Happy Valentine’s Day, readers! ‘Tis the season for beautiful flower arrangements, complaints about the commercialization of the holiday, and more trips to Godiva than usual. Whether you’ve decked out your home in reds and pinks or you have your doubts about a flying baby with a magical arrow, Valentine’s Day can serve a greater purpose than merely sending us into a panic over dinner reservations. Instead, Valentine’s Day can remind us of the most important relationship we have: the relationship we have with ourselves.
Let’s face it – while this relationship is incredibly vital to all aspects of our lives, we don’t always give it the love and attention it deserves. We speak negatively to ourselves and place undue blame for things that happened years ago. We sacrifice the quality of the relationship – sleep, nutrition, personal relaxation – in order to fulfill our obligations to others. We put less time into ourselves than necessary because we don’t believe that time to be important.
Not long ago, I recognized a need for improvement in this area of my life, so as one of my New Year’s Resolutions, I promised to do at least one nice thing for myself (or, as my friends on Parks and Recreation might say, “treat yo self”) every week. This doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, but it requires me to make myself a priority from time to time and to think about what I want.
Moving forward, how do you plan to make yourself a priority? Check out five ideas for ways to “treat yo self,” and sound off in the comments section below with your own personal favorites!
The Weekend Five: Ways to “Treat Yo Self”
1. Take a night to yourself.
Turn off your phone, log off of social media, and relax. From time to time, we all need a night away from the craziness of our daily lives. Instead of fishing for the latest friend drama on Facebook, stay at home and do something you enjoy. Binge-watch your favorite series on Netflix. Read that book you were dying to read that has been gathering dust on your shelf. Take a bath. Do something non-stressful and appreciate the time you have alone. For introverts like myself who have very social careers, it is extremely important to do this in order to feel refreshed and fully functional after a week of networking.
2. Buy yourself a fun non-essential.
By this, I don’t mean “max out all your credit cards while buying things you don’t really need in the first place.” (Somehow, I feel that Blu Cantrell’s song Hit Em Up Style is applicable here.) I do mean that occasionally it can be nice to get yourself something within your means for no reason other than the fact that it will bring you joy. Recently, I stumbled into an antiques store with the intention of buying a gift for a friend, but I ended up walking out with a cute necklace for myself as well. Stay within the confines of your budget, of course, but allow yourself to splurge (within reason) and treat yourself to that product or service you really want: an accessory, a manicure, a video game, flowers, etc. (Keep in mind that if your happiness is too closely tied to the things you purchase, you may have a shopping problem.)
3. Go outside.
I’m a firm believer in the importance of soaking up the sun… even for just a few minutes. I love eating lunch outdoors when the weather permits, going for walks on my local nature trail (maybe not as often after encountering my first bear back in November), and bringing a book to the pool while I attempt to become slightly less pale. :) Even when it is raining, I have been known to read outside on the porch behind my screen enclosure. Of course, I am fortunate to live in Florida, where winter is usually pleasant and most of the above activities are possible year-round. However, when the weather is tolerable for you in whichever state you live, I urge you to get outside and enjoy the surrounding nature.
4. Visit a local landmark or free community event.
While I live just north of a very touristy city, run by a certain Mouse, I love to travel slightly off the beaten path to those nearby hidden gems. From historic towns to art museums to local festivals, I enjoy looking for (cheap) adventures that don’t require a boarding pass or precious vacation time. Visit your city’s convention and visitor bureau website for ideas on upcoming events or exhibits, or simply google “free/cheap things to do in ____.” You will be amazed at the cool things you find without breaking the bank.
5. Take on a new project.
Try out one of those DIY creations you have been eyeing on Pinterest. Attempt a recipe for something you’ve never made before. Teach yourself a new song on your instrument of choice. Start a blog! Whatever it is that you want to do, make time for it and have fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously – just enjoy yourself!
What are some ways you like to treat yourself? Share your favorites in the comments!