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8.11.2017

Treat Yourself Without Money or Food

Friday has a arrived and let me tell you, I needed it to get here this week.  This one has been a doozy, for many reasons.  But the weekend is here, Tara will arrive in a few hours with her new Bichon puppy, Beau, and we have a full and fun itinerary ahead.  The week did get me thinking though about the different ways I could treat myself for getting through it, if I didn't have a concert already lined up (and let's be clear, I'm more of an 'open bar and free food' type person than a concert person.)  So many of the ways I treat myself involve shopping or food, and even though I don't spend very much when that happens, it's still not a great habit to be in.  The food one is even worse, since my food rewards are often pizza and ice cream.  If you're anything like me, read on for my ideas on how to treat yourself without money or food.


Take the Day Off Work.  For no reason.  Not because you're sick or have an out of town wedding to go to.  Just take a day off for your mental health.  It's probably my favorite way to treat myself!

Wash Your Sheets and Take a Nap.  You know exactly what I mean.

Work On Your Hobby.  As long as it doesn't cost money of course.  But if you're a photographer, or a scrapbooker, or need to finish knitting a blanket, take an evening to yourself to work on a hobby you love.  My hobby is organizing and decluttering but I might be weird.

Spend Quality Time With Your Pet.  A treat for both of you.

Visit an Animal Shelter.  If you don't have a pet of your own (or even if you do!), visit the shelter and volunteer to walk dogs and play with cats.  Honestly, I can't go in to shelters now because I would leave with every dog there, but I used to go all the time with my friend when I was in law school and 100% too broke to be caring for an animal (until Hawkeye, who I got at the tail end of my law school career.)  It's fun and stress relieving and you're doing good in the world.

Binge Netflix.  Well, Netflix costs money each month but I'm willing to bet that you already have it.  Might as well enjoy!  Take an evening off from everything and find a new show to watch for a couple of hours.  Or, browse your DVDs and pick something you haven't seen in awhile.  Pick your favorite movie if you want, no judgment.  I've seen Empire Records a hundred times.  (It's probably more...)

Browse the Library and Check Out Everything.  Okay, well not everything but everything that catches your eye at least!  Libraries are free and you can spend a whole afternoon wandering around, enjoying the peacefulness and smell of the old books.  While you're there, check out anything that's been on your 'to read' list and set aside time in your day to actually read them.

Download an Audiobook.  If you can't make it in to get the physical book you want, try an audiobook.  My library has audiobooks and ebooks as part of their online system and you just need to sign up for a free account or use your library card number to access them.  If you haven't tried Audible before, it's part of Amazon and you get a 30 day free trial so you get one free book.  Just remember to cancel if it's not your thing!  (It's $14.95 per month and you get one book free with that every month, but the library is free so that's my preference.)

Find Free Things in Your City.  Just Google your city and see what events are happening - you'll be surprised how many of them are totally free, from museums to street fests, even places that have free wine or food tastings!  I'll have a whole follow up next Friday on my favorite free things to do in Chicago.

Get a Complimentary Makeover.  Or just go get your makeup done, doesn't need to be a total new look.  Most makeup counters offer this, as do Sephora and Ulta, just make sure you time it right so they aren't crowded and busy.  Don't feel pressured to buy anything - just tell them you need to see how it wears on your skin first.  Which is a legitimate concern, they know that.  But do get a list of products used for future reference, in case you do love something.

Unfollow.  On all the social medias you have.  Go ahead and delete any accounts you don't want anymore, and on the ones you decide to keep, unfollow anyone who causes you any sort of anxiety.

Have a DIY At Home Spa Day.  I think everyone has their own favorites when it comes to at home pampering.  Bubble baths are not at all my thing, but the way Lush sells out of bath bombs has me reasoning that someone out there must love them.  When I want to treat myself, I concentrate my efforts on a nice, careful manicure and pedicure, complete with nice smelling body butter.  I'm also a fan of DIY face masks, because you make them with ingredients from your kitchen and there's no weird chemicals that way.  Just search on Pinterest and pick the one for your skin type.

Get Outside (with No Agenda.)  Some people love the outdoors, so if that's you, then treat yourself with hiking, biking, swimming, etc.  Me?  That all sounds like work and exercise.  But I can appreciate getting outside when there's no agenda involved.  Drinking on the patio, watching clouds, playing in the snow in the winter, it's just nice to have nothing to do.

Say No.  Saying no to things is one of the best ways to truly treat yourself.  Just say no when someone asks you do something you don't want to do or don't have the time for.  No excuse necessary!  Just say 'no, thank you.'

Go to Bed Early.  I generally don't sleep well if something is nagging on my to do list, but on the days when I'm really productive and focused, I reward myself by going to bed early.  What a luxury!  The whole world is sleep deprived, so getting some extra hours in is a great way to make yourself feel better fast.

Anything to add to the list?  What's your favorite way to treat yourself without dropping a dime?


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