The holidays have come and gone for another year, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to be over. It’s never too late to give yourself gifts, whether it’s that new boots you’ve been eyeing for months or letting yourself sleep in on a Saturday morning after a long work week. You don’t need to be rich to treat yourself. Give yourself these gifts today.
IF YOU’RE BROKE, GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF…
- Patience. Take a really deep breath and count backwards from 10 when you feel yourself getting keyed up. Use the countdown as a way of steadying yourself, of telling yourself, “I’m going to use these seconds to chill out so that by the time I reach 1, I’ll be ready.” Do this whenever you find yourself in a situation where you’re ready to jump out of your skin, like when you’re standing in a long line that isn’t moving, are stuck in traffic, or while on hold for customer support.
- A better sleep cycle. The gift of sleep is maybe the best free gift you can give yourself. Generally speaking, you should be asleep every night before midnight at the very latest (preferably before then). If it takes you hours to fall asleep, get into bed at 10 pm. Turn off the lights and put away ALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES. When your alarm goes off in the morning, do NOT hit snooze. If you struggle to get up, try training your body by using an app like SleepCycle, or even this website, Sleepyti.me.
- A list of things you love about yourself. Why does it seem so much easier to put yourself down than it is to build yourself up? This year, give yourself the gift of love and acceptance. Write a list of things you genuinely love about yourself, with no exceptions. (No, “I love my legs, but wish they weren’t covered in stretch marks” — that doesn’t count. Keep it all positive!). Aim for at least 10 things, then read the list out loud. Put the list in a safe place and re-read it whenever you’re feeling down. Is it cheesy? Yes. Does it help? Definitely.
- A relaxing bubble bath. If you’re not into bubble bath, a few drops of your favorite essential oil can do the trick, too. Grab a magazine or book, slink into that hot bath, and stay there until you feel relaxed and wonderful. Specifically carve out some time in your schedule to do this. For example, make 9-9:30 pm bath time, and keep that appointment!
- A healthier you. You don’t have to buy a gym membership to become fit or healthy. Start small. For example, instead of driving to run errands, walk instead — or just schedule 20 minutes every day for a walk or jog in your neighborhood. There are also loads of free exercise videos on YouTube that you can use. You can find virtually any exercise and they range from 5 minutes long to an hour. You can start small or jump in, just do something. Little things you can do to change your diet include always having a vegetable side of some sort with dinner and swapping soda for water. Instead of having booze and desert in one meal, make a choice. Little things like that. And please, quit smoking!
IF YOU HAVE A LITTLE MONEY, GIVE YOURSELF…
- A kick-ass lipstick. Buy it from Sephora or CVS, it doesn’t matter. Buy yourself a shade you’ve always wanted to try but thought you never could pull off. What’s the worst that could happen? You’re not going to wind up in Us Weekly on the Fashion Police page.
- A culinary treat. For example, maybe you love tea but never bought loose teas. Get yourself an adorable strainer, like this Tea Duckie Tea Infuser, and go to a nearby Teavana and get some teas (or just get ’em online!). Or say you cook — why not try a flavor infused olive oil? Just get something you’d never think of adding to your kitchen on a routine shopping trip.
- Sexy (or not-so-sexy) underwear. Even if you’re single, you can still buy sexy undies. It’s not a law that you have to be part of a couple to buy them, I promise. Not a frilly thong person? Treat yourself to some comfy boy shorts. And you don’t have to spend loads on them, either. Just go to Target or Marshall’s and buy yourself some new underwear.
- A digital subscription. There are so many to choose from, like Spotify, Netflix, or Amazon Prime (just to name a few). Most of them offer special discounts as well (like Spotify not only has a special running but they also offer a student discount!). And you can cancel at any time. So this year, consider not mooching off of your friend’s Netflix account, and get your own.
- A massage. There’s nothing like a massage to make you feel fancy as hell. Plus, it can get rid of those pesky knots in your muscles that feel like rocks after hours of sitting at your computer.