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Just because you’re saving money and on a journey to clear your debts, doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a little Me Time pampering. In fact, I’d say it’s a pretty essential part of your wellbeing, especially if you want to avoid burnout. And the best part? It doesn’t even have to cost anything.
Here are 5 ways to treat yourself for free:
1. Grab a free coffee
Did you know that you can get a free hot drink at Ikea with Ikea Family? It’s totally free to join, and on Monday-Friday you can enjoy unlimited tea and coffee when you visit the store. One of my favourite pastimes is to take myself up there for a browse around the shop – I love getting inspiration for the rooms in my house and can mentally plan the interior design and get excited about saving up to buy a new kitchen and all the accessories that I can put in it (and occasion
ally buy a scented candle). Some days I’ll have a coffee first before mooching, and others I’ll wander around the displays before stopping for an indulgent rest. The days that I am child-free are the best, but I have fond memories of traipsing through with my eldest when she was a toddler, and we’d enjoy a thrifty breakfast, me with my £1.50 cooked breakfast and free tea, and her with her free cereal (and a cheeky cup of milk).
2. Read a book – from the library
Libraries are being used less and less these days, which is sad, because they provide us with so much education and escapism, and it’s all for free (as long as you don’t go overdue and incur any fines, of course!).
When was the last time you used your local library? There’s something incredible about picking up a physical book and curling up with a steaming cuppa, or a glass of wine. No distractions; no pull of the latest word-game on your tablet, no notification pings on your mobile pho
ne. It really is a case of unplugging and going back to basics, and it’s great for your mental well-being, too. Treat yourself, and stretch out with a good book.
3. Stretch yourself and run a mile
Yoga. Running. Walking. They’re superb for your health, physically and mentally, and they cost nothing.
Yoga is one of my favourite ways to relax and rejuvenate myself. I always feel totally empowered afterwards; my limbs are looser, my head is clearer, and I feel lighter, somehow. It aids detox, as the combination of breathing and stretching stimulate your internal organs, and there’s just something so peaceful about it. It’s a chance for you to reconnect your mind with your body, and your body with the earth. It’s the perfect way to rebalance and recentre yourself.
My other passion is running, which I try to do at least three times a week. All you need is something comfy to run in and a pair of trainers to begin with (you will need to upgrade to proper running shoes once you start running regularly). It doesn’t matter if you can’t run far, it doesn’t even matter if you can’t even run a minute, let alone a mile, as there’s always the opportunity to build up gradually. There are free apps available, such as C25K (couch to 5k), which will guide you on your way and provide motivation and encouragement. It’s the perfect, free way to start small and improve your fitness. What’s the best part about running? For me, it’s the headspace and the alone time. Some days I run in a group – which is wonderful for social connection – but sometimes I just love the freedom of me and the open road, and the chance to escape the noise of life.
If yoga and running don’t appeal to you, take yourself off for a walk. A brisk 20 minute walk to raise your heart rate will release endorphins, improve your mood and give you energy. I agree, it’s not quite the same as a couple of hours in the spa, but we’re saving money here and the goal is to make you feel good. Fresh air and exercise are one of the best ways to do that – for free.
4. Have a candle-lit bath
It sounds simple, but when was the last time you had a candle-lit bath? With your favourite bath salts or bubbles? And maybe with a glass of wine or a cup of herbal tea? Put some relaxing music on in the background, or bring that library book in with you, and SOAK for half an hour (you, not the book). Water has healing properties – people have been enjoying the benefits of bathing for thousands of years. It’s not just for getting you clean, it’s good for your body and soul, too.
Have you ever tried meditation? If not, I highly recommend it. Meditation is a solitary pursuit that leaves you feeling both rested and energised. It clears the mind, centres the self, and opens you up to new opportunity and ideas. It’s really the best way to empty your head of all that negative clutter and noise and help you to see things more clearly. While it may conjure images of buddhist monks and eastern philosophies, it’s becoming more and more popular in the Western world as people become aware of its health benefits. If you think meditation is difficult, it really isn’t, as it’s something that takes practise, and there is plenty of free guided meditation to be found online. Whether it’s just two minutes of mindful breathing, or twenty minutes of guided meditation on a beach, you’ll be amazed at how rejuvenated meditation and mindfulness can make you feel, Best of all, it can be achieved far quicker and with absolutely no cost compared with a day in the spa.
Hopefully you’ll be inspired to try at least one of these thrifty ways to treat yourself, or maybe you have some of your own money-saving treats you like to indulge in? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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