Too often we live our lives with a scarcity mentality. We scrimp and save and work hard to exercise discipline so that we don’t waste. And while these are virtuous acts, it’s not sustainable to live in a constant state of self-restraint, nor is it any fun. It’s ok to allow ourselves the space to indulge, and take unrestrained pleasure in something. Here are ways to indulge your wants while sticking to your budget.
Indulge for free
– Take a hot bath. Crank the faucet in your bathtub, light a candle and play some meditation music on your phone, and voila! You have yourself a free spa treatment.
– Carve out quiet time just for yourself. The simple act of giving yourself uninterrupted time to read, watch the sunset or enjoy a delicious piece of chocolate allows your body and brain to relax and feel pampered.
– Fond memories are a source of free dopamine hits. Find a token of a treasured memory, maybe it’s a baby picture of your child, a key chain from your honeymoon or a ticket stub from that epic night out with your friends. Keep it close by so it can give you a mood boost whenever you need it.
– Seek out the awe-inspiring. Human beings crave the magnificent, and you don’t need to take an expensive vacation to experience that. Simply take a walk in nature and notice the wonders of life sprouting up around you. Or read uplifting stories of human triumph. Or watch videos of animals doing adorable things. Or volunteer a few hours each month and feel the rush of making the world a better place.
– Hug someone.
Allow yourself regular indulgences
– Space out your indulgences, don’t consume them all at once. Why? Because so much of the joy of an indulgence is the anticipation, the seeking out, the opening, the consuming, the savoring and the remembering of the indulgence. So if you love drinking wine, don’t attempt to taste multiple flavors in one night on the town. Instead, meet up with a friend once every other week for a glass of wine. Really enjoy that single glass and know that you’ll always have more to look forward to.
– If you’re more of a dessert lover, catch up with a friend over a monthly ice cream date.
– Schedule a quarterly trip to the theater with your partner.
Pick one thing and savor it
– If you love cooking, take a class or splurge on the expensive ingredients so you can really linger in the dish you love.
– If you love photography, spend your weekends going on mini photography vacations around your neighborhood, capturing your town through your unique lens.
– If you want an at-home spa treatment, spend a little extra on the fancy shampoo or the nice body wash and really savor each fragrant shower you take. You can also find a lot of DIY spa recipes that teach you how to turn ordinary kitchen products into things like face masks, body scrubs and more.
So go ahead and treat yo’ self! You won’t go broke doing it, and if anything, indulging will re-energize you and help you stay on track with your bigger goals.
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