We often get wrapped up in meeting the needs of our spouse, children, family members, coworkers, and friends with kind gestures, food, and gift giving, while forgetting to treat ourselves too. If you want to value and love other people, you are going to have to value and love yourself first. I'm going to give you some simple ways to treat yourself each month, that don't involve food.
Read A Book
Reading a book can relieve stress and take you to a whole new world. Find a book that you've wanted to read, or pick up that novel that you haven't had time to finish. Put on some comfy clothes and give yourself time to read.
Clean Out Your Space
So often we get busy cleaning the areas of our house that the whole family uses while neglecting our own spaces. Give yourself time to clean your desk, closet, drawers, or any area that is designated as your space. Allow yourself time to unclutter, clean, and organize your own belongings and area.
Go For A Walk Outside
A walk in the great outdoors can do as much for your inside as it does for your outside. Put on some walking shoes and take a stroll. Consciously think about all of the things that you enjoy on your walk. Birds are singing, breeze blowing through your hair, and blood circulating can all get those endorphins to release and soothe your soul.
Manicure or Pedicure
I'll admit I've never had a manicure or pedicure, but I hear it is wonderful. The hardest part may be making the call to schedule yourself in. Just do it and treat yourself to some you time.
In a fast-paced world, stopping to do nothing may be one of the greatest gifts that you can give yourself. Find a quiet place or turn on music if you'd like to. Sit down and do absolutely nothing. Make sure that your family knows not to bother you while you do nothing.
Go To A Movie Of Your Choice
Going to the movies with a spouse, friend, or the kids can be great fun. But often, we compromise on what we really want to see. Try picking a movie that you really want to see, and go and see it alone. If it feels strange going alone, ask a friend who might want to see the same movie to go with your, or rent one on DVD.
Attend a Lecture
We all have things that we are interested in. Call your local college, community center, library, or chamber of commerce to find out if there are any upcoming lectures that may interest you. You should find that lectures are occurring all around you ranging from wildlife topics to preserving your food and everything in between. Go alone or find someone that you know who shares your interests to attend with you.
Go To A Painting Class
I love painting classes. I don't have to take anything, except for money for the class and in two hours time, I get to come home with a one of a kind masterpiece to hang in my house. If you've never been to a painting class, have no fear. Chances are that many of the people in the class also have never attended one before. If you are feeling intimidated to sign up, tell the instructor that you want to go to a beginner's class.
Participate in a Random Act of Kindness
Give yourself the gift of giving to someone. Helping others feels good. In fact, you may even benefit more than the person that you are helping. Shovel someone's driveway, hand out a $20 to that lady struggling to pay her bill at the grocery store check out, pay for the car behind you at a fast food drive-through. Or just smile and hold the door for someone next time you are in public. The cool thing about participating in random acts of kindness is that the person you blessed most likely will want to reciprocate the kind gesture by doing something nice for someone else. Imagine the change that would take place in the whole world if more people participated in random acts of kindness.
Go Shopping For Yourself
Put aside some money to spend on yourself and take a shopping spree. Buy yourself some nice things like a new pair of jeans or earrings. Give yourself plenty of time to try things on and not rush.
Just Say No
Give yourself a pass to say no this month to something that you really don't want to do. I can tend to overschedule myself by volunteering here and there. Sometimes we all just need to say, "No, I'm sorry I just can't help at this time." When we over schedule our time, we often overstress ourselves and leave little or no time for self-care.
Spend Time In A Hammock
I love hammocks. They are inexpensive and can be hung almost anywhere if you have two trees or poles. I like to take my hammock to a local canyon or mountain area, and literally hang out. There is something incredibly relaxing about gently swinging with a feeling of weightlessness that makes all the cares of my world disappear. Give it a try. If you don't have a hammock, a blanket on the ground or lounge chair will work too.
Make a Playlist For Yourself
Make a playlist of your favorite songs and then listen to it throughout the day. Even mundane jobs like running the sweeper can become fun with your favorite tunes playing in your ears. If you feel in the mood, dance like no one is watching, whether they are or not.
Take a Nap
Get on some comfy clothes, find a quiet spot and take a well-deserved nap right in the middle of the day if you want to. Naps are free and can do wonders for your overall sense of well being. Don't put any pressure on yourself to have to fall asleep. Just get comfortable and see what happens. Even if you don't fall asleep, the physical rest of getting off your feet will do your body and mind some good.
Say No To Chores
It's ok to let chores go unfinished sometimes. If your world doesn't come crashing down on you tomorrow for an uncompleted chore, chances are it's not that important. We all need a break sometimes. If you were sick with the flu, chores would have to wait. Think of taking a break from chores as preventing future sicknesses by taking care of yourself with a well-deserved break.
Mariann Foster is a content writer for OurStart.com. OurStart is a lifestyle blog that focuses on topics like pregnancy, parenting, marriage, and motherhood. When she is not writing, Mariann enjoys homeschooling her daughter and running their alpaca farm.