14 Free Self-Care Ideas to Make You Feel Like Yourself Again

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Have you ever been just completely burned out? The kind of burned-out that makes you feel sick, tired, and not yourself?

If you have, it’s time to add some free self-care ideas into your everyday life to start taking care of yourself!

Photo by Kaylee Garrett on Unsplash. Free self-care ideas

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How can I take care of myself with no money?

It’s not really as tough as you might think to implement self-care ideas into your routine with no money! (It’s not all about going for weekly massages, although if you can swing it, go for it).

To take care of yourself with no money, it is essential to do activities that give you a sense of happiness and/or accomplishment. What is important to know is that, while some self-care activities work for others, they may not necessarily work for you. Give several different self-care activities a try to see what gives you the biggest sense of happiness.

Some of the best activities for taking care of yourself are completely free and easy for most people to do.

Let’s talk through some free self-care ideas that are sure to give you the reset and relaxation you need to reduce your stress and feel like yourself again.

Related reading: 40 of the Best Frugal Living Tips

Self-care is ESSENTIAL for your psyche, and it doesn't have to be expensive. Here's a list of free self-care ideas to help ease your stress levels and enjoy life! self-care ideas | free self-care ideas | self-care

What are some free self-care ideas?

1. Go outside

The ultimate free self-care idea!

Vitamin D and fresh air can do numbers for boosting your mood. Some of the greatest benefits of vitamin D include fighting disease, boosting weight loss, and reducing depression.

A few fun things to do outside:

  • Go for a walk in a new place, like a neighborhood you want to explore, along a trail in the forest, or on the beach. Or, you could walk neighborhood dogs for some extra money.
  • Tend to a garden. This study had some amazing results from gardening, including a reduction in depression and anxiety!
  • Go to a park to feel like a kid again.

2. Hop on an outdoor swing

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I don’t know what it is about swinging on a swing! Something about it is so relaxing and enjoyable.

It can be a park swing, tire swing, hammock, or even one of those swings that you launch yourself from and dive into the river. Find one that is easy to find or most enjoyable to you and swing away.

3. Go for a drive

I love to go driving. I put the windows down, sunroof open, play good music, and find a road that’s either empty or one alongside the water.

It could be the act of driving itself that is a self-care idea, or that drive could take you somewhere that focuses on your self-care. Either way, a drive is a good way to take care of your mental self.

4. Get off social media

Social media is good for mindless scrolling when you’re bored or need to pass the time.

The problem with social media is there is very little on there that has a positive impact on your life.

It’s mostly filled with rants, trips someone else is taking (and not you), and posts that make you compare your life to others instead of enjoying where you are in your own life.

Let yourself take a breather from social media.

5. Make your bed

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Have you read the book Make Your Bed? If not, you absolutely should read it.

His opening chapter states:

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

Admiral William H. McRaven

That’s a bold statement, but I decided to try it out.

I made the bed every single morning. And something about not only having that structure but also completing that task every morning and having a sense of pride in how my bedroom looked, had such a positive impact on my day!

6. Workout

I’m all about those post-workout endorphins!

My personal favorite is running, but here are a few other ideas for you:

  • Walk
  • HIIT workout
  • Dance
  • Rock climbing
  • Kayak
  • Yoga

Here’s a great 10-minute yoga video by one of my favorite yoga channels:

7. Take a nap or go to bed early

Getting more sleep not only helps you turn off your brain for a little bit but there’s also a direct correlation between your mood and quality of sleep.

You’ve very likely felt the effects of poor quality sleep: irritability, stress, and all-around short-tempered.

A great free self-care idea is to go to bed an hour earlier, or even take a quick 30-minute nap to help reset. You’ll feel the effects almost immediately!

8. Create a vision board

Vision boards are great because, if you’re a visual person (like me!), you have all of your inspiration and hopes for the future on a board to look at daily.

This falls into our self-care category because it allows you to think about yourself and what you want your life to look like. It helps give you motivation and inspiration both while making it and looking at it.

What inspires and motivates YOU? Now’s the time to place it on a vision board and keep yourself moving forward!

Here are some free ways to fill up your vision board:

  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Print out inspirational quotes and pictures
  • Grab small items while out in nature or even around your house that bring you joy

9. Make future plans

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Making your 1-year, 5-year, 10-year and beyond plans can be similar to a vision board, but definitely more specific.

While a vision board is meant to visualize what you want your life to look like, your year plans actually map it out.

Say, for example, you have a picture of a beautiful beach on your vision board to visualize your retirement. Your year plans will lay out the foundation on how to get there. Maybe you need a certain amount in retirement savings; your year plans will map out how much you should have saved by a particular timeframe to ensure that actually happens.

10. Lay out a plan to get out of debt

There’s no doubt that being in debt can cause stress and anxiety.

A free self-care idea to rid yourself of that stress is to lay out a game plan to get out of debt. It doesn’t have to be complicated!

If you’re looking for free ways to track your debt payoff, check out my post chock full of debt payoff tracker methods. Or, if you need your own inspiration to get started, here are some amazing debt payoff stories that are sure to fuel your fire.

Related reading: 9 Tips to Staying Patient While Paying Off Debt

11. Track your net worth

While you’re rocking your finances, be sure to also put something together to track your net worth over time.

I really love to use Personal Capital, since it’s constantly updated (free!) and is a good one-stop-shop to look at your finances.

I put together a huge list of resources to track your net worth, budget, and pay-off debt here.

12. Binge-watch your favorite show

Photo by Juan Ordonez on Unsplash

I know there are lots of people out there that say watching TV is a waste of time. There are times when I’d agree with that.

BUT, there are also positives to watching TV, especially when you’re needing some self-care time.

Studies show that, when your self-control is depleted, a familiar TV show is a way to restore your self-control tank through positive social surrogate interaction (aka watching your favorite TV shows).

So sit back and relax with your favorite TV show, knowing it’s a positive thing!

13. Tidy up

Living in a chaotic, unruly house is sure to bring you down. It’s uncomfortable, it’s hard to find things, and just isn’t aesthetically pleasing.

To the brain, clutter represents unfinished business and this lack of completeness can be highly stressful for some people. This fact is especially true when people have significant concerns pressing in on their lives.


By tidying up your house, you’re doing numbers for your psyche and overall stress levels.

14. Make yourself a cup of tea

According to this article, researchers have found that drinking tea lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Even drinking half a cup of green tea a day is said to lower the risk of developing depression and dementia!

With all of the varieties out there today, it’s easy to find a tea you enjoy. One of my favorites is jasmine green tea, and I love buying from Golden Moon Tea for their clean, loose leaf tea.

That’s it for free self-care ideas!

Have you tried any of these ideas? Do you practice anything not on this list?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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