Hey, it's okay to treat yourself
Hi all! I’m currently at the beach with my family for the week, and this is one of my favorite weeks of the year. As both of my sisters live in different parts of the country, we really only get to see each other a handful of times a year. The times we’re together are just so dear to me - we talk about everything under the sun, and I love it. Since both of my sisters are new moms, the following is a topic we’ve been talking about a lot recently. I know it’s been talked about one and a million times in other articles, but I thought I'd share my thoughts with you on it anyway. We were talking about how we often feel guilty for spending money and time on things we some how, for whatever reason, label unnecessary. Maybe we label those thing that way because our neighbor doesn’t do it that way so we feel silly spending time or money on whatever it is. Social pressure has a lot of effect on our daily lives, more than I like to admit. Who knows. But, here are my thoughts:
Sometimes, it’s OKAY to treat yourself.
(I'm going to preface this by saying I'm not encouraging anyone to live outside of their means or plummet themselves into debt. I simply want to emphasize the need to take care of ourselves, body AND soul, and sometimes that means treating ourselves in a way we wouldn't typically do.)
So, TREAT YOURSELF. This statement right here is a constant battle for me. As a small business owner, I try to be very cautious with my expenses and rarely allow myself to have “unnecessary expenses,” as I and I’m sure many of you would call them. I’m totally guilty of unnecessary expenses, though, and they’re things like a cup of coffee from a coffee shop instead of making something at home, or, I have friends whose “unnecessary expenses” are hiring someone to paint the walls in their house or cut their grass when they know perfectly well that they're capable of doing it themselves. Or, the one I’ve battled with most of late is: the meal-delivery service Hobbs and I just starting using, Hello Fresh. Paying a little bit extra for the convenience of having exactly the right ingredients to a well-balanced recipe delivered to my door has always seemed SO unnecessary in the past. I mean, as my mom always says, “I have two working legs, I can go to the grocery store and buy the ingredients for dinner myself.” (without paying the extra to have it all delivered in a nice and neat package to my house) But, here’s two things I’ve always known but not really subscribed to in this instance: 1. Time is money. My researching a well-balanced recipe and going to the store is actually costing me money because its taking time away from my business (it's also costing me happiness because I really hate going to the grocery store at 6PM when the rest of the world goes), AND 2. I’m so much happier when I don’t have to use my brain at the end of the day to decide what I’m going to have for dinner.
It seems so silly and so small, but a service like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron or whatever that convenient little thing in your life is that’s making you a happier person is WORTH IT. Yep, I said it. It’s not an unnecessary expense at all. It is bringing me joy. It is bringing VALUE to my life.
And here’s another thing: value isn’t all about money. It’s also about an experience and a feeling. Take this random scenario: Should I buy this new dress? It’s not in my budget really, but if I cut out my daily lattes for a week (something that doesn’t bring me lasting joy like this dress could), then I could afford it. And then, every time I put this dress on my body, I would think of the sacrifice I made to have it. I chose to spend my money on something that makes me feel confident for hours while it’s on my body. This dress makes me feel like I can conquer the world. Would those 5 lattes have given me that? Probably not. I probably would’ve forgotten they existed within an hour of consuming them. So here, this tangible item brings value to my life. And sometimes, it’s not about a physical object that’s bringing value and joy to my life. Oftentimes, we beat ourselves up over how we spend our time. (because, like I said, time is money.) We feel guilty for going to that midday yoga class or having a little bit of me time in the morning instead of starting work earlier. But again, that midday yoga class and that extra 30 minutes of "me time" in the morning are adding value to your life, more so than money could add. They are giving your overall well-being a boost, and probably adding to your productivity as well - something that I don’t think can be quantified in dollars - because it’s a proven fact that when we’re happier, we’re more productive. We can work smarter, not harder (and longer).
So, I’ll say it again. It’s OKAY to treat yourself. Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle had it right with their Treat Yourself Day. (bonus points to you if you just got that reference - let's be BFFs.) It’s not something we should feel guilty about and beat ourselves up over. We work hard, we go through a million emotions a day, and sometimes, that new dress, that new pair of earrings, that midday yoga class, that whatever it is that makes you feel confident and at your core, the most YOU you can be - it’s worth it, and it’s okay.
Now, go treat yourself today. Have the ice cream cone. Spend a little more than you usually would to buy the bracelet that’s been calling your name and gives you that tingly feeling inside when you see it. Take a long walk without your phone and have your me-time. The world will still be there when you get back, and hopefully that thing adding value to your life will also add productivity and happiness to it, too.
(Side note: The "Hey, it's OK!" section in the back of Glamour Magazine, has always and will always be my favorite section ever in a magazine. I used to tear out that page from every issue as a middle and high schooler, and then I'd cut out my favorite lines to paste onto my binders. True story.)
Here’s to all of you, cheers!
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