by Lizzy Jennings, Editor Fea Money Financial Literacy School, image credit Unsplash
As the idea of “wellness” has become an increasingly popular trend on social media, companies across the globe are marketing expensive products to ensure that you too can live this seemingly desirable lifestyle. From essential oils to vegan beauty products and beyond, living a healthy and happy life seems like it could cost the average consumer thousands a year. But is that really the case?
Once you go beyond all of the fancy products and extravagant social media trends, the core of the wellness craze is actually quite simple. Expensive gym memberships are encouraging you to move your body daily, and nutrition supplements, protein products, and fancy food delivery services are reminding you of the importance of a balanced diet.
Though some of these products can be beneficial, they aren’t required to improve your overall “wellness.” Fortunately, if you want to live a life centered around your physical and mental well-being, there are steps you can take and habits you can develop that don’t cost a cent.
One of the most important parts of staying physically and mentally healthy is being cognizant of how you’re feeling at any given time. Meditation is a great way to improve your self-awareness and mitigate feelings of stress or anxiety. It is no secret that high amounts of prolonged stress can cause you physical harm, so engaging in daily meditations can help reduce your risk of stress-related illness.
Though you can subscribe to a meditation program or app for a relatively affordable monthly or yearly fee, there are a variety of guided meditations available on YouTube and other platforms for free. You can also find resources online to guide your own meditation practice, or you can simply sit in stillness and silence for a few minutes each day to reflect on your emotions.
Another great way to stay up to date with all the science behind living well are podcasts. Podcasts have seen a recent increase in popularity, and you may find that there is a show that covers every topic you could think of.
Fortunately, the increased interest in podcasts means that there are a slew of shows that discuss mental and physical health, in addition to some of the tactics you can use to live a more holistically “well” life. Interviews with scientists and leading professionals in the holistic healthcare field often make appearances, debunking the myths behind the entire wellness industry.
Like the guided meditation videos, these shows and interviews are often available on your music streaming service of choice, or for free online with advertisements. A quick internet search will help you find recommendations for podcasts that cover the topics you’re interested in.
Making sure you move your body everyday is one of the best ways to improve your overall health, and fortunately, it doesn’t cost a thing. Though workout trends like spin classes and boutique fitness studios have upped the expenses connected to fitness, there really is no need to break your budget by paying for all these pricey classes.
Again, turning to the internet will help you find free resources that can encourage you to stay active. There are a variety of workout videos online that range anywhere from ten to sixty minutes long, and you can follow accounts on social media that post at-home or bodyweight workouts. All of these platforms have made it easy to stay fit and active without paying for a workout session or even leaving your house. And remember—going for a thirty-minute walk five or six days a week is also a form of exercise that requires no research or payment.
Family and Friends
At the end of the day, one of the best ways to boost your mood is to connect with your loved ones. Whether it is coffee with a friend or a phone call to your mom, regularly connecting with others can help to reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.2
Though social plans may sometimes come with an expense, such as an activity or dinner out with friends, you can reap the benefits of human connection without spending money. Pick up the phone, or combine two of your wellness goals into one and take a walk with a friend. Even a little bit of creativity can help you find ways to make time with your loved ones free or affordable.
Though some of these suggestions may seem simple, implementing all of these little habits is what will ultimately lead to a more noticeable change in your lifestyle. Purchasing expensive supplements or high-end beauty products will give you short-term pleasure, but spending exorbitant amounts of money on products that could be replaced with free and easy habits, like drinking more water or staying active, could be detrimental to your financial wellness.
Of course there will be times when you decide that a membership to a yoga studio or monthly massages are necessary for your overall happiness and well-being. As with every important financial decision, be sure to consult your budget and make sure you have the funds to cover those costs. Financial and physical wellness go hand in hand, so make sure any expenses associated with your healthy lifestyle fall within your means.
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