I love you all, but we work too hard. All of my friends and family are workhorses: working, working out, taking care of animals, going to therapy, cleaning, cooking, taking classes, watching their kids, and the list goes on and on. I know that I personally worked so hard this last couple of months that I got sick because I wasn’t taking care of my body. I literally worked myself to the point that my body couldn’t maintain the level of balance needed to function. I had to take four days off work to fully recover. Then when I went back to work, I got sick a second time a week later, because I had returned to the same work/life balance as before. Don’t make my mistake. In the immortal words of Donna and Tom, “Treat Yo Self.”
But let me tell you something, treating yourself can can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be, but do it because it’s helping your mental and physical health, not because you think it’s what you should be doing. We don’t need to be at the level of Treat Yo Self that Donna and Tom have, because we can do things complex or much simpler. You want a dress that you’ve been eyeing up for a few months but haven’t purchased? Treat Yo Self. Your house feels like it’s falling to shambles, and you want it to be clean? Treat Yo Self. You feel like you need some time for you? Treat Yo Self. It doesn’t matter if you’re just taking 30 minutes to read a book, or an hour and a half shopping for the perfect shoes, just do something other than work.
We are a society wired to work for our happiness, that if we don’t work hard, we won’t get anywhere in life. But that’s bullshit. I’ve come to realize that I could be just as happy working a simple retail job, or doing freelance writing, rather than finding a 9-5 job to work for the rest of my life. It’s been a slow realization and shift away from money and material goods as my main motivator. I’ve found therapy in happiness in the quiet days at home, snuggled in bed watching Netflix, or reading a book. It’s a lie that the only way to treat yo self is with travel or buying a ton of designer goods. Self care is the ultimate form of treating yourself.
Travel is expensive, but life-changing. Designer goods are over-priced, but well-made. Cleaning is boring but, can help you relax . I mean there are negatives and positives to everything, so you have to do what’s right for you. As someone who gets ill every time I overwork myself, I want to warn all of you that it’s not worth it. Were the long hours, heat exhaustion, and overtime worth this? No. It’s hard to step back and take inventory of your life when it’s nice to be able to pay off your monthly student loan payment and still have extra money. But getting so sick that I can’t work isn’t worth it. Back in college my friend Claire sent me a care package because my final semester had made me sick from stress. To the point that I was sick for almost two months.
So the next time you have a day off and a ton of errands, take an hour for yourself. Take a bath, go for a walk, listen to a new album and color, meditate, or get your nails done. Take some damn time for yourself because we only get one chance to be happy in this life, and having money and cool shit doesn’t mean anything. Have experiences that are purely yours and make the daily grind less awful. Don’t just read this and nod your head along, show yourself some self love. Tell me about it! Write in the comments, send me a DM, tag me on Instagram. Show me that you’re taking care of yourself and treating yo self this month.
Here’s a list of 20 things you can do to Treat Yo Self right now:
- Watch your favorite movie for the 100th time
- Color and listen to music
- Organize your room
- Make your bed
- Go on a walk
- Find a new podcast
- Get a manicure of pedicure
- Make your favorite cocktail
- Read a book
- Jam to throwback music
- Snuggle your pet
- Look at old photos
- Go shopping for something you don’t need
- Go shopping for something you need
- Buy a fancy dessert and eat the whole thing
- Download a new album
- Watch dumb shit on YouTube
- Sing about nothing
- Get fancy and go out