How to invest in your physical and mental wellbeing on a small budget

How to invest in yourself without breaking the bank

  • Searches for the term self-care increased by 50% at the beginning of lockdown
  • Experts offer insight into why spending on self-care items is important to our overall health

More time at home has led many of us to understand the importance of self-care, both mentally and physically. In fact, searches¹ for the term self-care increased by 50% at the beginning of lockdown and have continued to remain high throughout July, with search volumes for self-care products increasing by a huge 129% in the last 12 months.

While many have been extra careful with their spending in recent times, Hitachi Personal Finance has compiled the best low-cost purchases and subscriptions that can help boost happiness and put self-care first, no matter your budget.

£5 and under

Try this subscription from Silly Greens, which allows you to grow your very own micro herbs. Having indoor plants has been proven to increase levels of positive energy and greatly reduce stress levels² – perfect for practising self-care.

If you want to add a sense of relaxation to your day to day life, then try this assortment of fragrant essential oils from Urban Outfitters. Our senses are a powerful tool which can trigger emotional responses³ in our bodies, and these oils can help to support relaxation and stress relief.

£10 and under

Brought to you by the mental health charity, Mind, the Pause Box is a little you-time treat delivered to your door every month in a bid to help boost wellbeing, by encouraging relaxation, creativity and reflection. All the money goes back into the charity to help them support more people suffering with mental health problems.

Taking a bath should be a self-care ritual in itself, as it calms your busy mind, improves sleep quality and helps to ease joint and muscle tension⁴. To make it extra special, treat yourself to a Bathbox – full of goodies from bath bombs to candles, this monthly subscription will ensure you remember to take those all-important baths.

Subscription boxes are a great little treat to yourself each month and this vegan box is no different. Each box includes a range of vegan treats and recipe cards to perfect the art of vegan cooking. Cooking a recipe is a great form of self-care as it slows down the mind and allows you to be completely in the moment, as well as engaging your basic senses, creating complex sensory inputs⁵.

£15 and under

Sleep is an essential part of self-care. It allows your body to heal and repair itself, giving the body and brain a chance to rest. To help you drift off and improve the quality of your sleep, try lavender pillow spray. Lavender interacts with the neurotransmitter GABA⁶ to help quieten the brain and nervous system activity, bringing about a feeling of calm and relaxation.

If you’re an avid reader then this monthly subscription is perfect! Every month Book and a Brew send you a mystery box including a perfect page-turner and drinkable delight to go along with it. This is perfect for getting you to sit down and read. Research has shown that reading makes us feel better and more positive⁷,while other benefits include cutting stress and reducing the chance of developing Alzheimer’s in later life.

£20 and under

Having a plan in any aspect of your life, be it work or personal, is a must to ensure you manage your time effectively between work and pleasure. This happiness planner is perfect for managing schedules and to-do lists, but also practising self-care by encouraging you to embrace the power of positive thinking and becoming more self-aware.

Many of us love our morning coffees but we’re always rushing around and don’t take the necessary time to really sit down and enjoy it. This coffee subscription allows you to try different coffees each month and encourages you to take the time to make your coffee “an experience”. Coffee not only increases your energy levels but has been shown to improve brain functions including memory and mood⁸.

Commenting on the importance of self-care, Lee Cambers, Psychologist and Wellbeing Consultant says: “Self-care doesn’t have to be a spa weekend, it can be as little as changing your daily shower into a bath. Lots of little moments of self-care compound together to make a significant difference to how we feel and it’s a real self-esteem booster, as we treat ourselves with kindness and compassion.

“From a psychological perspective, when we invest time, money and energy into self-care, we are making a statement of intent that we will care for ourselves. This is powerful as we see it as giving permission to nurture ourselves and to find a mindful moment in a world full of stimulation. We are, in effect, investing in our happiness and health.”

Vincent Reboul, Managing Director at Hitachi Personal Finance, comments: “It is clear that as a result of the recent pandemic, people have realised the importance of self-care and the benefits this can have on our overall wellbeing.

“While many of us associate self-care with a relaxing spa weekend or a sun-soaked holiday, the reality is that self-care can be found in the little, inexpensive items. Whether you take a moment each day to fill in your happiness planner or slow down to cook yourself a delicious meal, self-care is about taking in the little moments without breaking the bank.

“We hope by sharing these low-cost products, we have inspired you to invest in yourself.”

For more self-care inspiration, please visit: https://www.hitachipersonalfinance.co.uk/latest-posts/newsguides/feel-good-buys-that-help-you-prioritise-self-care-without-breaking-the-bank/