Today, self-care is a critical part of how we keep the peace in our personal lives. The tragedies that ravage our communities in addition to daily stressors related to family, career and finances intensify our need for self-care.

For many people, self-care is about doing enjoyable things to maintain a good head space. This might mean embarking on a spa day, taking a few moments to meditate or buying something new. The purpose of self-care is to make us feel good while inspiring us to keep going, right?  

Right! But, that is only one side of self-care. Sometimes, self-care takes shape in ways that may not feel so great, even though they do benefit us. Continue reading for five forms of self-care that aren’t as glamorous as a spa day, but will help you to maintain inner peace, reach your goals and live your best life.

1. Saving Money

There is no doubt that spending money is fun! However, saving money is one of the highest forms of self-care, and helps us to prepare for unforeseen circumstances and fund long-term goals. Honestly, living paycheck to paycheck is stressful, and saving money can alleviate the discomfort associated with financial woes.

2. Staying in the House

Speaking of saving money, if you live on your own (or share a pad with roommates), then you know just how much money you can save by not going out. After all, you pay for rent, cable and internet service, but when do you take the time to truly enjoy those investments? Bask in the beauty of having a space to yourself, whether it is a house, dorm, apartment or room. Take pride in your space. Keep in mind that staying in the house from time to time does not equate a boring lifestyle — if anything, it is a sign that you have the divine ability to enjoy your own company. 

3. Maintaining Your Car

Car maintenance can be tedious (and pricey), but having access to fully functioning transportation can also be a key part of self-care. Although car maintenance may seem trivial, a poorly functioning vehicle limits accessibility to the opportunities you want. Regularly investing in car maintenance helps you to get from point A to point B and enables you to take full advantage of work and travel opportunities. So, while car maintenance does not feel like self-care, it serves you by mobilizing your needs and wants.

4. Cutting (Negative) People Off

Have you ever dreaded sharing a space with someone? Perhaps this person drains your energy, pushes your buttons or just doesn’t mesh well with you. Why do you keep engaging with people who do not improve upon your life? Why do you adjust your life in a way that accommodates someone who would not likely do the same for you?

Maybe a family relation prevents you from moving forward or the ever-powerful sunk cost fallacy holds you back from seeking more fulfilling interpersonal relationships. Whatever the case, cutting people off is sometimes necessary to preserve our mental and emotional wellness and take the best care of ourselves.

5. Paying Bills.

Paying bills is a pain, but I can tell you from experience that there is nothing like the good night’s rest that follows paying all your bills. Not to mention, paying bills is an important practice in doing what you say you will do. When you get the electric bill in your name, pick up a car note or sign up for cable TV, you are telling creditors that you agree to make payments (on time) until the debt is paid in full. This is another form of self-care that reduces the stress of pending obligations, and helps you exercise being true to your word.