Treat yourself ideas so often come across as generic. I usually see things like take a bath, go for a walk, buy yourself dinner out. While I do, personally, enjoy these things, not everyone else does. If you don’t enjoy these activities they won’t feel like treats!
There are so many occasions where it’s socially required to give gifts or time to others. Some of these occasions include Christmas, Valentine’s Day, birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, anniversaries, and whenever you visit someone out of town. But, when is it okay to give to ourselves?
Truly, there doesn’t need to be a special occasion to give to ourselves, yet we so often feel undeserving, choosing to treat someone else instead. I know it’s not just me who does this!
When I talk to my co-workers (women who have children, husbands, and are definitely short on time), the mere suggestion that they take a long bath or treat themselves to time spent doing something they enjoy makes them tune me out.
If the old adage about us teaching others how to treat us is true, what message are we putting out when we don’t treat ourselves?
One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats. – Iris Murdoch, The Sea, the Sea
Why Treats Help us
Treats are different than rewards. Rewards must be justified or earned, but a treat is a “small pleasure or indulgence that we give ourselves just because we want it” (From Gretchen Rubin’s book Better than Before). Author Grethen Rubin connects treats with one of her “Secrets of Adulthood.” She says “[i]f I give more to myself, I can ask more from myself.”
I try to remember that secret of adulthood everytime I feel like I don’t have enough time or don’t deserve to treat myself (to a warm bath or a cup of coffee when I’m out).
When we don’t give ourselves treats we often feel resentful, depleted, and angry. I know after a long day of giving away all of my energy to others I just want to go home and eat unhealthy food and binge watch something on Netflix. Without giving myself treats during the day, I crave comfort anyway I can get it.
Treat Yo Self
Maybe you’ve heard of “treat yo self day” from the show Parks and Recreation or from an internet meme.
In the “treat yo self” episodes of Parks and Recreation, the characters are depicted treating themselves to handbags, fine leather goods, jewelry, perfume, and. . .a full-body Batman costume. The characters tend to treat themselves to really over-the-top indulgent things. I don’t know how much of what they spent their money on is what they really wanted and how much of it was purchased in the heat of the moment.
It can be tough to restrain yourself when your “treat yo self” partner keeps encouraging you to buy more stuff. I put together a few rules to keep my spending in check:
My Treat Yourself Rules
- No impulse buying – decide that I’m going to treat myself, then choose my treat
- No treats I can’t afford that will leave me feeling stressed about the money I spent afterward
- Be Tazim – know the kinds of treats that bring me joy
What are your treat yourself rules?
Treat Yourself Ideas (Healthy Treats List)
Treating yourself doesn’t have to be expensive, unhealthy, or end up adding clutter to your life. It’s a good idea to put together a healthy treats list made of different things you want, won’t cost you money you don’t have, and can be done spontaneously. Here’s my healthy treats list:
- Books on my Good Reads “to read” list cost: $20-$30
- Fruits or vegetables (avocados, pineapples, and mangoes are amongst my favourites) cost: $5-$10
- Time spent in libraries or bookstores cost: free
- Time spent in nature cost: free
- Time spent in a coffee shop (reading or working on something) cost: around $5
- Calling someone I love cost: free to $2 if it’s outside of Canada
How do you come up with your own healthy treats list? Think about how you would spend your ideal day and that will give you some ideas. For me, I would ideally spend a day out in nature, getting a coffee, and eating delicious food. You can see where these activities appear on my healthy treats list.
I also like to think about things I want to buy for myself (like specific books, articles of clothing I’m missing from my wardrobe essentials list) and gift cards or points I need to use up. I encourage you to make your healthy treats list today and keep it in your wallet so that it’s there when you need a treat!
I’d love to hear from you! What treat yourself ideas can you add?