Sunday, October 27, 2019

10 ways to treat yourself on a budget

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Educators have the best but hardest job in the world. There are times when we need to treat ourselves, especially when we've had a rough day or week of emotionally charged situations, never-ending paperwork, a to-do list that is ever-growing, and email that keeps multiplying. 

I've found that there are many ways that I can relax and recharge during my down time, and I've also realized as I've gotten older just how important it is to treat ourselves. We need to honor our needs and recharge so that we can keep giving to others in our daily work. 

With two daughters in college and a husband who works on commission, money is tight some most of the time, and we live by a budget. We plan our weekly menu and shopping trips and we're frugal about our choices for entertainment and other household expenses. 

I've assembled a list of 10 ways to treat yourself on a budget. So if you find yourself with more month than money, I hope you'll try the ideas on this list.


There's nothing like getting lost in a good book! Our school librarians are a wealth of knowledge about so many different genres, and they are experts when it comes to pairing up a person to a book. Try talking to your school or city librarian about your interests and they can help you find your next new favorite read! 

2. GO FOR A WALK (or run)

Walking is a simple and FREE way to improve your mental, emotional, and physical health. Even small amounts each day add up to short-term and long-term benefits. 


Chesapeake Bay Candle co-founder Mei Xu says, “With the rise of the new technologies our lives have become super organized. But we are not happier. We need to slow down and find time for ourselves. I wanted to design a home fragrance collection that helps people to achieve a state of balance and peace inside, so they can share their joy and energy with others."

One of my favorite candles is the "balance + harmony" candle by Chesapeake Bay. It's made from a natural soy wax blend and burns for about 50 hours. 


"We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with." Keeping that quote in mind, choose podcasts that are uplifting, encouraging, and positive. You may choose ones that are funny or intriguing... something to "lose" yourself and the worries from the day. 

My favorite uplifting, non-educational podcast for when I want to take a mental break from school life is Glambition Radio hosted by Ali Brown. I've been a huge fan of Ali's for a long time, and she interviews some really smart and talented women on her podcast. 

Related post Turn your car into a mobile university


In a world filled with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, it can be easy to get caught up in what others are doing. When we TREAT ourselves, we need to focus on ourselves and our well-being. It may be that you "declare" to disconnect from social media after a certain time of the day, or maybe you decide to be offline on certain days. Those are the days and times when we can and need to connect to those who are in our physical lives.


Most cities publish an event calendar online, and lots of times there are free events for the public. These would be great for "Date Nights" or just for getting together with friends. I checked the one for our city, and found that upcoming free events include a yoga class, a speedreading class, an apple spirits tasting, and several workshops hosted by our local university. 


"When coloring, we activate different areas of our two cerebral hemispheres, says psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala. 'The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills [coordination necessary to make small, precise movements]. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.' In simplest terms, coloring has a de-stressing effect because when we focus on a particular activity, we focus on it and not on our worries."   Source


Writing in a journal is a way to bring stress relief. It's a good way to problem-solve, and to get feelings out around a specific situation or topic. A Gratitude Journal allows you to focus on resources that you do have and create a record of positive events that have occurred throughout your days. You can write in a simple notebook, or try one from Annie's Notebooks


I had heard of the book by Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, when it was published a few years ago, but I never read it. Then, I watched the Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, and I was hooked. 

I think the article from Good Housekeeping sums up Marie Kondo's decluttering method nicely:
     Because you're actively choosing items that spark joy, and discarding what doesn't, the intention of the KonMari method is to end up with a clutter-free home that is better able to bring more joy and prosperity to your life. While tidying, she encourages you to visualize the life you want to live — to be less stressed, for example — and what you need to get there. Anything that won't help on that journey isn't deserving of your space or you, she says.


Not only can a mid-day nap reboot our minds and spirits, a new study shows that it may lower blood pressure. When you're feeling overly stressed, try catching a 15-20 minute nap to treat yourself!

Do you have a favorite way to treat yourself on a budget? Feel free to share in the comments below! 

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