10 Affordable Ways to Make Spring Break All About Self-Care

The concept of self-care is growing in popularity, and for good reason. In an increasingly fast-paced world, it can be challenging to make time for yourself.

On one hand, practicing self-care can get expensive very quickly. But fortunately, you don't have to take a fancy resort vacation or spend hundreds of dollars at a spa in order to prioritize your most basic needs. In fact, for many people, self-care can be affordable enough to treat themselves regularly.

Here are 10 ways to make this spring break all about caring for yourself, without blowing your budget. (See also: Treat Yourself With These 7 Free Self-Care Routines)

1. Go outside

Nature is full of interesting new sights and sounds, plus, the fresh air and sunshine can help you to feel more at ease. Plan a hike, bike ride, or camping trip, and spend as much time outdoors as possible. Meandering in nature can help clear your head and is a completely free way to practice self-care.

2. Call an old friend

Sometimes, the best pick-me-up is speaking with an old friend whom you haven't caught up with in quite some time. A phone call costs almost nothing, and with the extra time on your hands, this spring break is the perfect time to reconnect.

3. Exercise

Simply making time for exercise can be one of the most care-filled gifts you can give yourself. Moving your body releases endorphins, which reduce pain and improve your mood. And you don't need to spend any money to work up a sweat. There are plenty of free workout videos on YouTube that you can follow along with at home, free apps that take you through guided exercises and yoga, or you can hit the road for a brisk walk or jog. (See also: 14 Smartphone Apps That Make Self-Care a Snap)

4. Meal prep

It can feel hard, if not impossible, to eat healthy throughout the week. After a long day at work, you may be tired or stressed and the last thing you want to do is cook.

Meal prep is good for your health, budget, and can save you time in the future. So do something for yourself and prep a few meals during your spring break. You can dice up vegetables and make a few healthy freezer meals to have on hand for those days you don't feel like cooking. Trust me, your future self will thank you. (See also: Save Money and Eat Better With These 6 Online Meal Planners)

5. Spring clean your house

When life gets hectic, the cleanliness and organization of your house is often the first thing to reflect it. Sometimes, the biggest act of self-care is to organize your home and get rid of items you no longer use. Better yet, rearranging your home can often give you the change you've been craving, while costing you $0.

6. Plan a staycation

Don't have the budget for a fancy spring break trip? Create your own vacation without even leaving home by planning your own staycation. With a staycation, you spend time exploring your own city or staying home, and you create your own relaxation. So step away from work, set aside any chores, and enjoy your time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. (See also: 5 Ways Self Care Can Actually Save You Money)

7. Have an at-home spa day

No budget for the spa? No problem. You can easily create your own at-home spa with a few simple products.

To really get the most bang for your buck, you can use everyday ingredients straight from your kitchen to treat yourself to a spa day. For instance, honey makes a great face mask, and coconut oil works wonders for your hair. Need a body scrub? Mix some brown sugar and milk together for a scrub that mimics even the most expensive beauty products.

8. Practice a hobby

Spring break is the perfect time to make room for hobbies. Whether it's reading, fishing, cooking, or something else, there are plenty of cheap ways to improve your skills and get lost in the fun of trying something new.

9. Catch up on sleep

What better (and cheaper) way to enjoy your spring break than to catch up on sleep? During your days off from work, close the blinds, take as many naps as your body needs, and don't set any alarms. Being well-rested does wonders for your mental and physical health, and it's absolutely free. (See also: How to Fall Asleep When You Can't)

If the weather is nice, you can take it a step further and take a midday snooze outdoors in the sunshine. Just don't forget the sunblock!

10. Schedule appointments you've been putting off

When you get busy, it can be common to forgo regular doctor appointments and other health checkups for the sake of time. This spring break, schedule all of your appointments, and get them out of the way. Whether it's a dental exam, haircut, physical, or another appointment, scheduling these appointments definitely qualifies as an act of self-care.

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