So often as women we put our own needs at the bottom of the to-do list. Family, work, kids and the squillion other things that take up our time just seem to well, take up our time.
Self-care is often already low on the priority list and then there's the cost. I mean, it would be lovely to get a mani-pedi, a blow-dry, a facial and a massage each week but many of us just simply don't have that sort of expendable income lying around.
Mental health & psychology website psychreg.org cites a regular self care practice as being vital for our mental health
"Self-care encourages self-improvement. It promotes rest and relaxation, which benefits our overall health and wellness, and it also promotes healthy relationships. When our self-esteem and self-awareness improves, it has a positive effect on our overall mindset. This, in turn, enables us to care for our friends and loved ones in a way that we might not have been able to do before."
So how can we feel like a queen without the budget of one? I polled a local Facebook Mum's group and came up with a veritable goldmine of ideas.
1. Get pampered for a pittance
Beauty colleges and TAFE's often have a working salon attached to them where the students can practice their skills as part of their training. They are supervised by a fully qualified practitioner and the students are often more caring and attentive as they are trying to perfect their new skills under the watchful eye of their supervisor so everything needs to be absolutely perfect. Here's a few local to the Ryde area
The SPA at North Strathfield
Meadowbank TAFE Hair, Beauty and Makeup Academy Call 131 601 to find what services are being offered
2. Head to a natural therapies clinic
Just like with the local beauty colleges, a relaxing massage, nutritionist or acupuncture appointment can start for as low as $20. Check out these clinics in Sydney
Endeavour clinic in Haymarket
Australian College of Sport and Fitness
Australian Learning Group
3. Meditate for free
There are SO many free meditation apps. The benefits of meditation are far reaching and include better sleep, lower stress levels and the prevalence of toxic stress hormones, improved cardio-vascular function, greater confidence and self esteem and reduced anxiety. There's even meditations to help open you up to more financial abundance, heal a relationship or lose weight. Some guided meditations are as short as 2-3mins so now there really is no excuse not to start reaping the unlimited benefits of a regular meditation practice. Here's a few of our faves:
Calm (this one comes with a free trial but has in app purchases)
4. Stretch your dollar further with a yoga class
Yoga schools will often have classes available to the public that are run by students. If you're local to the Ryde area, try The Yoga House. They currently have a personalised yoga moves or shiatsu session for only $20 run by students who have been training for a full year.
There is also many beautiful yoga and mediation apps that have literally thousands of downloadable yoga, fitness and meditation sessions. You can do a yoga class in the comfort of your own home at a time that suits you. No more fighting for a mat and losing your zen before the class has even started (I've also been known to get on the mat in my knickers and bra, or PJ's, just because I can).
We love Gaia, which is only $10US per month for unlimited access, not only does it have yoga, fitness and meditation videos, it also has an extensive library of spirituality and metaphysical videos if that's your thing.
Here's a few other of our faves
5. Take in our iconic harbour from the water
Sydney has one of the most beautiful harbours in all of the world. What's even better is you can get out on the water and take a return trip around our gorgeous city for just a few dollars on your Opal Card. Sit outside, breathe in the beautiful salty air, feel the sun on your face and take in the sights. Extra bonus points if you listen to some beautiful meditation music while you're there.
6. Go all out Glam for the price of your foundation
This one is kinda genius and we're surprised we haven't thought of it before! When you are in need of some new beauty products, head to your local Sephora, M.A.C or department store and get your makeup done. There's a number of different options to suit any budget and it's redeemable in product, meaning you get a beautiful makeover for free and you purchase what you needed anyway!
Hot tip: if you chat with the assistants about wanting to try a new foundation or skincare, they'll often give you a few different products to take home and try. You can get away with a few months worth of product for free this way!
7. Get a coupon from Groupon
Discount sites like Groupon often have up to 80% off on beauty, massage and natural therapy treatments. Word to the wise, just don't subscribe to their emails or you'll have your inbox bombarded with offers.
Sites like Ozsale & Catch Of The Day offer discounted beauty & wellness products. You can stock up on big name cosmetics, designer fragrances, haircare or indulgent candles for 50%-80% off.
8. Harness the power of an MLM
MLMs sometimes get a bit of a bad rap but you can make it work for you. Have your girlfriends around for some drinks and nibbles and get a free facial or makeover. As the hostess you usually get a free gift and your free stuff increases when your friends purchase something. Feel a bit awkward about profiting from asking your friends to fork out? Often your local consultant will have a weekly meeting somewhere which usually involves a makeup or skincare tutorial with a free pampering service.
Contact Nutrimetics, Rodan + Fields, Arbonne or doTERRA for your local consultant.
9. Create a totally zen playlist without the interruptions
There are thousands of yoga and meditation playlists on Spotify. If you want uninterrupted zen, get the premium account. It's only $11.99 a month and you'll never have to pay for music ever again!
10. Have a lounge room dance party
You can find a video for literally ANYTHING on YouTube. Including free dance, Zumba, Tai Chi, yoga, ballroom or any other kind of movement you could possibly think of.
There! For just a few dollars and sometimes just a few minutes you can feel, pampered, relaxed, glammed up or energised.
Still a bit of a stinge? Want some completely FREE self care ideas? Here's 40 more
This article was written by Kate Hickey for Empower360 Fitness. For more more info on our Holistic Fitness & Wellness program for parents, click here. To learn more about our Teen Bootcamp or kids FitCamp programs, click here.
For support or guidance with your health and wellness you can contact Kate on 0403 964 075 or kate@empower360 fitness.com.au