An ‘end of the month treat’ is something many of us indulge in – it might be to mark a milestone; be a weigh-in bonus; a reward for sticking to a regime; a reaching-goal-triumph, or just a gift to yourself for hanging on in there!
Sadly most of them tend to be of the edible kind (when we usually want to stop obsessing about food). That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with turning to good food as a treat but often enough these tend to be the comfort treats of old – foods and drinks that just give a short-term boost. So what should we perhaps consider that may be better than or instead of these?
The ones I tend to opt for these days are non-food treats that nourish my soul, emotions, resolve and spirit. Sometimes simply allaying exhaustion and weariness. They don’t have to be costly – indeed some don’t have a monetary value; don’t have to take masses of time to execute (but may mean some time out); and can be personalised according to the individual (for you or someone else – so a gift for giving too).
I started to look at some of these with Mother’s Day in mind … and then Easter … but quickly realised they are a year round and non-specific occasion thing. Many of these are tried and trusted ideas that have comforted my own frayed emotions and some have been gleaned from others since we don’t all like to veer towards the same things.
I have one or two that are guaranteed to work for me – an hour spent on a Sunday morning with the weekend newspapers is a ‘must-have treat’ for example; and I know a beauty treatment can be just the fillip I need when a grey face and droopy eyelids stare back at me from the morning mirror.
So here we go – no particular order, just my ideas so that you can cherish yourself and others:
- Enjoy turning the pages of a new book, magazine or newspaper.
- Listen to a few tracks of music – a new or old compilation that you enjoy.
- Go back to bed with a cup of tea or coffee in bed in the morning for a brief taste of peace before the day begins in earnest.
- Consider a 10-minute meditation session.
- Take a power nap anytime of the day that is possible – set a timer for 25 minutes.
- Go to bed an hour earlier or sleep later than usual (again if you can).
- Listen to a funny or comedy podcast and laugh loudly!
- Spend a few minutes first thing thinking about what you can be grateful for that day. They may be very simple but aim for 5 things.
- Take a long bath with some scented products or light a candle (you know the one you have been saving for a special occasion).
- Have a longer than 5 minute power-shower and use the extra time to massage your arms, neck and legs.
- Head off to the gym if it’s nearby, or turn on an on-line session – consider a gentle yoga one if you haven’t tried it before.
- Switch off your phone or turn to air-plane mode for about an hour so that you can read, doodle or just stare and relax.
- Ignore, if you can, your emails for an entire day.
- Write your journal.
- Watch an inspirational TED talk from YouTube or something else relating perhaps to a hobby or interest you’ve been considering.
- Paint your nails – both hands and feet if there is the time.
- Join a creative workshop – flower arranging, photography, tarot card reading or something else that you would like to try.
- Get outside for a walk if you can. At the very least get out onto the balcony, terrace, garden, yard or near a wide-open window and breathe in deeply.
- Book yourself a beauty treatment and if too costly to go pro then team up with a chum and do them for each other.
- Play a card or board game – on your own or ideally with some others. Or start a jig-saw puzzle.
- Ignore all social media for a day – not easy but doable. Phone a friend instead.
- Make an inspirational ‘Pinterest’ type board that includes your own life dreams, your goals, holiday destination hopes, your home, your fashion likes, bucket list etc.
- Write a letter to yourself that is only to be opened in a years time.
- Make a home-made birthday, anniversary, good luck or some other celebratory card for someone.
- Plan a special day out to somewhere you have meant to visit and get the date in your diary so that it happens.
- Plants some seeds, pick some flowers, plant up a garden pot or tub or look at re-designing your plot.
- Play with the youngsters – don’t be a bystander – get in there and run, jump, catch, twirl and all the rest for all your might.
- Peruse your address and phone book and meet up with someone you haven’t seen for quite a while.
- Play with your pets, or borrow one (like a dog) to go for a walk.
- Do a small act of kindness for someone – maybe collect some shopping – but sometimes just a kind word means the world so share some and a smile or two.
- Buy something that brings you much joy – a new nightdress or PJ’s, a scented candle; a new lippy, or the latest blockbuster for example.
- Get up early and watch the sunrise or take time out later in the day to watch the sunset – uninterrupted.
- Lie on your back outside and look up to the stars at night or in the daytime watch the clouds and their formations, trees sway, planes and birds fly by and empty your mind.
- Plan a mini break for you and a friend – something of a fantasy trip perhaps?
What else? Over to you …