This internet browser is outdated and does not support all features of this site. Please switch or upgrade to a different browser to display this site properly.

How to self-care on a budget

Copy Link
Image for How to self-care on a budget

While uni life is exciting, it can also be overwhelming. Between assignments, exams, work and maintaining a social life, looking after yourself can often take a back seat. However, self-care is essential for keeping your mental, emotional and physical health in check. You might be thinking we’re referring to face masks, treating yo’ self or going on a shopping spree. But really, all self-care refers to is practicing the activities that maintain your physical, emotional and mental health. The good news is that this doesn’t need to be expensive at all.

We’ve created a guide to practicing self-care on a budget – try it out for yourself below and take care of the most important person in your life… you!

Prioritise sleep

Sleep is perhaps the most fundamental part of self-care. Make sure you’re getting between 7 – 9 hours per night. Establish a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at similar times every day. Think about creating a relaxing bedtime routing that signals your body that rest is close. Dim the lights, turn off all your devices and try out reading or meditating. Maintaining a good night sleep every night can improve your mood, concentration and overall wellbeing without costing you a single dollar.

Move your body

Physical activity is a proven method of reducing stress and improving your mental health. You don’t need to join a gym to stay active – consider starting a regular routine of jogging, cycling or hiking. Even going for a walk around campus while you’re there can be beneficial. There are also heaps of free workout videos on YouTube to watch, with everything from yoga, Pilates and high intensity training sessions to choose from.

Eat well

Healthy eating on a student budget can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Plan your meals ahead and cook in batches to save you time and money. Focus on nutritious, low cost staple foods such as rice, beans and vegetables. Try to avoid the temptation of purchasing fast food (delete the Uber Eats app, you’ll thank us later) and junk food by preparing your own snacks in the form of fruit, nuts and yoghurt. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout your day.

Look after your mental health

Looking after your mental health is crucial, especially during stressful periods like exam time. Incorporate mindfulness and relaxation techniques into your daily routine. You can use apps like Headspace or Calm, which offer free guided meditation sessions – or even head over to YouTube and search for one you’d like to try. Journaling is also another way to process your thoughts and feelings without breaking the bank. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or need someone to speak to, you can also always reach out to Curtin’s free Student Wellbeing and Advisory Service to chat to one of our Advisors.

Set aside time for your hobbies

Making time for your hobbies, especially creative ones, is super important for helping you decompress. Whether it’s painting, writing, playing a musical instrument or crafting, find something that you enjoy and helps you relax. Learning a new skill or starting a new hobby can be relatively inexpensive, and investing even the smallest amount of cash into something you love is a low price to pay for your happiness.

Hang out with your friends

Building a strong network of friends is key to self-care, and the great thing about friendship is that it’s free! Spending time with others can be super low cost – you can host a movie night, explore local parks together or go for a run around the Swan River. Joining clubs on campus that align with your interests is a great way to meet new people and foster a sense of community.

Spend time in nature

Heading out into nature has numerous benefits for your mental and physical health! It can improve your mood, reduce stress and increase your feelings of happiness. The best part is that you can explore your local parks or reserves, go for a hike and take a walk through some of Perth’s green spaces (like Kings Park) for free!

Attend local events and budget friendly activities

Living life on a budget doesn’t mean you have to miss out on attending local events or doing fun activities. As a Curtin student and Curtin Student Guild member, you can take advantage of a number of discounts on activities around Perth like Holey Moley golf club, Palace Cinemas and more. You can also attend free local markets on Saturdays and Sundays or keep an eye out for free events hosted on campus.

Prioritising yourself and your wellbeing is the best thing you can do to thrive at uni, and if you look after yourself in the ways we mentioned above, it’s not going to break the bank. And hey, if you want to throw in a face mask or a little treat every now and again, power to you. Good luck on your journey to becoming a self-care expert, we’re rooting for you!

Copy Link