Want to share any experiences or advice? Share in my comment section below!

XOXO Em