It’s the holiday season, and while you might be busy buying gifts for others, you should also carve out some time (and maybe some goodies) for yourself, too. Self-care should be a priority for you, and it doesn’t even have to cost you anything. Here are six ways to take good care of yourself so that you’re able to take care of others during the most wonderful time of the year. (See also: 14 Smartphone Apps That Make Self-Care a Snap)
1. A better night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep gives you a strong start to the day, and while there are loads of pricey high-tech sleep gadgets, there are plenty of inexpensive, yet luxurious ways to ease you into slumber, too. Cozy pajamas, a fluffy robe, toasty slippers, and a weighted blanket, are just a few budget-friendly gifts that you totally deserve.
You can also spritz your pillows with homemade lavender water. Just add 10 drops of lavender essential oil to two ounces of water in a small spray bottle. Ask Alexa, or other home device to play nature sounds for you, or download one of the many free apps on your phone that has soothing sounds to lull you to sleep. (See also: 9 Frugal Gifts for the Person Who Needs a Nap)
2. Coffee and other warm beverages
Grabbing a no-frills coffee at a cafe, to say nothing of a fancier drink, costs much more than buying gourmet grounds to brew at home. That also goes for tea, hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and any other warm winter drink. And what’s better than grabbing a hot cup of your favorite drink and curling up in front of the fire or classic holiday movie? During this magical time of year, there are plenty of options for gourmet coffee to buy and make at home for pennies on the dollar of what you’d pay at a restaurant or coffee shop. (See also: Here’s How Rich You’d Be if You Stopped Drinking Expensive Coffee)
3. Time outdoors
Even though the temperatures are dropping, getting some fresh air helps reduce stress, and provide an energy boost. Bundle up and go for a walk before work, at lunch, or on your way home. It doesn’t have to be for a set amount of time, either. Just go until you feel like you’re ready to head back inside. And any time spent out in nature won’t cost you a thing. (See also: 6 Outdoor Adventures That Don’t Cost a Dime)
4. The gift of giving
Many organizations are having special volunteer events to prepare Christmas baskets, wrap presents for kids, and perform numerous other services for those who need our help. Put aside some time or a bit of your holiday budget to give back. I have some relatives who prefer to receive donations to their favorite charities in lieu of Christmas gifts, and I’m always happy to oblige. The feeling you get from helping those less fortunate is better than most tangible gifts you will ever receive. (See also: 8 Charities You Can Trust With Your Holiday Donations)
5. Plenty of healthy foods
Those holiday parties and traditional meals are coming. In these weeks leading up to them, do a little pretox with plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins. One friend of mine takes “pretox” so seriously that she goes vegan before the holidays are in full swing. She finds that she loses a little bit of weight before the holidays and then can enjoy all of her favorite foods without feeling guilty. Pack your meals with healthy ingredients and reap the benefits of enjoying a well-balanced diet, at least until the candy canes get handed out. (See also: 13 Fantastic Lettuce-Free Salads)
6. A motivated new year
In the past, I’ve made long lists of things I was resolved to do in the new year. This year, I chose one big goal — to get my novel published — and I focused my creative energy to make that happen. With that success of a focused goal for this year, I’ve started to think about the one thing I’d like to accomplish for 2018. I’m using these last months of the year to form a plan one small piece at a time.
Focusing your time on setting goals for the new year will keep you in a hopeful, positive mindset to end the current year with. And it costs you absolutely nothing to motivate yourself!