Take a moment and add up how much you regularly do for others in your life. It’s an exhausting list! Family, friends, coworkers, teachers, sports teams, church groups and even people you do not know well take up tons of your time, attention and effort. Ahead, we’ll show you how to put yourself first in ways that are both free and fun…and yet, at the same time, you’ll also get the chance to help others. Good news! You don’t have to wait to do that, just CLICK HERE to schedule your free donation pickup of your unwanted clothes, shoes, toys and other household items.
OK, back to the list of people for whom you do good acts of support and kindness. The question is, are you on that list? Chances are the answer is no. We all often forget to add ourselves to the long list of people we support and treat. Fulfilling others, before we fulfill ourselves, can leave us drained, resentful, and depleted. Sound familiar? If so, then it’s time to add your name to the treat list. That’s right, it is important to treat yourself so that you can feel refreshed and energized throughout your day. Take if from the queen of treats, Oprah Winfrey, who says:
“When we give ourselves treats, we feel energized, cared for and contented, which boosts our self-command—and self-command helps us maintain our healthy habits.”
The trick is to switch from a reward system to a treat system. We often reward ourselves after a long day of supporting and doing for others. It goes like this: “I am so tired and drained, I deserve a reward…how about a big bowl of ice-cream, with chocolate sauce and…”. Rewards come after extreme effort or accomplishment and serve a vital purpose. Self treats come at a different time and serve a completely different purpose. In other words, rewards come after effort, but self treats come before effort. The purpose of self-treating is to give yourself the sense of calm, fulfillment, energy and happiness that you need to successfully achieve everything that is on your list for the day.
Treating yourself comes in all shapes and sizes, and the healthiest and most effective methods do not necessarily involve calories, cash or a gold medal. In fact treats that energize our heart, mind and bodies are usually of a different sort altogether. Making a list of your unique sense of what fills you up is a great place to start. Need some ideas? Let’s take a look at free, fun and fulfilling ways to treat yourself.
When we think about self treats that fulfill our souls, bear in mind that these types of treats are uniquely ours. For example, someone may treat themselves to a long walk at golden hour and someone else may simply light a favorite scented candle and sit for a quiet moment. Here are some ideas we have gathered to give inspiration to your own list of free, fun and fulfilling treats.
If you are like most of us you have left over cards, thank you notes or postcards that have yet to be sent to someone else. Think about how nice it would be to get a card from you, to you about how much you appreciate you!
Thank yourself for all you do for others, and remind yourself how wonderful you really are in this world.
Don’t save sweet sentiments that you write in ‘just because’ cards for others, treat yourself to the same kindness and care you give them.
Congratulate yourself on your achievements and milestones by sending yourself a card that recognizes your amazingness both large and small.
When you are finished writing your literal “note to self,” address the envelope, stamp and mail it to yourself. Chances are you will forget you did it until it arrives in your mailbox to uplift your day.
In your busy life you most likely treat others to field trips that make them happy and enlighten their lives. It’s your turn to schedule a field trip just for you.
If you love flowers and plants, take a trip to your local garden store or community botanical garden for no other reason than to fulfill your yearning for nature. You will be pleasantly surprised how just a few minutes being around what you love will feel like a precious treat.
Do you love books? When was the last time you wandered through your local library for yourself? Treat yourself to that intoxicating smell of paper and ink, you will see how just being there will make you smile.
Sunrises are one of the most beautiful and inspiring sights we can experience, signifying a new day, interesting possibilities and opportunities to grow. Treat yourself to this fulfilling experience by setting your alarm clock and head outdoors to a place where you can soak in the energy a new sunrise gives you.
One of the most important and long-lasting treats you can give yourself involves self care, and that means you will have to schedule time for yourself. Carving out time for ourselves is among both the toughest things we do, and the most valuable. Self-care means different things to different people, so find what gives you peace and a sense of wellbeing and schedule it into each day.
Bath time is one of the best treats you can give yourself. It doesn’t need to be long, just inviting, quiet, and uninterrupted. Include a favorite candle, a book or magazine, soothing music, and you will be able to float away to a peaceful place just for you.
Getting into bed early, before it is dark out, is one of the most decadent and enjoyable things you can do for yourself. Surround yourself with other self-care items that make you happy, comfy PJs, a journal for your thoughts and dreams, or cuddle up time with the kiddos. Getting a head start on a good night’s sleep leads to a healthier and happy life.
Engage your senses with those things that make you breathe deep and smile. Look around your environment to really see what makes you happy. Reel in the colors and shapes around you. Sitting quietly in your favorite place in your home for a few minutes, without a task to complete, is a true treat. Listen to the song of your life in a new way.
Treat yourself to the nearby sounds, bird songs from your window, family chattering in another room, leaves in your neighbor’s tree, the hum of a busy street in the distance. Feel the fabric of your life. Fill your environments with the smells that make you happy, like cinnamon, vanilla, lemon, gardenia, lavender…breathing in soft scents is a way you can treat and take care of yourself at the same time.
Treating ourselves is essential to having an enjoyable life. We hope some of our ideas for free, fun and fulfilling treats hit home and have inspired you to think of your own list. When we treat ourselves first, we are better able to support others. One way to use that good feeling and energy is to treat yourself to a sense of gratitude by donating to others in your community. Donating, in and of itself, is a way to treat yourself while treating others. We all have a box or bag that we can fill with items from around our homes that are no longer in use or do not give us the same joy they once did. Take 30 minutes of your time to declutter a closet, playroom or garage of stuff that is just in your way, but could bring happiness to someone else. It’s free, fun and fulfilling.
Once you have decluttered, scheduled your free pickup and donated donate your unwanted items to the Vietnam Veterans of America, don’t forget to treat yourself to a heartfelt thank you card! You’ve done a good thing!