Dean Martin once sang, “Everybody loves somebody sometime.” The healthiest love starts from within and blossoms outward onto others. If you practice self-care, the other kinds of love like romance, friendship and familial love will naturally follow. Treat yo-self without the guilt, the way you would treat a dear friend because with the right mindset, you can be one of the best friends you will ever have.
There are many ways we can argue against treating ourselves. To make an important distinction, a treat is not the same as a reward, so should not be approached that way. A reward is something that must be earned while a treat is a small indulgence that we should allow ourselves just because. A treat doesn’t require us to be “good” to get it.
Treats Are Sweet.
The same way the Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo has the whole world simplifying surroundings by tossing items that don’t bring joy, we urge you to only treat yourself with items, food or experiences that will bring you the most joy.
The anticipation of a treat plays a large part in the feeling of satisfaction that follows once you obtain the coveted treat, so savor the moments leading up to your treat. Don’t rush into it. Instead, give your treat selection plenty of consideration. Mull it over and make the process fun by going out into the world and searching online for inspiration as you imagine what will bring you the most pleasure.
When you think of treating yourself, take some time to think of who you are and what defines you. What do you like best about yourself? Is there a way to represent these aspects of who you are as an individual with a treat? Placing thought into little treats can give the process and the acquisition of the treat more meaning.
The perfect treat may be as simple as a piece of jewelry, a sweater or type of perfume or cologne. The thought that goes into selecting a treat can lead to revelations about yourself, which can lead you to discover a treat that you will love in ways that make it truly special.
The Case for Self-Care
Since treats by nature are typically the little things, it is easy to view them as having little importance. However, small treats can have a big impact on your overall mental health and well-being. A small treat can make us feel more content and help us better maintain healthy habits.
The healthy habits we have cultivated can really be tested if we do not allow ourselves little treats. When we deprive ourselves of small pleasures, we can get resentful and unhappy enough to break good habits and go on unhealthy binges.
The more you give to yourself, the more you can ask of yourself, so treat yo’self!
Small treats can even coincide with specific days such as Starbucks Sunday or Taco Tuesdays. If you have an outing that brings you joy, like brunch at a certain café, a treat can also consist of the activity that makes you happy.
Small treats that are mindful can also help detour emotional spending. Emotional spending consists of harmful purchases that will not bring you joy. These purchases are often made in times of stress or depression and will only lead to guilt and remorse as the items themselves can end up becoming reminders of these moments. However, small treats given to oneself periodically for the sake of self-care can be rejuvenating and can help break that bad buying cycle.
The Deets on the Treats
Like beauty, treats are in the eye of the beholder. One person’s treat may be another person’s idea of punishment. Special splurges should be special, so don’t get into the habit of treating yourself with the same treat every time or the treat just ends up being a habit.
Allow yourself at least one small pleasure each day, even if it is something small like a cup of coffee or a moment to read a newspaper or magazine article.
Even though we need to refrain from limiting our focus only on the exterior, most of us want to look our best. A haircut, color or style change can be an incredible beauty boost. Sometimes the most fun is had during the stage of anticipation, so prior to making your appointment, search through Pinterest or check out beauty magazines and gather pictures of looks that inspire you. However, be very clear about the cut you desire because a bad haircut can go from a treat to tragedy with a few wrong snips.
Giving yourself a makeover, whether it is your hair, clothing, makeup or overall look can be a refreshing and energizing treat. Think of people whose looks you admire. Instead of trying to copy them, think of the ways you could utilize ideas and inspiration from different people, places or artistic movements you appreciate to create your own personal style.
People around the world often admire the style of the French. French style is simple and elegant with very little emphasis on labels. French style is about the individual not the clothes. They buy clothing and accessories with timeless style that extends beyond the ever-changing trends. The French may spend more on individual pieces, but the pieces are carefully chosen and versatile enough to be worn many times.
They say the best things in life are free, and whoever “they” are, they have a point. Treating yourself doesn’t necessarily have to cost money. Some free ways to treat yourself can be more about taking time for yourself than buying yourself something.
Take a luxurious bath. Shut the door and relax with a book, a drink and some bath salts. You can even light some candles and follow your bath time up with some lotion or coconut oil to soften your skin. Face masks can leave your skin feeling soft and smooth, which is always nice. You may have the perfect ingredients already sitting in your fridge or pantry.
Spend time outside and take a walk. If you have someplace to swim, dive right in. Physical activity can give you such a good feeling that it can be quite a treat. Some stretching or light activity can be really invigorating. Look at the beauty that surrounds you and breathe deeply.
Philosophies and Comfort Treats
Your home should be a place of beauty and comfort. In fact, there are movements from other cultures that focus on finding happiness and how the pursuit of happiness starts at home. These philosophies include Ikigai, the Japanese art of doing something with focus and joy, Hygge, the Danish philosophy of comfort and well-being and Lagom, the Swedish philosophy that translates to not too much and not too little – just right.
All these philosophies are designed to encourage people to take pleasure and be grateful for small things like little treats that can lead to greater happiness. Treat yourself by making your home a sanctuary.
To make your home feel more like a home, don’t be afraid to rearrange furniture or redecorate by adding some different pictures, new rugs or curtains, a new, soft throw or even a houseplant.
Another way to make your home more comfortable is by getting rid of clutter. Purge your closet, especially if you have clothes that don’t fit. Clothes don’t have to be expensive or have designer labels to be flattering, so don’t be afraid to check out thrift stores for a unique statement piece that will set you apart.
Combining thrift store finds with your everyday essentials or luxury items is where your personal style can really shine. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, and you just might find your next treasure at a thrift store.
Keep some comfortable clothes on hand where you can always find them, including fuzzy socks and pajamas. Don’t be afraid to grab a blanket and a book, put on your comfy clothes and just relax. Take some time to yourself away from the outside world and away from the influence of the outside world. Abandon your electronic devices to spend some quality time with yourself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”
Places to Go Where Treats Await
There are some wonderful options for places to go for self-care. Libraries are underrated places to pass the time. The digital world simply can’t compare to the act of finding the perfect book among the stacks, the moment made more real, more fulfilling by the scent of the older books and the serendipity of finding the perfect title purely by accident.
Art can be a treat. Visiting a gallery or museum is a wonderful way to gain some perspective and just take a moment to ponder beauty and what you find beautiful. If you can’t make it to a museum, visit a bookstore and search through art history books and contemplate art and beauty through the ages.
If you have a dog, you know their happiness is contagious. Take your pup to the dog park and just bask in the glow of your dog’s pure enthusiasm. If you don’t have a dog, cruise by the park just to watch.
Since animals are a great way to feel more at peace, visit a petting zoo. If you are looking to get out and possibly even meet people, consider volunteering. It may not sound like a treat but giving feels pretty good. The best part is it will be a treat both for you and for a cause you feel strongly about.
Your city or town may be full of fun events that could lead you to awesome treats. Open mic nights, art fairs, concerts and festivals, meditation and yoga classes and other events can be fun, informative and great for finding treats from enjoyable experiences, crafts or even cupcakes.
You Are Neat and Deserve a Treat.
Another way to treat yourself involves self-care designed to keep your body and mind healthy. Whenever you feel negative about yourself or start to compare yourself to someone else, talk back to yourself nicely, the way you would talk to a friend who is feeling down.
Do your best to feel comfortable with who you are. Let yourself feel however you feel. Say what you mean and mean what you say. It may sound simple, but the act of doing and saying precisely what you mean will teach you how to trust yourself, which will inspire other people to place trust in you.
When it comes to treating yourself, don’t confuse the value of the items you buy with your own self-worth. Choose your treats the same way you choose your words and the people you surround yourself with – give each selection plenty of care.
If you do have a problem with buying things you may not really want, take the time to really consider what you plan to purchase to treat yourself and make the purchase decision away from the enticing atmosphere of shops.
Flowers are the epitome of luxury and indulgence. Don’t wait for someone else to treat you when you can treat yo’self. Send yourself some flowers or a nice gift that can be brought right to your home or workplace. Our florists at Maryjane's Flowers in Berlin, NJ would love to help you choose a tantalizing treat that will brighten your day.
Another idea is to look up a recipe for one of your favorite dishes. Buy fresh ingredients and savor the act of cooking as much as you enjoy the meal itself. Invite someone you really care about to indulge in your creation. Making time for friends and family can be a way of treating yourself and those you love at the same time.
Treat Yourself by Finding Yourself
Rollo May, a humanistic and existential psychologist, wrote in Man’s Search for Himself, “Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone, and so they don't find themselves at all.”
Part of treating yourself should consist of setting aside some time each day to find yourself while working toward something you love, whether it is a hobby or life goal. If you aren’t sure what that is, ask yourself some questions to get to the bottom of it. What do you keep saying you are going to do but never end up doing? What is important to you? What would you change if you could, and what do you feel like you are holding onto that you should let go? If money was no object, what would you do?
If you feel that fear is holding you back, ask yourself what is the worst that could happen if you took a chance. Often the worst-case scenario isn’t as bad as the regret you might have to live with if you never try. A small treat can sometimes lead to a big life change, so don’t be afraid to treat yo’self without the guilt.