Treat Yourself: How to Indulge Healthily (And Enjoy It Just As Much)
You’ve had a long day at the office, you’re tired, feeling a little low. Maybe you were the bearer of some bad news, or perhaps you had an average night’s sleep. Maybe you’ve been working non-stop and are craving some ‘me time’. “Treat yourself,” is the advice you get from friends or co-workers.
Whatever the reason, you’re in need of some pepping up—whether that involves pigging out on your favourite snacks, making a bold change, having some time out or pampering yourself—but how do you indulge without sacrificing your health?
Why you should treat yourself
Treating yourself does not have to mean indulging in sugary snacks or buying expensive clothes on a whim. It doesn’t have to involve alcohol or encourage laziness. Above all, it shouldn’t be a negative behaviour that becomes addictive, expensive or even dangerous.
Truly indulging and treating yourself is about healing the body and mind, improving your life, and making necessary changes. It’s about self-care and pure joy. And we could all do with a bit more of that.
Here are some ideas to inspire your next episode of indulgence.
1. Don’t fight against the urge for your favourite movie snack
When you’ve had an average day and can’t wait to get home, put your feet up and binge watch your favourite Netflix show, the night just wouldn’t be complete without complimentary movie snacks.
You’re definitely not after carrot sticks or apples right now—you want something crunchy, greasy and potentially sugary—and we’re not going to say no.
But if you are looking for a healthier option, rather than limiting yourself to rabbit food, or no food at all, try munching on an alternative snack that will satisfy the same cravings. If chocolate is your weakness, try cacao protein balls, peanut butter and honey with your favourite fruits, dark chocolate nibs, dried berries or unsalted nuts like cashews and peanuts.
If your weakness is buttery popcorn or potato chips, try a bag of nuts, homemade popcorn with cajun spice, veggie chips or banana chips. If you like cake, you can check out recipes that swap out refined sugar for healthy, natural sweeteners.
And don’t beat yourself up if your movie snacks aren’t flowing with nutrition—as always, it’s all about moderation.
2. Go and get a massage
Remedial massage is beneficial for your health in many ways. From relieving aches and pains, improving posture, and decreasing stress to promoting circulation and realigning joints, you actually should be treating yourself with remedial massage as much as possible.
Even relaxation massages are fantastic for calming the mind, boosting circulation and healing tired muscles. You’ll never regret a good massage—they’re relaxing and feel great. Don’t forget to check out extras cover before you book your next massage consultation and save today.
3. Do that thing you keep putting off and reward yourself afterwards
Procrastination breeds stress—when we’re feeling disorganised and all over the place, ticking off important things on our ‘to do’ list is a relief. Next time you’re feeling off and in need of a treat, start by completing that task that has been nagging you for a while.
Once done, maximise the reward by giving yourself a little something in exchange for your efforts. Whether that be enjoying a lunch out, buying yourself a new piece of clothing, a glass of red, or reaching out to an old friend for a catch up.
4. Don’t settle on an impulse purchase
Retail therapy is a go-to for many of us. In today’s world of fleeting trends, mass consumption and always wanting more, it’s sometimes a challenge to strip back and appreciate the simple things.
Impulse purchases often become regrettable, expensive mistakes and will leave you feeling empty. They might feel good for an hour or two—but come tomorrow, the adrenaline and joy will wear away, leaving you with a hole in your wallet and your self-confidence.
Constantly shopping impulsively is not good for your self-esteem, and doesn’t help to grow your resilience or your savings. Next time you feel an urge to buy something—to fill that void—remember how fleeting that joyous feeling is.
Instead of making a bad decision, do your research and find yourself a product to buy that will genuinely help you or improve your life. Don’t settle on something random—shop around for that perfect piece and notice how much you treasure it in the long-term. You owe it to yourself.
Unless exercise is a hobby, you’ll likely find it hard, at times, to keep up the motivation. This is particularly true in the cooler months, when we’d prefer to retreat under our cosy bed covers with a cup of tea, rather than suffer in the wind.
Invest in things that will make exercise easier for you and more doable in winter. For example, purchase winter workout gear that will keep you warm and comfortable. Choose a gym that’s easily accessible and close to home. Even better, create your own gym at home or select workouts that can be done anywhere, without the need for expensive equipment.
Once you have your gear, and a basic plan in place, think about how you’ll feel post-workout. It’s actually much more rewarding to tuck yourself into bed after a satisfying gym session. Exercise also makes us happier, healthier and more energetic—even in the short-term.
Committing to a gym workout and actually following through builds confidence and allows us to feel in control of our lives. When working out, you feel like you’re getting ahead, even in small steps.
It’s about knowing that this is your time, and you’re choosing to use it productively. There’s no better feeling.
6. Get crafty
Getting stuck into painting, knitting, baking, gardening, or a DIY can take your mind off a stressful day or week while getting you into the zone. Time will fly quickly, and in just a few hours you’ll have something to show, eat, keep or give.
Giving your brain a break and doing something practical at the same time is killing two birds with one stone. In addition, physically making things with your hands has been shown to decrease stress, promote relaxation and modify depression. Stuck on craft ideas? Check out these three simple DIY’s you can create on your own.
7. Go and watch a movie alone
Learning to spend time on our own and appreciating our own company is essential now more than ever. Loneliness is on the rise, but not everyone feels lonely when they’re alone. Feeling comfortable and content in our own company is a part of growing.
Why not treat yourself to a movie? Bring along your baked goods and healthy snacks, and enjoy a cinematic experience all to yourself.
8. Make plans to travel
Our busy lives, commitments, work, family and finances make it difficult to travel regularly. While this is a shame for many travel bugs out there, stop making excuses and start planning your next adventure.
Travelling doesn’t have to mean a one-way ticket to Europe or a month-long cruise. It can be as simple as a weekend getaway somewhere coastal, house-sitting at a friend’s place or spending a Saturday road tripping to an area you haven’t visited before.
Everyone plans differently. You might like to create a travel board or powerpoint, with ideas and images of places you want to travel to. Some people like to use Pinterest, while others prefer writing a more traditional list.
Whether you prefer to plan and dream, or make a speedy reservation, at least start thinking about your next escape—no matter how big or small.
9. Have a makeover
There’s nothing wrong with a little pampering here and there. Instead of feeling guilty or clutching onto your money for something ‘more important’, know that it’s okay to do something fun for yourself every now and then.
And, sometimes, a change in appearance can be empowering and motivating. Maybe you’ve had the same haircut and colour for years and years, and you’re after a change that will represent who you have become in more recent times. Or maybe a mani/pedi is just what you need to relax after a hard week at work and feel your best.
A ‘makeover’ doesn’t always have to refer to your appearance, either. Maybe you’ve always wanted to take up a certain course or learn a particular instrument. Maybe you’d like to improve a skill or an area of your life. Allow yourself to invest time and money into something that will help you grow physically and emotionally.
10. Spring clean
Have you ever noticed what a difference it can make when you clear out a wardrobe, swap around some furniture or clear out a space in your home?
Decluttering and re-styling your home, or even a single room or area, can motivate and inspire you. We all need healthy change in our lives, and it can start in the place we spend most of our time—home.
11. Extra special bubble bath
There’s something super nice about dipping your tired feet into a nice hot bubble bath. Make your experience even more enjoyable by adding a scoop of coconut oil to the water, or alternatively, a few drops of essential oil such as lavender or peppermint. The aromas in these ingredients will help to further relax you while also nourishing your skin.
Light a few candles, shuffle your favourite playlist and maybe even indulge in a guacamole pita pizza while you soak—yep, they’re a thing!