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It’s three simple words, taken from a fictional TV show and proven to work for anyone:
Treat. Yo. Self.
The basic premise of “Treat Yo’ Self” is to let go of the worry and stress of life and engage in some restorative self-care. As any “Parks and Recreation” fan knows, the way its characters put this advice into action was with extravagant purchases.
Since most of us don’t have that kind of money lying around, we have to find ways to treat ourselves that don’t break the bank. Here are the cheapest ideas we could find to treat yourself. Most of them cost very little or are completely free.
1. Take A Hike
If you live near a great hiking spot, make a plan to head there this weekend (or sooner). Or if you don’t, simply take a stroll wherever you are. Research shows that even just a 20-minute walk will improve your mood, energy level and overall health. So, go ahead, head outside and get moving. Your body and mind will thank you.
2. Try Something New
Trying new things has been proven to make us happier, so give this a go this week. Do you always drive to work? Why not try biking there instead. Studies have shown that the happiest people are the ones who bike to work or bike regularly. Treat yourself to happiness by pedaling around town or by eating vegan for a week or taking the art class you’ve been talking about—whatever it is, don’t wait. Do it.
3. Plan (or Find!) A Date
If you’re single, just mingle on dating apps and swipe right. They’re free, and even if you aren’t ready for a long-term commitment but are interested in meeting someone new, Bumble and Tinder are pretty good for that. If you are already paired up, plan a date night now. Even if it’s a couples weeks away, the lead-up to the date will leave you feeling excited and hopefully less depleted.
Coloring books aren’t only for kids. There are proven mental health benefits to coloring, no matter your age. Buy your own coloring book and relax without worrying about the world’s problems.
5. Drink Coffee Or Tea
Instead of working or multi-tasking, try to mindfully drink coffee or tea (or your beverage of choice). Coffee and tea can make you happy, but instead we tend to use them for productivity reasons. Use them differently, and you’ll appreciate them more.
6. Take A Nap
Parents and busy people everywhere will appreciate this one. How incredible and indulgent does it feel to allow yourself a nap, even if it’s just a 20-minute cat nap? Try it and see.
7. Meditate, Pray Or Journal
As long as you take time to reflect, your brain will thank you. Meditations and prayers have been scientifically proven to change your mindset. And journaling is great for writers or anyone willing to tell themselves the truth about their life.
You might be thinking to yourself, Hey, writer dude. I can do these any day. What’s so special about these activities?
There’s nothing special. It’s that we forget we can treat ourselves in small ways that cost us nothing. Whoever said you needed material possessions to be treated right was probably some marketer coercing you to buy their product.
The way you treat yourself is the way you will treat others. So treat yo self kindly every day!