Six Self-Care Practices that Don’t Cost a Thing

In times of great stress, it’s important to take radically good care of yourself. When that stress also includes financial uncertainty, it’s important to be able to do it without spending money. Here are some free ways to take care of yourself during this most difficult season.


Never underestimate the power of pausing and breathing. Even if you just have a minute, it can make a huge difference. My favorite is a simple one: Breathe in, 2, 3, 4. Hold 2, 3, 4. Exhale 2, 3, 4. You can always increase the count to breathe in, hold and exhale.

Take a walk.

While there are a few places people are being asked not to venture out at all, it’s still okay to get outside and take a walk in most places. Even in places as dense as NYC, there’s enough room these days to get outside and still practice physical distancing.


If there was ever a time to up your prayer game, this is it. There are lots of acronyms to help guide you through a time of prayer, but I’m Southern, so I like to use GRITS.

Gratitude: give thanks and appreciation for the gifts you have been given

Repentance: tell the truth about where you’ve screwed up, made bad choices or hurt others.

Intercession: pray for other people and their needs.

Take it to Jesus: mentally gather up all those things that are weighing you down and wearing you out and leave them with Jesus. He’ll take it from there. No sense in both of you worrying about it.

Silence: End with a time of silence. Give God a chance to speak.

Forgive people

With all the stress and strain this current season brings with it, you don’t need the added burden of anger and resentment. Now is the time to forgive others–not for their sake, but for yours.

Shut off those screens and grab a book

Between working from home and rabidly following the news, we’re spending even more time in front of screens. Make sure you schedule screen breaks and pick up a book or magazine.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water–it’s not just for hand washing. Our water supply is not affected by the corona virus, and staying well hydrated will do wonders for your overall sense of health and well-being.

Take care of yourself and stay well. Tomorrow look for free ways to care for your neighbor. (Self-care came first, because if you don’t take care of you, you’ll be no good to other people.)

Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow me on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow on TikTok. Get emails to keep up with all that is happening.

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