I’ve been deep into Gretchin Rubin’s Happier podcast lately, and she said something in one of the more recent episodes that really stuck out to me: Treat Yo’Self but Don’t Say YOLO.
The idea of “Treat Yo’Self” is from Parks & Recreation. Every year Tom and Donna have a “Treat Yo’Self” day where they treat themselves to fun things for no other reason than fun. On the other hand, the idea of YOLO (you only live once) is that you should just do everything right now because it’s your only chance (aka do what you want and hang the consequences).
There are certainly merits to both ideas, but the one that resonates with me most is the “treat yo’self” mindset. At the farmer’s market and the cotton candy vendor has new flavors out? Treat yo’self. Your sister is in town and you want to splurge on pedicures for two? Treat yo’self. Going on vacation to Italy and want to try gelato at every stop? Treat yo’self. Savor and enjoy they treat, then fall back into your mindful habits, whether they be health-realted, work-related, financial, etc.
The health implications and the impact on building good habits are really big here. If you have a sense of pleasure and guilt-free enjoyment with the “treat yo’self” mindset–just for fun–you feel happy and rewarded and special without throwing the rest of your habits off. If you act with the YOLO mindset, you can easily end up in a no-holds-barred free-for-all that can send your goals spiraling out the window in no time.
The holiday season is here(!) with Thanksgiving this week and Christmas coming up soon after. It’s a season of celebrating abundance of family and happiness, but it’s so easy to also get trapped in a season of YOLO indulgence, which can really throw off your health. When I’m trying to think of ways to enjoy a treat or reward without throwing my other goals out the window, these are a few of my favorite ways to treat myself…
The idea here is more to create a ritual. Something that helps you feel comfort and calm. Maybe that’s a cup of cocoa or spiced cider or your favorite herbal tea. I love hot water with lemon and ginger or honey. I fill my cup up with as much water as it’ll hold, squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lemon, and then heat it. I’ll stir in a little tiny drizzle of honey and slowly sip it through a straw.
I do this in the morning to start my day on calm ground, but sometimes I’ll make an extra cup in the evening to wind down. I love the feeling of the warm cup on my hands, and the sensation of that lemony steam on my face as I drink it. It helps to have a beautiful cup to drink it from.
(In the summer, I do my lemon drink cold, and it’s nearly as awesome, or I’ll mix up a flavored water with strawberries or cucumber and lime.)
I turn off all the overhead lights and switch to lamps after dinner, which gives our house the feeling of winding down. When I can hear the wind outside and see the warm light from the lamps, I feel cozy and cocooned in our happy little house.
I have never, ever been a candle person. Like, ever. Until last year. I went to a “favorite things” party at Christmastime and came away with an incredible one that changed my mind. It makes my house smell absolutely heavenly. You can certainly skip the candle. And if you have a fireplace, for heaven’s sake light a fire and add a few soft blankets for good measure.
Thanks to my friend Megan, this has become one of my favorite treats. In medical school and residency, Megan said that seeing her painted nails in the thick of long, crazy hours really helped her feel happy and a little more like herself. I’ve found that while I’d love to get fancy manicures on the regular, my budget is much more comfortable when I paint my own.
So, after the kids are in bed, while I listen to a podcast, or read a book, or watch a show (preferably with that candle burning), I’ll paint my nails. For the next few days, it really does cheer me up to see those happy colors when I’m washing dishes or changing diapers. Who knew?
If you’re not into nail polish, rub a little lotion on your hands and feet or try a mud mask. Just a bit of self-care that that feels special.
4. Watch something amazing.
Other than a good book, few things are as satisfying to me as winding down with a great show. Since I go to bed so early, I’ve found that watching episodes of a show is easier than sitting down for a movie. I can watch as much or little as I have time for, and I like doing something else (like menu planning, scrolling through Pinterest, or working on room mom projects for Sophie’s school) while I watch. Our recent favorite is Elementary (I’m a sucker for all incarnations of Sherlock Holmes).
5. Choose a healthy treat.
Since I could easily eat an entire plate of cookies or All The Chips in the Universe, I’m fairly careful about the treats that I choose when I want something after dinner. I try to choose something with at least a modest amount of nutritional value, but still want things to taste good. For me, that usually means nuts or trail mix. A handful of nuts, maybe some fresh or dried fruit, and, nearly always, a touch of dark chocolate.
Clementines are so good this time of year, so I’ll often snack on one or two of those when I get munchy, but recently I’ve gotten into these perfectly-sized little Grab & Go packs of Orchard Valley Harvest‘s Dark Chocolate Almonds or Cranberry Almond Cashew Trail Mix.
You can pick them up by the produce at Wal-Mart, and they’re a good size for an afternoon snack, a little something after dinner, or for tucking into lunches or a gym back for a little protein-packed snack. The cranberries in the trail mix and the dark chocolate on the almonds give me that touch of sweetness, and the protein and healthy fats in the nuts keep me full and satisfied. Plus, they’re non-GMO and don’t have any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. I’ve got my eyes on their Chocolate Raisin Nut Trail Mix to try next.
I’d love to hear more about your guilt-free treats.
What are some of your favorites?
To go with the discussion, I have a little giveaway with Orchard Valley Harvest. The winner gets a $50 Wal-Mart Gift Card and a collection of Orchard Valley Harvest products to try. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only and will run from today (Tuesday, November 24) to Sunday, November 29th @ 11:59pm EST. Winner will be chosen randomly and emailed.
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For more information on Orchard Valley Harvest’s line of nuts and trail mix, visit their website for varieties and where to buy. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Orchard Valley Harvest . The opinions and text are all mine.