Person skipping while hiking

Have a tight budget? Taking care of yourself and feeling good shouldn’t have to cost you. Here are some ways to feel better without spending much money.

If you have a moment...

  • Jot down a list of things you’re grateful for.
  • Stretch it out: Touch your toes, reach for the ceiling and take several deep breaths.
  • Put in your headphones and turn on a song that makes you feel happy.
  • Leave post-it notes with positive affirmations (I am capable, I work hard, I can do this) on your mirror, computer or notebook.
  • Watch a funny video—laughter can increase serotonin levels (the feel-good hormone).

If you have a while...

  • Text a friend or family member and have a quick conversation. Consider making plans to get together.
  • Get out into nature for a short walk, bike ride or find a quiet place to sit and let your mind wander.
  • Check yourself using HALT: Are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired? If you answer yes to any of these, take care of those needs first. If you’re hungry, have a snack. If you’re tired, squeeze in a 20-miute power nap.
  • Try out a crossword puzzle, Sudoku, word search or other engaging game. Most are available as free apps!

Novel 5-minute workout improves blood pressure, may boost your brain

Could working out five minutes a day, without lifting a single weight or jogging a single step, reduce your heart attack risk, help you think more clearly and boost your sports performance? Preliminary evidence suggests yes.

If you have plenty of time...

  • Pick up your favorite book, watch your favorite movie/show or listen to your favorite album.
  • Make your favorite comfort food. Whether you’re craving nachos, spaghetti or masala, the act of cooking and nourishing yourself can go a long way.
  • Dedicate time to a hobby (or find a new one) such as drawing, writing, dancing or martial arts—anything you can enjoy doing without feeling stressed.
  • Take care of your space. Find a quick fix that makes your environment feel less overwhelming, such as putting away the dishes or organizing your desk, and check it off your to-do list.
  • Create a self-care toolkit. Collect the things that help you feel better and keep them together for the next time you need to feel better fast. Need ideas? Grab your favorite puzzle, book, hobby supplies, an affirmation note or your favorite candy bar.