It’s Wednesday and somehow I haven’t quite processed that in two weeks I’ll be living, working, and dwelling in an entirely new city. Be looking for new blog updates including a corner about life in the District, but for now bear with me as I try and cope with moving AND the Whole30 AND a whole lot of new adult responsibilities. Apartment hunting and budgeting was a big ol’ eye opener into just how important it is to be wise financially—every dollar counts!
For those of you who are college age, scraping by on a first job budget, or are simply thrifty AF, here are a few great life choices that only *feel* indulgent. Because, let’s be honest, life is hard. We all deserve a treat every once in awhile.
Take yourself out on a culture date. Art museum? Poetry reading? Seminar at your local university? Regardless of where you live, there are so many free (or basically free) events that you can make an evening of. Invite a friend, or go solo, and learn or experience something new! This is a great way to not only meet new people and expand your worldview but also support organizations that are enhancing your community.
Make dinner for yourself. Like, REAL dinner. I love cooking, but most of the time I am rushing to put everything together ASAP or eating leftovers straight out of the fridge. Try your hand at a recipe on Pinterest or Buzzfeed or Foodgawker or whatever—it doesn’t have to be fancy! Give yourself the gift of time, put on some music, and try your hand at something new! When it’s time to eat, put down your phone and really savor what you’ve created. Bonus points if you include an appetizer and dessert…
Switch up your surroundings. If you’re a student or have the flexibility to work from home, or you just spend a lot of time on the computer or reading, give yourself the gift of a new location. I am all about going to coffee shops—for the price of a delicious drink and maybe a croissant, you also get a new atmosphere to cozy up in, people watch, and just relax. Sometimes even just a change of pace can feel like a real treat.
Reconnect with someone you miss. So often we feel like we never have time to catch up with people, when really that time is lurking in our late-night Instagram scrolling or mindless social media consumption. If your friends/family are local, take them to a fun free thing (see above) or get yourself in some cozy clothes and have a good Skype sesh. It’s a great way to put a smile on someone else’s face as well as your own!
Visit your local animal shelter. What says joy like PUPPIES AND KITTENS?! Even if you can’t adopt one (yet!), you’ll get a serious endorphin-boost by spending some QT with a fuzzy friend. Plus, they love the attention too!
Teach yo-self. From yoga to knitting and everything in-between, the Internet is a great place to learn new things and maybe discover a new passion. YouTube a yoga session (I love Yoga With Adriene!) or explore your creative side with a DIY from Craftgawker.
Meditate. Before you write me off as being hippy-dippy, tell me, when is the last time you treated yourself to a moment of peace and stillness? No technology, no notifications, no nagging thoughts. Seriously, even 10 minutes of you-time has a ton of benefits for your mental and emotional well-being. If sitting meditation isn’t your thing, that’s totally fine—go on a walk, or just sit out in nature somewhere and be with yourself for a minute. If you ARE interested in learning more about meditation, I’d highly recommend Smiling Mind—all of their guided meditations are totally free!
Go reverse-shopping. Instead of pining over things you don’t have, spend some time parting with things you no longer need. Clearing clutter gives an instant sense of relief, and passing on or donating items that you no longer need but someone else would love is a gift in and of itself! (For more on this, you should definitely check out Marie Kondo.)
Save up for big treats! Tickets to your favorite concert? A spontaneous weekend trip? Every week, reward yourself by setting aside some money into a savings jar or bank account designated towards a specific reward. Even though you’re setting aside only a little bit of money at a time, knowing that you’re making progress towards it feels good too. And when you DO make that big spend, you’ll enjoy it that much more.
What are your go-to indulgences or ways to celebrate yourself? Let me know in the comments, then go treat yourself. You earned it. We all did!