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10 Cost Effective Ways to Practice Self Care Over Spring Break

There’s something about the changing of seasons from Winter to Spring that really makes me squirm. The longing for Summer days reaches deep down into my bones and I can’t shake it. I’m ready for a vacation. I used to love Spring Break. It was a little spurt of freedom before getting the ultimate freedom of bells ringing on the last day of school.

This year, I don’t get a Spring Break. I’m okay with that as I’m going to employ my own “mini Spring Breaks” throughout the week. A lot of that will be in intentionally doing things that promote self-care for me. I don’t think there’s one right way to do self-care. Self-care is anything you do that feeds your soul and recharges you. It’s not an easy thing for us to slow down and do that, especially during Spring Break. Here’s some ideas to add a little self-care for you regardless of what your Spring Break plans are and better yet, they’re cost-effective.

Staycation Self-Care Ideas
  1. Clean your whole house.
    This may sound like a terrible idea for a vacation, but think about it. Over time, things get put out-of-place, small clean up tasks get delayed and side projects like that junk closet get put off to the inevitable tomorrow. Cleaning is not the first thing on my list of fun things to do. Why add it here? I believe it’s worthy of spending my time doing. When my house is clean and organized, I feel like my mind follows suit. Even if it’s just a couple of smaller tasks like cleaning my counters or doing a full sweep of my floors, it makes everything a little better. (I’m currently wanting to de-chemical our home with the products we rely on. If anyone has any tips on great cleaners that aren’t filled with tons of chemicals, please tell me in the comments!)
  2. Declutter.
    One of the easiest things to do is to get rid of things taking up space in your life that don’t deserve it. Old magazines, receipts, trash and items that are no longer relevant to your life (books you’ve already read, are super easy culprits. It’s a small thing but getting rid of those things and decluttering does wonders for feeling freer and more relaxed. That’s the purpose of any vacation anyway, right? Personally, I love shredding things. It feels better and more satisfying than just recycling or throwing something away.
  3. Volunteer Locally.
    There’s something so beautiful about serving that shows you the beauty of humanity and urges our hearts to be more hopeful. This can look different for anyone. You can send money to an organization, buy a product that helps others or causes awareness for an issue but my suggestion is that you should actively go serve. I believe there’s something different when you are physically engaged serving. If you’re not sure where to volunteer, I’d suggest asking a local church. Most churches have a great network of places they have partnerships with that are always looking for more volunteers.
Out of Town Vacation Self-Care Ideas

Choose 2-3 Priorities.
This is a tactic that Rick and I employed on our honeymoon, especially for our days at Disney World. Instead of overwhelming ourselves with all the possibilities that we could do – shows, restaurants, rides, parades, etc. We chose 2 or 3 things that were the most important to us and made sure they happened during our time there. Everything else we could do was done in leisure. I didn’t feel any regret walking away from Disney World because we did a lot of cool things, but didn’t do the main things I wanted to do. We have already decided to employ this on any future vacation as it helped the trip to be so much more relaxing and enjoyable than we could have imagined.

  1. Plan Downtime.
    If you’re a vacation over-scheduler, this is particularly important. Most people returning to work after a vacation have crammed so much in that they return tired and in need of a vacation. Plan a few hours each day that are designated to relaxing, whatever that looks like for you. If you find sleeping in relaxing, sleep in. It’s okay to start your day later when you’re on vacation. This is something that I struggle with honestly. I want to do all of the things I can because I can’t guarantee I’ll ever be back. By choosing my 2-3 priorities for my trip, I feel freer to sleep in, to watch a movie or spend precious vacation hours reading.
  2. Stock Up On Gifts.
    This is kind of a weird idea. It’s not necessarily for your self-care in the moment. I’ve found it so useful in self-care later on during the year though. Whenever I see something on a trip that I know would make a great gift for someone I love, I buy it. I have a space designated for these when I get home that I can put it for safe keeping. When someone’s birthday comes up or Christmas rolls around, I check the spot. It takes away from super stress, especially around Christmas.
Self-Care Ideas for Both Spring Break Plans
  1. Read.
    You knew I was going to say this, right!? Ha! Of course you did. I’m a book lover. Vacation time is really where I feel like my reading varies dramatically. I love getting lost in the story of someone else’s life, especially if it’s funny. (Mindy Kaling, I’m looking at you!) I love how it shields me from the world around me and lets me escape to another world for a bit. There’s also something about reading for your soul that is so important for our self-care. There’s a lot of books that might not be the funniest of books, but do look deeply into your soul to care for you on my 2017 Reading List if you’re looking for somewhere to start.
  2. Journal.
    When I think of journaling, I tend to picture someone sitting at a table with coffee for hours writing until their hand is cramped. The reality is that journaling looks so many different ways. It can be a ton of words, drawings or even bullet points. It’s whatever is needed to get what’s in your mind expressed on paper. It’s such a good release to get it out there and be able to truly visualize it in that way. Here’s three of my favorites to get you started: floral + ruled paper, simple + unlined, and a journal for non-journalers.
  3. Spend time with loved ones.
    My hope is that you are already doing this. If not, you should schedule it in on Spring Break whether it’s a phone call, Skype session or a good old-fashioned dinner. Make time for spending with your loved ones. Living out our days in community is something that we crave deep down inside and yet we easily set it aside during the rush of everyday life. Plan something. Plan anything with your people. It doesn’t have to be big or fancy. It just has to be you and your people together. You won’t regret it. I know I haven’t.
  4. Do something creative.
    There’s something about art that unleashes our emotions and relaxes us. I love art. I love the variety of forms that it can come in from paintings to collages. Participating in making art is so important. I ‘m not necessarily the most amazing artist, but I do love to create. One thing that I have to come to love lately are adult coloring books. They’re easily transportable. These ongoing masterpiece that can be put down and picked up again when one has time. I spent a bit of time last week coloring in this gem of a coloring book. Your creative may not look like my creative. If your creative is woodworking, building, redecorating or anything else, go for it!

Happy Spring Breaking!

Ashley

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