Gretchen Rubin

Do You Make Time to “Treat” Yourself? You Should.

Do You Make Time to “Treat” Yourself? You Should.

Last week, I posted a question: What are the small treats you give yourself?

I was very interested to see the range of "treats" people identified in the comments, and I got some good ideas for myself.

I do think it's important to take time for treats, because treats help us to feel energized, restored, and light-hearted. Without them, we can start to feel resentful, depleted, and irritable. My younger daughter has "Choice Time" every day in first grade, and I think we adults need some "Choice Time" ourselves, at least occasionally.

However, in identifying treats,  I wonder if other people face the same challenge that I often face: making time for those treats.

People listed treats like rollerblading, making bread, and a hot bath--all great treats, for the right person, but they take some time and energy to set up.

In my case, one of my favorite treats is reading children's and young-adult literature. Right now my stack includes Diana Wynne Jones's Dogsbody, Robin Hobb's Assassin's Apprentice, and Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (which I've read several times, but not for years). Nevertheless, I find myself saving these books for a "treat," and instead, reading a lot of books for work. (Really, this is also a treat, because I love my subject so much, but it's not the same level of treat). I remind myself: Read for fun! Make time for the treat! That's what makes me happy.

I also remind myself of my personal personal commandment to Spend out. Don't "save" those books, but enjoy them now, make time for them.

But while this is an issue for me, I was happy to see commenters suggest many treats (I've add them to my own list) which don't take extra time or energy. Using a beautiful hand-soap, opening a bottle of vanilla, lighting a candle, petting a dog--well, I don't have a dog, so I'll have to  substitute family members. It's nice to have several of these treats on hand, so you can give yourself a little lift, even when you can't go rollerblading.

How about you? Do you ever struggle to make time for your treats? Do they keep slipping to the bottom of your to-do list? I've vowed to make time to treat myself.

Every Friday’s post proposes a resolution for you to consider for your own happiness project.

icon emailNewsletterLight

Get monthly newsletter updates from Gretchen.

icon schooled

Find out if you’re an Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, or a Rebel.

The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t actOur Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding your Tendency lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively.

Take the quiz

Get My Monthly Newsletter

Sign up to get my free monthly newsletter. It highlights the best material from here, my Facebook Page, and new original work.