After grinding at work day after day, looking after family, and dealing with everyday “fire drills,” you need to learn how to treat yourself.
But first, here’s why experts say you need to treat yourself.
“Treating ourselves is a form of self-care that every one of us deserves to have,” says certified psychiatrist Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios, M.D. “Research has shown that people who indulge in a little self-care every day are emotionally mature, loving, patient, less prone to anger, and can take care of others around them in a much better way,” she explains.
Treating yourself can also help boost your mood.
“It increases the affection and love we feel toward ourselves, and it can give you something to look forward to, which can ultimately reduce stress and increase motivation,” says licensed psychologist Marcuetta Sims, Ph.D., owner and founder of Worth, Wisdom, and Wellness Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
And you don’t need necessarily need a reason to treat yourself.
“Treating yourself shouldn’t just be a luxury at the end of a trial or tribulation,” Sims says. “It can be a regular part of your life.”
1. Take a (Coffee) Break
We don’t mean hitting the coffeehouse drive-through for your usual triple-shot espresso on the way to work.
Wake up a little earlier and head out to a local coffee shop and indulge in a fancy drink that you normally wouldn’t order. Or make yourself a cup of coffee and find a quiet corner of the house and savor the experience.
If you’re feeling frazzled at work, take a break and head outside with a cup of coffee (or tea).
It’s not about the drink — it’s taking the time to step back from whatever it is you’re doing to reset.
These days, we’re surrounded by technology that keeps us plugged in, both actively and passively. Wherever you are, there are screens — smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, laptops, and TVs.
(Raise your hand if you’ve ever scrolled through your phone while “watching” TV.)
And we get it — it’s not as easy as “just turn everything off.”
At this point, we’re almost hardwired to check email or text a friend or scroll through our socials whenever we can.
But even if it’s just for 10 or 15 minutes, make the conscious effort to unplug: Put down your phone, turn off the laptop or TV, and just … be.
3. Take a Nap
A short snooze can help reduce stress, boost energy, and make you feel like a new person.
A 2008 study found that naps can enhance the recall of words, while caffeine actually impairs motor learning when compared to getting a short catnap in.
So, skip the afternoon coffee and hit the couch instead.
4. Say “No”
5. Head Outdoors
Going outside can boost your mood, reduce stress, and change your outlook. Treat yourself to a long hike, a leisurely walk on the beach, or a picnic at the park.
Or make it a group affair — book a family brunch at a restaurant with a patio or head to a dog park with some friends.
6. Try a Mindfulness Practice
7. Do Something By Yourself
Choose a restaurant you love or have been wanting to try. Go see that movie you want to see but no one else wants to. Visit a museum and take your time viewing the artwork.
When you’re doing something alone, it’s easier to be fully present in the moment and not be distracted.
Resist the urge to scroll and enjoy the “alone time” instead.
8. Buy Yourself Something Nice
Get some plants for your place, a new workout outfit, or those candles that would look perfect on your bedside table.
It doesn’t have to be something expensive — just something that will make you smile when you see it.
9. Hire a Cleaning Service
Giving your home a deep cleaning can make it feel new again. And is there anything better than a spotless home without lifting a finger?
10. Eat the Dessert
Fueling your body with nutritious foods is another form of self-care and a way to treat yourself daily.
Making healthy choices doesn’t means sacrificing flavor and fun!
11. Take Off Work Early
And do whatever you want to do — no chores, work, or anything else that feels like a “must.”
12. Plan a Trip
According to one study, many people are happier researching and scheduling a vacation than they are on the actual vacation!
Plan a long weekend, a longer summer vacation, or even just a one-night getaway in your city.
13. Book an Experience
14. Take a Long Shower or Bath
Light some candles, play relaxing music, and try a luxurious bath oil or facial mask, too. And put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the bathroom door!
15. Reach Out to Friends
Make plans for a group brunch with friends you haven’t seen in a while. Facetime with a long-distance friend. It doesn’t matter if you see them in person or virtually — the point is to connect and spend quality time together.