There are times when we all need a treat; times when we're maybe feeling stressed, unappreciated, over tired, are perhaps having problems with our partner, work, children. At these times we may crave a treat, a cigarette, a beer or a glass of wine, something rather nice to help us cope with the problem, to soothe us and help relieve the stress or to reward us afterwards.
These are typically our vulnerable times, the times when we reach for that one reliable friend, the quick fix that sustains us and never lets us down. It's often only later that we berate ourselves for being weak and picking the 'easy' option that's not such a good friend after all.
Let us look at some wonderful treats that can make us feel good, satisfied and relieve stress without a single calorie or health warning in sight!
- Buy yourself a bunch of flowers. Remember, even men like flowers! Fresh flowers bring colour, fragrance and brighten the mood, whichever room they're in. Put them somewhere unexpected, like your bedroom or the bathroom so you see them and smile when you wake up or shower - they're there just for you.
- Freshly laundered sheets, maybe with a few drops of essential oils in the final rinse cycle are a lovely treat at the end of a busy, stressful day. They smell wonderful, help you sleep better and make bedtime a more soothing experience. Make your bedroom a relaxing, comfortable haven.
- Take a few hours off. Put yourself in your diary, just like you would an important client and keep that appointment. Have a satisfying treat of an afternoon and go for a walk in the park on your own. Enjoy the peace, quiet and the opportunity for a short break. Maybe go and feed the ducks or visit the petting zoo.
- Listen to music. At home you can explore your back catalogue and rediscover tracks you've not heard for ages. In your car you can park, lock the doors and relax for 10 minutes, listening to some of your favourite tracks.
- Book a massage, facial or manicure. Invest a little time and money on a delicious treatment that makes you feel better, more confident and good about yourself.
- Locate your photograph albums and spend a nostalgic hour or two being reminiscent about old times. Or maybe rediscover your old diaries and letters. Have a laugh, cry or a rueful smile about the past and relish a lovely way to spend a little time.
- Get up early and watch the sun rise. Maybe take a walk, go for a jog or enjoy some yoga in the early hours when no one else is around. That extra 30 minutes or so in the morning can be a great way to start the day.
- Introduce new colours and textures into your home. Bright cushions, prints, ornaments can freshen up your home without too much expense, whilst making your place feel more welcoming and relaxing, a treat to come home to.
- Candle light is lovely in the evening. It transforms a room, makes a comfortable, stress free atmosphere, even when you're on your own. Definitely a pleasant, healthy option.
- Give yourself time to sit and read a book, poetry, a magazine. Or catch up on those films you recorded but never found the time to watch.
- Spend time in the garden. Maybe grow flowers or your own vegetables; it's very therapeutic to grow your own plants. A little effort can introduce colour, fresh produce, and somewhere to relax with friends, family or by yourself on a pleasant afternoon.
- Make arrangements with friends to go for a walk or visit some of the free entertainments available. Museums, libraries and art galleries often have interesting exhibitions and concerts. Join their mailing lists and enjoy choosing where to go.
- Relax in the bath, maybe with hair or facial treatments. Use those scented candles you've been saving for a special occasion, play soothing music and enjoy the treat, a tasty way to spend some time.
- Go to bed for half an hour. A nap can help you de-stress, lift your spirits and revitalise you for the rest of the day.
- Phone a friend. Allow time for a real chat, just like you would if you were together. It can be a treat to catch up with each other's news, share concerns and enjoy reconnecting.
These are just a few ideas that can bring a good feeling into our lives. Knowing that there's something to look forward to, treats that have been incorporated into each day can help us feel rewarded, soothed and less stressed. This way we can lose the need for toxic quick fixes. There's no need for any guilt with these tasty treats. There's not a single calorie or other sin in sight!