10 Non-Food Ways to Treat Yourself – For Less Than 20 Dollars
So much of mainstream “health” advice is focused around things you can’t have.
- “Don’t eat this”
- “Don’t drink this”
- “Steer clear of this”
So I thought, instead of being another negative Nancy, I’d talk about a big part of health that I believe is crucial to your happiness, wellbeing AND productivity. I’m talking about healthy treats.
In a world of constant over indulgence or extreme restriction, regular treats are one way to find balance in your life. When you make treats a regular part of life you don’t feel restricted, so it’s easier to pass up those tempting things you don’t want to be indulging in.
One of my favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin, puts it best when it comes to treating yourself. She says, “If I give more to myself, I can ask more from myself. Self-regard isn’t selfish.” read more: Treat Yourself
She also makes the distinction between a treat and a reward. A treat is something you give to yourself just because. Whereas a reward is given as a result of some action.
I think this distinction is crucial. Treats are always deserved. Self-love is always deserved. You don’t have to be or act any certain way, to be nice to yourself. I’ve found over the last year or so, the nicer I am to myself, the happier and nicer I am to others. So if it helps, think of these regular non-food related treats as investments in your awesomeness.
Today I’m sharing 10 non-food treats that all cost less than $20. You don’t have to break the bank or wrack up debt to be nice to yourself.
Why Not Food Treats?
I chose not to include food treats on here for a couple reasons:
1.) Looking at food as a treat can give it an unnecessary label of “good” or “bad.”
2.) Although food is absolutely a source of pleasure, it’s easy to get sucked into allowing food to become a system of rewards rather than a vehicle of nutrition.
3.) Personally, when I use food as a treat, it can often bring me more anxiety than joy, as well as become a habit rather than an actual treat.
10 non-food treats that all cost less than $20
1.) Paint your nails
Something about the process of painting your nails, from picking out the perfect color, to the application, to the anxious drying process, feels like such a treat. There’s something about having fresh nails that says “yeah, I’m ready to take on the world.”
2.) Light a candle
I was never a candle lover growing up. I didn’t see the point. That was until this winter. I was given two candles as a gift and thought, “what the heck I’ll light this” and woah did I love it. It was a cozy winter night, I had a blanket on my lap, I was working at my desk and this beautiful smell and comforting light was right there. From then on, I lit one every time I was trying to dig into some meaningful writing. The lovely smell was a simple treat that made writing even more enjoyable.
3.) Color or Doodle
By now, everyone and their mother has gotten an adult coloring book. But unlike most trends (which I tend to be a grinch about) I LOVE this one. While I don’t own a coloring book I have always been an avid doodler. When I have some downtime that I’m not feeling productive with, I treat myself to some doodling. Something about pretty pens and fresh paper makes my heart sing. So whether you’re a free form color-er or you like to color inside the lines, this is a wonderful (virtually free) treat.
Journaling is a treat for your mind and your soul. There’s something cleansing about releasing your thoughts onto paper. Admitly my journaling has been spotty over the years, but these days I love using my planner as a hybrid planner/space to reflect. I’ll write quotes I love, goals/dreams, notes about the day. If you’re looking for a more journaling inspiration here are some of my favorite things to write about
- What does my dream apartment look like (get specific, kitchen, bedroom, decorations, location)
- What was the high and low of my day?
- What’s my dream job look like?
- What am I grateful for?
- What did I learn about myself recently?
5.) Give yourself a temporary tattoo
You guys, beautiful, well-made temporary tattoos fora adults are now a thing. And I am obsessed. I really want a legit tattoo but have serious commitment issues, so when I’m feeling like I need a little treat I pop one of these bad boys on and damn does it make me smile.
6.) Take a walk
There’s seriously something magic about fresh air. When I get stumped, frustrated, upset or anxious I know it’s probably time to go outside. Even a 15 minute walk can do wonders for your mood. You can catch up on your favorite podcast, listen to tunes or just enjoy the quiet and fresh air.
7.) Take a bath
The smells, the steam, the bubbles and the oh-so-soft skin make baths feel like such a treat. Taking a bath is like having a do not disturb sign up on your life. I love to listen to a good audio book or podcast while I soak, but occasionally I’ll just let my thoughts marinate in the bubbles.
While you’re at it, take the time to use a full body scrub and get extra exfoliated. I don’t know if it’s just a mental thing, but something about removing a layer of dead skin cells really makes me feel invigorated.
8.) Make (and listen) to a new playlist
You know that feeling when you have a new favorite song? It’s kind of like having a huge crush on someone. You can’t get it out of your head and you feel a rush whenever you hear it come on. Imagine creating a playlist full of epic tunes like that? Talk about ear-gasm.
9.) Have your own solo dance party
While these days I consider myself a pretty cheerful person, I still have my moments. In those times when I feel a serious funk coming on I know one of the best cures is to find a way to laugh at myself. This is where your super epic playlist will come in handy. Find the loudest speaker you have, blast those tunes and dance your little heart out. It’s really hard to be upset when you’re going H.A.M. on the dance floor (aka your bedroom and/or kitchen).
10.) Do a face mask
Because they take longer than a regular face washing routine, face masks always feel like a special treat. Something about leaving charcoal on your face just makes you feel so fresh and so clean. Plus then you can take an awesome face mask selfie.
In the wise words of Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford… Treat-Yo-Self
- What are your favorite inexpensive, non-food treats?