By Emma Grace Brown

Do you wish that you spent more time on self-care? Sometimes, self-care can seem deceptively time-consuming and expensive, and this might dissuade you from trying to focus on relaxing and pampering yourself. After all, what if you can’t afford massages, pricey vacations to tropical destinations, or retail therapy?

Here’s the good news: There is more to self-care than costly escapism. In fact, you can invest in self-care at a very low price, and there are plenty of soothing activities and beneficial lifestyle changes that you can make for free! If you need inspiration, you can find lots of ideas on Thrive33. In addition, here are a few potential self-care activities that will work for any budget and schedule.

Plan a Staycation

Even if your employer offers plenty of vacation time, you might feel hesitant to use it. Maybe you’re worried that taking time off will make you look like you’re not dedicated to your job or you’re concerned that trying to catch up on work when you get back will be too stressful. But if you have vacation time banked, you have every right to take advantage of it! Your employer might even be grateful that you come back feeling refreshed, especially if you incorporate some self-discipline tips from Thrive33 upon your return.

What if you can’t afford a true vacation? Consider booking a staycation here in Los Angeles instead! Rather than paying for a hotel room, you can save money and focus on self-care by booking a vacation rental, which will give you access to a full kitchen for cooking healthy meals. Whether you want to stay in a neighborhood like Santa Monica, Hollywood Hills, or Silverlake, you’re sure to find a rental that has all of the amenities you need to unwind on your staycation. Plus, you’ll have access to all kinds of fun, local activities.

Home Spa Days

Going to an actual spa can eat into your budget and take up lots of time. But what if you blocked off a portion of your weekend to have a home spa day? For instance, you could draw yourself a bath and use a homemade bubble bath or you could give yourself a pedicure.

To plan for your home spa day, make sure to gather everything you need in advance — you can get most of the necessary products from any drug store at low prices! To give yourself a salon-quality pedicure, Women’s Health recommends using a pumice stone, toe separators, foot lotion, and cuticle oil. Naturally, you’ll need to pick up your favorite nail polish color, too. As for your bubble bath, Healthline suggests combining water, liquid soap, and glycerin or coconut oil. You can even add a few drops of essential oil for the scent.

Gentle Yoga

You don’t have to sign up for an expensive yoga studio membership to start your own yoga journey. In fact, you can easily do yoga at home! There are countless yoga teachers who share free yoga class videos online. As long as you have a mat or even a thick towel or blanket, you can follow along without paying a dime. And if you feel like getting some fresh air on a sunny day, you can bring your mat into the backyard!

Meditation Routine

Do you need to pay a guru to teach you to meditate? Nope! For many people, meditation is a crucial aspect of self-care. Giving yourself a few minutes every day to let go of your worries and simply focus on your breathing can help you ditch stress and feel centered. You can grab a fluffy pillow to use as a meditation cushion for extra comfort. Downloading a free guided meditation app can help you avoid getting distracted, especially during your first few sessions.

Reduce Screen Time

Do you tend to spend a lot of time staring at screens? Whether you’re tempted to scroll on social media, or you work remotely and need to be at your computer for several hours per day, you may be getting way too much screen time. Simply cutting down on your screen time can help you free up more time for self-care!

Of course, you’ll want to find a healthier hobby to replace your screen time with. Why not check out your local library or stop by a used bookstore to find a new novel or nonfiction book that you can get lost in? As you spend more time reading instead of scrolling, you might find that your attention span increases. You may even discover a few new favorite authors!

While some believe that you need to spend lots of money to practice self-care, this is not the case. Sure, you could splurge on facials, superfoods, massage chairs, or other products and services that would seriously stretch your budget — but these are definitely not mandatory for true self-care! With these tips, you’ll be able to stay frugal while incorporating self-care into your lifestyle.

Looking for resources on everything from wellness to self-improvement? Check out Thrive33! Sign up for our newsletter for advice that will help you live a more fulfilling life.


Emma Grace Brown lives her life by her rules – it works! When she’s not snuggling puppies, Emma promotes female empowerment through her website. Her mission is to help those who live with self-doubt to realize they don’t have to mold themselves to conventionality.