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Frugal self care for when you feel discouraged.

Dream Big - Set Goal - Take Action, motivational quote

If I’m being honest, I’ve googled a whole lot recently, things like “Working Mom Guilt” and I’ve been pinning lots of links about how to motivate yourself to clean your house. Needless to say, it’s been rough around here- not enough sleep, time for the kids, time for anything. I recognize that I am INSANELY fortunate, I work from home about 90% of the time, so I see my kids a lot ( we do have child care), and I’m there for the school pick up and drop off. I also am fortunate enough to have time on breaks to throw in a load of laundry or get some dinner in the crock pot, but sometimes- it doesn’t matter. Like when you’ve been traveling out of the house for a week. In the past when I hit one of these funks the first thing I would do is start shopping for books, items, whatever with the promise to make things easier and save me time, or just make me feel better.

What a vicious cycle! I buy a thing and then I get stressed out about debt and money and then I buy another thing and get stressed out repeat and repeat. Lately though, I’ve been realizing that some of my favorite self care methods cost little to no money and I forget them and how good they make me feel! So here are my 10 recommendations for frugal things you can do that cost little to no money and take less than 15 minutes, to get yourself out of a funk and back on the path to motivation.

  1. Hot tea! (or water), if I’m feeling down and crappy, a good strong cup of hot tea is guaranteed to give me a pick me up. The caffeine content isn’t as high as coffee, but it’ll give you a little pep in your step and if you’re dehydrated (most of us are), it’ll help that too! Also- my favorite brand of tea Tazo (I’m not sponsored by them or anything I just really like them), is only a few dollars and can be found on sale frequently at target. So a single tea bag is just a few pennies!
  2. Continuing on with our water solution- a hot bath is pretty fantastic! I know it depends on what area you’re in as water costs in some places can be prohibitive, but hot baths can be so soothing and inexpensive. I stopped buying all of the fancy bath salts when I realized you can buy epsom salts and lavender essential oil and it costs about 50 cents for a bath instead of $5 or more! I put nice music on my lap top and soak away- generally late at night once I know I won’t be interrupted, but it helps me sleep better and soothes aching muscles.
  3. Books! Reading can be a great way to escape and put things into perspective and if you stop by your library it’s FREE. It can also be a great way to spend some quiet time with your kids, have them pick the books they like and then everyone can go home and get cozy and read.
  4. Go for a walk- but take your time. This isn’t about seeing if you can get your heart rate up or the number of steps you’re taking- get out in the green spaces of your neighbor hood, take some time to be quiet and notice the world around you.
  5. Send someone you know a letter. For the cost of a piece of paper and a stamp send someone something nice in the mail. EVERYone likes getting nice things in the mail and I don’t know about you but it seems like it never happens! If you want to go all out there are lots of places that have $1 greeting cards, pick a nice card without anything on the inside so you have lots of space to say hi! — this again is also a really nice activity to do with or for kids. My kids are fascinated by the mail.
  6. Admittedly the next two are not everyone’s favorite activities, but they make me feel better. The first is – make your bed! But really really make it, put fresh sheets on, if you have lavender oil from your bath sprinkle a couple of drops in between and make sure that everything looks nice and smooth. Guaranteed you’ll forget you did it and there’s nothing nicer than happening upon a fresh bed at the end of a long day.
  7. Pick something that you’ve needed to get done for a lonngggg time that you’ve been putting off and DO it! Have a junk draw that needs organizing? A phone call you’ve been dreading? If it will take you less than 15 minutes, do it and then you’ll never have to think about it again.
  8. Look up some fun music on youtube and have a dance party with your kids. How can you not smile?
  9.  Ask yourself- do you need a nap?are you hungry?  Generally I find if I ask myself these questions about the kids I can figure out why they’re being grumpy- the same applies even if you’re an adult- take a few minutes to see if you need your physical needs to be met- Maslow’s Hierarchy right?
  10. Finally- open your curtains, sit in the sunshine if it happens to be light out, and crack a window for a minute or 2- even if it’s super cold. A little bit of fresh air in the house helps everyone breath easier and helps the house to smell fresher.

And one more as a bonus- I won’t suggest eating your feelings, but if you have a place with great donuts anywhere near by, grab a donut and sit in your car and eat that sucker nice and slow. Donuts may not fix everything, but they’re generally less than a dollar and as a rare treat they can be pretty darn good.

5 thoughts on “Frugal self care for when you feel discouraged.

  1. Great ideas. One more that I have is “Do the dishes”. It’s a lot easier to cook at home, saving money, if your sink is empty and counters clean. I don’t have a dishwasher but it still usually takes 20 minutes or less to wash a day’s worth of dishes, wipe off counter and sweep the floor. I set the kitchen timer to however long I think I will need (10-30) minutes and work swiftly to beat it.

  2. I’ve learned in the last year as I have tried to change from “do it all” mom to “happier” mom that a few moments of quietness can go a long way. I am getting better at recognizing my stress/funk signs and slowing down or doing something small to de-stress. Also remembering that I cannot do everything at this moment or probably in the near future goes a long way for me. I think, as women, we all feel this way at one time or another. Hearing other’s struggles and coping mechanisms help me. Keep up the good work!

  3. Marilyn in MD–I WISH it only took 20 minutes to do the dishes around here:). I don’t have a dishwasher, either. There wasn’t one in this house when we bought it a year and a half ago. And, all joking aside, although it does take more than 20 minutes around here, it really doesn’t take all that long. Unloading and loading a dishwasher takes time, too. What I miss is actually the ability to hide the dishes in the dishwasher for a while, and the feeling that the dishes are sterilized. But, we’re doing ok so far.

    1. My parents gifted us a dishwasher right before my 1st was born and at the time I didn’t really think it was necessary now we run it just about daily. Since we cook so much at home it generally takes us about a half hour at the end of the day.

      1. I’m glad you have one. I’ve had times with one, and times without. I did get reliant on having one, since I had it for so long, but got right back into the groove when we no longer did.

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