No, your eyes did not deceive you! You really did just read the words “affordable” and “self-care” in the same sentence. Yes, it exists. For some reason, we have convinced ourselves that self-care is outrageously expensive. In some cases, this is the truth. Exhibit A: Gwenyth Paltrow’s “How goopy Are You?” skin care kit is for sale at the convenient price of $448.00 U.S. Or, you can always opt for one of goop’s $100.00 scented candles. Fantastic! Just to note, I am not trying to hate on goop or Gwenyth; I recognize that students like us are not the modern brand’s target market. Fortunately, there are some companies out there that do want us as customers, so they keep our budget in mind when pricing their goods! Here are some local places in Kingston where I have had a great experience (or have heard nothing but amazing reviews from close friends) for an even better price.

1. CHIC – 350 King Street East

CHIC is better known to students as “home of the 20$ Brazilian”. Their estheticians and treatments are nothing short of professional, as well as affordable. I have never felt more comfortable at a wax appointment in my life, and I have been to places that cost more than double their price point. I haven’t had the chance to try out their hair salon yet, however I know several people who consider it their “go to” spot in Kingston when they are too desperate to wait for a trim or colouring.

2. Angel Nails – 284 Princess Street

I went to Angel Nails during my first couple of weeks of living in Kingston and I haven’t needed to try anywhere else! I was perfectly satisfied with their quick and long-lasting manicure. Not only is the salon run by some of the sweetest people, but they do not over-charge for basic services. I am not someone who loves to splurge on a nail care, as manicures or pedicures never seem to last that long. It seems like a waste sometimes! But, this place offers great deals that make the purchase worth it once in a while. For example, they have a mani-pedi deal where you save almost 10$ than if you did the two treatments separately

3. Crave – 166 Princess Street

Self-care doesn’t have to be solely related to beauty and cosmetics. In fact, it is commonly known as “any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health”. I don’t know about any of you, but most of the time, taking care of my mental and emotional well-being often involves food and snacking. When I feel the need to get off campus and enjoy a little personal space, I find myself at Crave, a coffee-shop with free Wi-Fi and insanely polite staff. This is a great place to study when you’re sick of the same Starbucks scene. While sitting at your laptop, freaking out about your 14 assignments, 3 midterms, and 46 assignments, you can enjoy a cold-brew, bagel breakfast sandwich, or a warm cinnamon bun that has been conveniently sitting out on a hot-plate all day, waiting to be devoured. Although I have not had the chance to try it yet, Kingston Coffee House (322 King Street) is apparently another great option for a similar experience!

4. Modo Yoga – 27 Princess Street (entrance on Ontario St.)

Not only is Modo Yoga’s class schedule perfect for students, but they also have great deals and offers! Modo has all sorts of classes that conveniently run all day; so, if you’re a keener who wants to sweat it out before an 8:30 AM lecture, or someone who prefers a nighttime workout, Modo is for you! On their website, they will often have pop-up notifications about their “Daily Drop-In Offers” for cheaper classes on that given day, which require no previous reservation. Lastly, their “Intro-Month” package is $40.00 for unlimited access to classes for a full 31 days. Personally, I consider this the perfect gift to give or ask for around the holidays so you or a friend can experience a relaxing re-entry back into school for the second semester!

5. The Screening Room – 120 Princess Street

As I said before, self-care is any activity you do that improves your emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. One major reason why I get myself caught up in “a mood” or find myself in a toxic mental state is due to stress. As students, we have a lot on our plate, and it is important that we give ourselves the time of day to cool off. It is a common trend to do this by going out with friends, having a few drinks, and dancing-out the stress. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE supporter of this coping method, however, sometimes the partying gets ahead of me and I end up feeling socially stressed too! Another way that I like to de-compress from an intense week at school (that does not involve a sip of alcohol) is to go to the movie theatre. If I am not in the mood to make the trek out to Landmark or Cineplex (or pay for the Uber), I’ll walk over to The Screening Room. This tiny independent theatre lets you enjoy a new release for $12.00! On top of that, after munching on popcorn, you can have a cup of tea in a real ceramic mug, which is super cute. You might as well be in your own living room!

At the end of the day, self-care is what keeps us going and unfortunately, students tend to undervalue its importance. I understand that groceries, textbooks, and cover for Stages on Thursdays take priority when it comes to allocating our budgets. However, there is nothing wrong with treatin’ yo’ self once in a while. AND, you don’t have to splurge when that time comes! I hope you all find this guide helpful and if you have any further questions, you can always find me at Crave.