54 Self Care ideas for frugal and busy people

I’ve been feeling kind of Meh lately. A bit run down and lacking motivation or energy to do anything. In the Meh state I tend to forget what helps, so now I’m feeling a bit more up, I’ve written a list. It will become part of a book or course later, I’m writing it now. Possibly as a distraction from the essay I’m supposed to be writing but at least it is productive procrastination.

None of these things cost a lot of money, the only time I suggest you spend any is on coffee and flowers but you can take your own flask and pick a bunch of gorgeous weeds if money is really tight. Plantlife give these guidelines for picking wild flowers:

Plantlife’s “Code of Conduct” for picking wildflowers

Here are eight things to remember when picking any of the twelve wild flowers marked with the “Twelve to Pick” icon (see chart below).

  1. Make sure you’re not trespassing on any private land.
  2. Never pick flowers from nature reserves or any other protected sites (such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest) without prior permission from the landowner.
  3. Only pick from large patches of abundant flowers, leaving plenty of flowers for others to enjoy, to set seed, and to provide other wildlife with pollen, nectar, seed or shelter.
  4. Follow the one-in-twenty rule, picking one flower out of every twenty you find. You should never diminish the display.
  5. Only pick a small handful of flowers for personal use, you must never pick for commercial gain.
  6. Don’t trample other flowers or vegetation.
  7. Never uproot any plant unless you have the landowner’s permission, and be aware that some plants (listed on Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act) cannot be picked without a licence
  8. If in doubt, don’t pick. If you don’t know the identity of a plant, leave it where it is. Take a photograph instead and try and identify it at home first.

    12 Plants that are ok to pick. (From www.plantlife.org.uk)

(This list is from The Great British Wildflower Hunt and more useful info on how to can be found on their site www.plantlife.org.uk/wildflowerhunt

The Wildflower Hunt is a good way to learn wild plants and getting outside always makes me feel better about things.

These ideas are designed for carers too, I know how difficult it can be to look after yourself when you put yourself second. My top tip is to sleep when they are, cleaning can wait! Most of these tips can be done in stealth mode so you can carve out time for yourself while caring for someone else.

  1. Stay in touch with people who support and nurture you.
  2. Say no to something and stick to it.
  3. Have a nap, 20 minutes is a good time for most people.
  4. Do something differently. Wear your hair up instead of down, move a chair, take a different route when you go out.
  5. Make something. Tear up some magazines and make an abstract collage. Or check YouTube for a tutorial for cooking or making something new.
  6. Remember to breathe. In and out, slowly and from your tummy.
  7. Do the dishes at the end of the day because it is nice waking up to a clean sink.
  8. Make your bed in the morning so it is ready for you later.
  9. Have a holiday at home and visit a tourist site.
  10. Gaze at the rain, clouds or wind in the trees.
  11. Spend some time looking into the flame of a candle.
  12. Go out for a coffee, take a flask and sit in a nice park if it is a warm day.
  13. Sing something for fun.
  14. Dance as badly as you can.
  15. Check the night sky for planets and shooting stars.
  16. Notice the beauty in nature.
  17. Be mindful with mundane tasks like washing dishes.
  18. Give yourself time away from your phone so you are not on call.
  19. Leave a review for a company or service you like.
  20. Be grateful for something.
  21. Donate your time, money or clutter to a cause you support.
  22. Try to do nothing for at least 5 minutes.
  23. Clean your teeth, floss and mouthwash if you need.
  24. Clean your face properly and spend some time massaging in moisturiser.
  25. Brush your hair with affection for it.
  26. Iron your clothes, it feels good to wear things that are well cared for.
  27. Send someone a postcard just saying hello.
  28. Smile at strangers until one smiles back.
  29. Eat something that will nurture you.
  30. Ask for help and accept it when you get it.
  31. Be nice to shopworkers, receptionists and call operators. You have the power to make their day good.
  32. Visit a museum or park.
  33. Listen to relaxing music.
  34. Plant something or buy some flowers.
  35. Take your shoes off and feel the floor.
  36. Find an old classic comedy on YouTube.
  37. Watch a film you know has a happy ending.
  38. Wear something you normally keep for special occasions.
  39. Soak your feet in warm soapy water.
  40. Have a long bath, with Epsom salts if you are achy or bubbles if you want to feel luxurious.
  41. Make a facemask. Oats, avocado, banana, yoghurt… All these things make good facemasks and force you to be still for 10 minutes.
  42. Read a book you loved when you were a child.
  43. Give yourself a manicure or a pedicure, or both.
  44. Plan a comfort meal. Something that is easy to cook and makes you feel good.
  45. Stretch wherever you are. Flex your feet, turn your head, shrug your shoulders.
  46. Drink some water. Flavour it with fruit if you want. Dehydration can make us feel low and tired.
  47. Unfollow people who bring you down on social media.
  48. Give yourself a compliment you gorgeous human!
  49. Notice stress in your body so you can try to relax it.
  50. Lie flat on the floor and listen to what is going on around you.
  51. Listen to a podcast or audiobook.
  52. Schedule in time for yourself and make it a priority.
  53. Turn off notifications, beeps and flashing lights.
  54. Be silly.

I’ve made this list into a printable checklist too, you can get yours by clicking here.

It will open in a new window.

Lisa Cole

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I'm Lisa Cole. I'm a designer and writer who lives in Bristol. Less-stuff is about my journey to live a more organised life. I document little things I can change to live more sustainably. I'm not a minimalist!

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