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21 Self-Care Ideas For College Students On A Budget

21 Self-Care Ideas For College Students On A Budget

Nowadays, it is so common to hear or read about the importance of taking good care of ourselves. In fact, the phrase, “treat yo self” has sort of become a mantra in today’s world. As students, it can be easy to trade in our own self-care to hit the books, but studies have confirmed that self-care is an important part of stress management and can boost our mood and motivation. Now, you may be thinking that you simply cannot afford the spa, but treating ourselves does not have to be an expensive experience. As a student, I know that every penny counts. So, with that in mind, I’ve created a list of 21 ways students can treat their mind, body, and spirit without breaking the bank!


1. Get Rid of a “Lurker”!

Scratch something off your to-do list that has been there for ages that you never seem to get around too. 

2. Create A New Daily or Weekly Habit

This can be as simple as flossing your teeth at night before brushing. Whatever it is, make it deliberate. Train the brain for new experiences no matter how small!

3. Purge!

In other words, declutter. Get rid of anything that is no longer serving you! When we declutter externally, we feel a sense of efficiency which can then reduce anxiety internally. 


4. Unplug For an Hour and Pick Up a (Real) Book!

When I read, I keep my phone off or in another room. I also like to use a real book, not a Kindle or anything like that. This way, I am truly technology-free. It’s honestly like a breath of fresh air. 

21 Self-Care Ideas For College Students On A Budget

5. Edit Your Social Media 

Find some downtime and go through your social media to remove any toxicity. Unfollow any people and/or brands that do not spark joy in your life (and don’t feel bad about it!). 

6. Meditation

Guided meditations can be really helpful, especially if you are a newbie to this practice. With the focus being on the mind, give yourself one minute of awareness on your thoughts, feelings, and sensations; one minute of focused attention on breathing; and one minute of awareness of the body as a whole. Use a timer! 


7. Listen to Music or a Podcast

Put some tunes on or perhaps a podcast and allow yourself to zone out.


8. Yoga/Stretch

YouTube is a beautiful thing. Find yourself a Slow Flow or a guided stretch and get moving. When we move, we release all those “feel good” chemicals into the body which then increases body awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension and strain, and sharpens our attention and concentration. Yoga and stretching also have wonderfully calming effects on the central nervous system. Namaste!

21 Self-Care Ideas For College Students On A Budget

9. Nature Walk

If you can, take a nature walk or a walk through a local park. Take in the sights and breathe in the fresh air. Feel a sense of grounding as you walk upon the earth. Perhaps even incorporate a walking meditation in which there is an intention with every step you take. 


10. Catch Some Zzz’s 

I’ll be honest. When I take a nap, I definitely like to make sure I don’t have much going on that day. This is only because if I do take a nap, I want a decent amount of sleep. However, 20-minute power naps have been proven to be extremely beneficial and can even help increase productivity. 

11. Bubble Bath!

I LOVE a good bubble bath! They are so remarkably relaxing and rejuvenating. My bubble baths usually consist of Epsom Salt for my muscles, bubbly soap or a bath bomb, a few drops of essential oils, HOT water, and I’ll light a candle or two. If you don’t have a bath, take a nice hot shower and drop a few drops of essential oils in there! 

12. At Home Mani/Pedis

Have a friend over and help paint each other’s nails!

13. Tea Time

Sip on a hot cup of tea. Chamomile tea does wonders for relaxation. One of my favorite kinds is Traditional Medicinals Chamomile with Lavender


21 Self-Care Ideas For College Students On A Budget

14. Skin Care Routine

Play around with a new skincare or routine or make a face mask from scratch! 


15. The Power of Words

Practice speaking to yourself as you would your best friend. Our thoughts and words have power and impact what we manifest in our lives so be sure you’re spreading all the good vibes!

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16. Burn Baby

Write out all the thoughts and feelings that are bothering you then burn the paper and let it go! I’m telling you; this feels like an enormous release! Just be sure to burn the paper in a safe place!

17. Create A Vision Board

If you’re like me, you love arts and crafts and getting to be creative. I can get lost in creation for hours. Find some old magazines and some cardboard or bulletin board and begin to manifest! Cut out anything and everything that inspires you and put it all out on the board for you to see every day. 

21 Self-Care Ideas For College Students On A Budget

18. Color

I get completely lost in those adult coloring books. I’m currently working on this one!


19. Netflix

Grab a snack and binge watch a new show! Or rewatch The Office a million times like I do! #bearsbeetsbattlestargalactica 

20. Smudge

Smudging refers to the practice of burning sage and/or other dried herbs. It is believed that by burning these sacred herbs, the smoke will diminish negative energy and replace your space with positive energy. This practice can be very spiritually clearing. Smudge yourself when spirits are low when you’re sick or feeling depressed, or during meditation or prayer.

21. Fresh Flowers

Get yourself some fresh flowers! This has been one of the new ways that I personally like to treat myself to lately. When I have some fresh flowers around, it’s like an instant mood booster! 

21 Self-Care Ideas For College Students On A Budget


Just A Reminder…

That there are endless possibilities for students on a budget looking to give themselves a little love and attention. Many of these suggestions can be done together! For example, throw on a podcast while you’re in the bubble bath and smudge some sage! 

How do you all practice self-care on a budget? Feel free to leave some feedback in the comments and let us know! 

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