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17 FREE Self-Care Ideas

Oftentimes we get caught up in the rush and hustle-bustle of our worlds and our lives.

Keeping up with the Jones’s, fear of missing out, goals, dreams, to-do lists, schedules, climbing the corporate ladder.

It can be exhausting! 

Over my years of repeat stress-induced burn outs, I’ve come up with a list of self-care ideas that won’t cost you a penny!

Because let’s face it, there are dozens of things to do that cost money, but at the end of the day financial worries just add one more layer of guilt.

Self-Care Ideas That Won’t Cost You a Penny

beautifully organized clothes

1. Declutter and Deep Clean

While this may not sound like a party, decluttering and deep cleaning my home always give me a sense of accomplishment and peace.

Donate what you don’t use.

Throw away or repair what’s broken.

Have a to-do list of maybes?

Knock them out!

It’ll switch up your routine, not cost you a thing, and at the end of the day your sanctuary will have gotten a polish.

woman listening to her phone with headphones

2. Download a New Podcast

Explore your podcast store and see if something new strikes your fancy.

I personally love Homemaker Chic, Lore, and Wise Traditions.

Want to learn more about gardening?

Or hear the news from China? The options are limitless.

Don’t see one you want? Record one of your own!

3. Listen to Music

Really sit down and listen.

Put on your headphones and become immersed in it.  

Feel what the composer or musician wanted you to feel.

Let your mind wander.

picnic spread

4. Take a Picnic in Your Backyard

As simple as changing the location you have lunch.

Make yourself lunch, lay out a blanket, and treat yourself to a picnic in your own backyard.

Don’t have a backyard? Treat yourself to a picnic in a park.

Is it the middle of winter?

Lay a blanket down in your living room and eat on the floor!

book and coffee

5. Read a Book

It’s relaxing, engaging, and to me, always reminiscent of a time before televisions, when people engaged in things that actually grew them as a person in their spare time.

There are dozens of free ebooks on amazon that you can download to your kindle.

For a list of 29+ FREE gardening ebooks, check out my post.

Most classics’ copyright has expired so they’re available for free.

My personal favorite is going to and looking up cookbooks from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

Which leads me to number 6:

young hands cooking over a bowl

6. Try a New Recipe

Cooking becomes a chore when it’s simply something you HAVE to do to, day in-day out, just to consume calories to survive.

I find myself getting sick of it and simply making the fastest, easiest, simplest meals I can throw together with as little effort as possible.

When I get to that point, I usually sit down with my cookbooks and pick a few new recipes I haven’t tried yet.

It’s a challenge that engages you again and make cooking not so much of a chore.

Get really adventurous and try cooking organ meats.

Check out the recipes section of my blog for more ideas!

baby and puppy napping

7. Take a Nap

Who doesn’t want an excuse to take a nap!

Even a quick cat nap can give your day a new start and give you your second wind.

It may be difficult to quiet your brain or the city around you, but even the act of laying down and shutting it all out can be refreshing.

8. Rearrange the Furniture

Depending on the size of your home and your furniture, rearranging the layout can make you feel like you’ve had a whole new renovation, for no cost at all!

Maybe you bed would look better against another wall.

Maybe moving the dresser will open up more room. Play with it! Have fun!

woman looking at beautiful art in a museum

9. Go to a Free Museum

Most towns have plenty of outdoor areas, national parks, and free museums that are available year-round, every day of the week.

Museums may sound boring to you, or your small children, but it expands your knowledge of the world around you.

10. Invite a Friend Over for Coffee or Tea

With busy schedules, moves, kids, etc. it becomes really easy for friendships to be relegated to text messages and brief phone calls.

Take time one afternoon or a weekend morning to invite that friend or family member you haven’t seen in awhile over for a cup of coffee or tea.

Catching up and investing in personal relationships is the best way I can think of to relax and add quality of life for the price of a cup of coffee!

person star gazing at a beautiful night sky

11. Star Gaze

If the weather’s nice, take some time out at night and lay a blanket out in a field.

Lay down with your family (if you can get them to stay still long enough) and stare at the stars together.

Come up with your own constellations.

Same thing goes for watching the clouds.

woman doing yoga

12. Practice Yoga

Another advantage of our modern age is the internet!

Look for videos on youtube,, or any of the other many, free sources for yoga videos.

13. Try Out a New Fitness Craze

Fitness crazes are only second as common as fad diets, but are much more fun!

Zumba, pole dancing, yoga, pilates, yogalates, P90x, crossfit, you name it.

Most fitness crazes have plenty of videos on youtube that teach you how to do it at home.

You may feel silly at first, but mixing it up can reinvigorate you and cause lots of laughter at the same time.

woman looking at a beautiful view

14. Go Hiking

This is my personal favorite.

I often take the dogs hiking several times a week and at least once during the weekends.

It centers me, it’s great exercise, clears the mind, and doesn’t cost a thing!

Invite a friend, or look up local trails and explore someplace new.

15. Give Yourself an at Home Spa Day

Most spa treatments can be made with ingredients you already have in your kitchen!

Body scrubs can be made out of sugar and olive oil.

Face masks can be made with bananas and honey.

Find a few recipes online and give them a try!

16. Meditate

Even if this is part of your daily routine (and it should be!) take some time to mix up your meditation routine. has tons of visuals, ambient sounds, and even guided meditations.

Youtube guided meditations and find any sort of theme you could possibly be looking for.

Experiment! Explore! Enjoy!

17. Geocaching

I add this one last because it’s my absolute favorite.

It is absolutely free if you own a smart phone.

Even better if you own a handheld GPS.

I know I shouldn’t be talking about it to muggles (aka non-cachers) but I’ve enjoyed such a pleasant evening with friends, family, and my significant other to not share it.

The premise?

A world-wide scavenger hunt! That’s right!

Somewhere near you, like-minded people have hidden things (called caches) just for you! Your only clue?

The GPS coordinates. Have fun!