For weeks, you have been running a busy schedule without much time for yourself. You need to unwind; however, limited time and/or finances are making it tough. Don’t shortchange yourself. We are going to cover 5 ways to treat yourself without breaking the bank.

We are coming up on Mental Health Awareness Month in May and treating yourself is really about our promoting mental and emotional well-being. Sure, having a fresh coat of nail polish enhances our physical appearance, but the main point is how it makes us feel. Whether it’s the relaxation of getting them done or the accomplished feeling of having filed nails with no chipped polish when we do it ourselves.

We can push and push ourselves because we are physically capable, if we don’t collapse from exhaustion, but the unseen mental and emotional toll that it can take can burn us out too. And since it is our minds that operate our physical functions—we need to make sure to treat them right. So here are the 5 ways we can treat ourselves without breaking the bank:

  • Grab a book and head to a local café. There may be a café in the area that has books available to read. If not, make a library stop to pick out one you’ve had your eye on. If you’re not a reader, check out local café’s musical talent while catching up with a friend.
  • Digitally disconnect and have face-to-face time. Digitally disconnecting can mean avoiding email, text and social media, but I am mainly referring to the latter. Rarely are our smartphones used for calling anymore. We are so connected to our social media that interacting in person can feel awkward. Did you know there are disorders associated with our digital devices and social media? “Digital Vision Syndrome” and OCD (Obsessive Competing Disorder) are a couple. It will do us good to unplug on a regular basis. *Tip: put your social notifications on DND (Do Not Disturb) and delete the social apps from your phone so you won’t be tempted. Take a break and mentally cleanse yourself of it for at least an evening a week. Fill the time weekly with a person you haven’t seen in a while and catch up face-to-face. The time away will be refreshing and worth it. **Bonus Tip: Go even a step further and unplug nightly, by setting your phone on DND at bedtime so your deep sleep is not interrupted. (You should be able to make exceptions for phone calls if you use your cell as a home phone.)
  • Home “spa” time. Start with a good bubble bath, bath soak or fragrant bath bomb. Then a body butter for a pampering moisturizer. Finally, nail prep and add a fresh coat of polish. You can find everything mentioned for less than $10 each at a local department store. If you are crafty and DIY projects are therapeutic for you, there are recipes for bath bombs, body scrubs or body butter. If you don’t have the opportunity to be alone in your home for the time it takes to do your own nails, check out a local beauty school or Groupon for deals on getting them done at a budget friendly rate.
  • Movie Night. If you have Netflix, block out a few hours; otherwise, grab a movie from Redbox. If movie time at home isn’t an option, go to the movies by yourself or with a friend.
  • Get a massage. Some area massage schools may have an operating clinic for more advanced students to get hands on experience. They’re usually less expensive than an average massage clinic. You can also check to see if there are any good massage deals on Groupon.

If there are other things that help you unwind, such as exercising or other physical activity—that counts too! Even if it is physical activity, it still promotes positive mental and emotional health. The main point is for you to understand the importance of giving yourself the ok and being intentional about blocking out the time in your schedule. I know. It’s hard to focus on yourself when there’s so much to be done and/or taking care of others who depend on you. But to be the best you can be requires a regular de-compression of sorts.

So, plan to do at least one thing on this list weekly. Depending on your stress level and availability, maybe you can block out an entire day monthly, to do them all!

Remember, you are worth it and it is necessary to allow yourself some “me” time. Enjoy!