We live in the age of wellness, and in a lot of ways, that's a great thing. Rather than spending our weekends on the couch stuffing our bodies with sugary, chemical-filled foods and drinks, we're instead getting up early for workout classes and following them up with nutrient-packed green smoothies.
Your body might be all about that $35 spin class followed by that $11 smoothie, but your wallet is likely telling another story. At Silk + Sonder, we don't believe wellness should be so expensive—and we doubt you do, either.
In the spirit of making wellness more accessible, here are 15 free—or at least very inexpensive—wellness practices to indulge in today.
1. Take five deep breaths.
It doesn't cost anything, and it won't take up much time either. So close your eyes, and take a deep inhale through the nose and long exhale through the mouth. This type of breath sends extra oxygen to the lungs, re-energizing you and bringing down your stress levels.
2. Free-write for 15 minutes.
Crack open your journal and let the words flow. All you need is a pen and a few sheets of paper. If you're stuck on what to journal about, each Silk + Sonder issue has a thought-provoking journaling prompt to get you started.
3. Take a bubble bath.
Bonus points if you light a candle and bring a good book.
Image via @emma_sugi
4. And on that note, read a book.
Studies show that reading fiction is correlated with stronger feelings of empathy, our ability to make connections, and so much more. If you need help finding a good read, The New York Times' top books of 2019 is a great place to start.
5. Take a nap.
You know sleep is great for you, but napping is highly underrated. Actually, sleep experts recommend it as long as it doesn't affect your ability to fall asleep at night. So start with a 20-minute power nap wherever you can fit it in and see how it goes.
Coloring isn't just for kids, and if you're part of the Silk + Sonder fam, you already know that. so get out those colored pencils and feel all your stress melt away: Research shows that coloring is excellent for your mental health.
7. Cook up a delicious, healthy meal.
We all get caught up in the cycle of too much takeout once in a while, so do your body a favor and cook up a warming, veggie-filled meal. The act of cooking can be therapeutic, and if you invite a friend over to share the meal with you, that's even better. You can find a few healthy, delicious recipe ideas here and here.
8. Go hiking.
Or if nature is inaccessible to you, go for a walk outside. That will feel pretty great, too: One study found that just look at pictures of nature can lower your stress levels.
Image via @travisburkephotography
9. Call a friend.
Connections are everything, and we're not talking about the kinds you make on social media. If you feel like you don't have enough people to reach out to, try implementing these tips for making friends as an adult.
10. Sip on a warm mug of tea.
Tea feels especially nourishing during the cold, winter months, so curl up on the couch with a cozy blanket and a steaming mug of fragrant tea. If you're looking to get into the holiday spirit, give this holiday tea try.
11. Watch your favorite TV show.
Who cares if you've seen every episode a million times? If it sparks joy, it's worth watching again. And if you're looking for a new show, check out this list of the 27 best shows on Netflix.
Not only is decluttering free, but it can actually make you some extra money if you resell some of the items you get rid of. And in that case, why not treat yourself to aforementioned $11 smoothie?
13. Strike a few yoga poses.
Whether it's cat-cow or child's pose, taking a few deep breaths while stretching your body will do wonders for your mental and physical health. If you like a little guidance in your yoga practice, check out these Youtube videos, which have a flow for whatever you're going through.
14. Light a candle.
The act of gazing at a flame and having a favorite scent fill your home can be extremely calming. If you're in the market for a new candle, give this all-natural one from Follain a try.
15. Spend all day in your pajamas.
'Tis the season, so if you can find a day to keep your PJ's on all day long, embrace it.
Want to kick your self-care game up a notch? Subscribe to Silk + Sonder today. And while you're at it, tell us your favorite free wellness practices in the comments.