Shanta Milner, LPC, NCC
20 Nov

As the holiday season approaches, stress levels can soar, and the pressure to meet expectations—both our own and others'—can feel overwhelming. Whether it's preparing for family gatherings, managing work responsibilities before taking time off, or simply coping with the hustle and bustle of the season, it's easy to neglect our own well-being in the process.

One common misconception about self-care is that it requires a hefty financial investment. However, the truth is that self-care doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, there are numerous ways to prioritize our mental and emotional health without spending a dime. Here are some practical and budget-friendly self-care strategies to help you navigate the holiday season and beyond:

1. Plan a "Me Day":

Designate a day entirely for yourself. Take a break from work if possible and indulge in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Start your day with a leisurely morning in bed, watching your favorite show or reading a book. Treat yourself to a soothing bath with calming music and pamper yourself with a DIY manicure and pedicure. End the day with a home-cooked meal and curl up with a good book or movie.

2. Mindful Lunch Breaks:

Instead of rushing through your lunch break or using it to catch up on work, make a conscious effort to prioritize your well-being. Find a quiet and peaceful spot away from your workspace, put on some soothing music, and focus on your breathing. Use this time to enjoy your meal mindfully and recharge before returning to work.

3. Bond with Pets:

Spending time with animals has been shown to reduce stress and boost mood. If you have a pet, take some time to play with them or simply enjoy their company. If not, consider volunteering at a local animal shelter or asking a friend or family member if you can spend time with their pet.

4. Beauty Routines

Engaging in simple beauty rituals can be a form of self-care that doesn't require a trip to the spa or expensive products. Treat yourself to a DIY facial, experiment with makeup or hairstyling, or simply take a moment to appreciate your natural beauty. The key is to focus on how these activities make you feel, rather than achieving a perfect appearance.

5. Plan a Mental Health Day:

Set aside time to focus specifically on your mental health. Find a quiet space where you can reflect on your thoughts and feelings, and engage in activities that promote relaxation and peace of mind. Whether it's meditation, mindfulness exercises, or simply taking a walk in nature, prioritize activities that help you recharge and rejuvenate.


Self-care is not a luxury reserved for those with ample time and resources—it's a necessity for maintaining overall well-being. By prioritizing simple and budget-friendly self-care practices, we can better cope with the stresses of daily life and cultivate a greater sense of balance and resilience. Remember, self-care is about honoring your needs and making yourself a priority, regardless of financial constraints. So, as you navigate the holiday season and beyond, don't forget to take time for yourself and prioritize your mental and emotional health.

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