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Everyone needs a break now and then. Instead of worrying about the grocery list, hitting your sales goals at work or getting kids where they need to go, you should channel that mental energy into practicing self-care.

Time to yourself is a form of self-care, something you need to practice as much as you do personal hygiene. If you’re short on time or money, you can start working self-care into your life without letting other things fall to the wayside. The tips below are just a few self-care suggestions that won’t eat into your day or wallet.

Get Some Exercise

Taking care of your body through regular exercise is an inexpensive and overlooked form of self-care. The dopamine that’s released after a good workout is a great way to start the day.

If the morning doesn’t work with your schedule, fit in physical activity throughout the day. Take the stairs at work instead, or park farther away from the building each morning to get a good long walk in and get your heart pumping.

If you have a few minutes leftover during lunch, strike a pose. Yoga can last as long as you’d like, with some sessions staying under 10 minutes. You don’t have to completely change your days to practice better self-care, although there are some benefits of taking a good break from the daily routine.

We also recommend this workout if you’re exercising from home.

Take Time Off

If you can’t remember the last time you stopped and took a break, now is the time. Time off is necessary to avoid burnout, which affects your physical and mental state and is linked to poor work and quality of life. In response to burnout, companies understand that they need to do more to make you happy, since a happy worker often stays put longer and is more productive, according to Robert Half.  

Businesses are offering more benefits and perks to get the best out of you. Instead of letting these go by, take advantage of what’s offered at work to improve your life and practice self-care. Whether it’s a free lunch, access to fitness centers or extended vacation time, you should be taking it. Treat yourself to a snack every once in a while, and stop by human resources to request time off for a vacation. 

Even if you can’t afford one on your own, planning an affordable getaway with family or friends can be just as fun. Stick to your budget by pooling your money and finding a rental that’s conveniently located near all the activities you’d like to do together.

Remember The Little Things

Self-care doesn’t have to be an unattainable big production like it’s been made out to be. You can practice self-care right at home every day without purchasing any new products or services. 

Sometimes, self-care is about not doing anything. So make it a habit to put your phone away before bed. Sleep hygiene is self-care that gets little attention, and the bright blue light coming from your phone and computer screens will chip away at your full night’s rest. To really enhance your sleep, consider developing a routine to help you unwind each day. For example, you might consider taking baths more often, as they can be more relaxing than showers.

And believe it or not, you can actually enjoy some self-care benefits by cleaning your home — and keeping it organized! By eliminating clutter, you can prevent spikes in anxiety and stress, as well as release any negative energy your home may have collected as a result.

Between work, home life and socializing, your body works hard enough as it is. Get comfortable with making positive changes to your routine, or just do nothing for a little bit. Self-care doesn’t need to be an added expense or take up too much of your time. 

Get after it!

This post was originally shared by Emma Grace Brown.

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