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

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I’ve posted the question, “What are the small treats you give yourself?” before

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…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.


From 2006 through 2014, as she wrote The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, Gretchen chronicled her thoughts, observations, and discoveries on The Happiness Project Blog.

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