6 Ways to Treasure Yourself (Including My Own Favorites)

Cooling off on a hot summer’s day last year, with my bare feet in the fountain on my patio. Photo used with permission.

It’s easy to get caught up in everyone else’s world and forget to pamper yourself a little.  In fact, pampering yourself can feel downright selfish, even if you did just put in a 100-hour work week.  Yet, if you’re trying to maintain or reach a place of balance and happiness, a little self-treasuring can go a long way.

Here’s my personal list:

  1. Make time for meditation–20 minutes is plenty. I’ve worked with teachers, coaches, and advisers who’ve said things that made me feel guilty.  They’ve chastised me for not taking a hour to meditate and spend that time on myself, and I distinctly remember explaining to one spiritual leader that it took me 30 minutes to get ready for work in the morning because that’s all the time I had when a toddler wasn’t hanging onto me and every time I tried to meditate, I was so exhausted that I fell asleep.  I no longer have toddlers demanding my time so I try to catch 20 minutes’ meditation time every day, usually between work and my evening relaxation because it helps to get me focused and out of the “office” mode.  Sometimes I simply set a time for 20 minutes, close my eyes, and listen.  Who cares if my mind roams?  Rejuvenation!
  2. Flowers.  Fresh flowers.  Once a week. I prefer them from my own garden, but it that doesn’t work, a small bouquet from the grocery store is just fine or, even better, a flowering plant that can later join my garden.  I love the scent and colors and a few fresh flowers a week add a touch of spring to every day.
  3. Nightgowns and lingerie. When I was newly single, I stashed away lingerie for “eventually,” when I was in a relationship again.  No more sleeping in T-shirts!  Now I choose a different nightgown every night and feel wonderful in it whether I’m in a relationship or not.  When unattached women wear crappy clothes to bed when they’d never wear them with a mate, they’re saying they’re not worth the little pleasantries.
  4. Satin sheets. I’ve loved satin sheets since college when I splurged on a set of wine-red ones.  For a long time, I didn’t have a mate who fancied them.  Now, I have them in emerald green, ice cream pink, chocolate brown, shiny gold, and–of course–wine red.
  5. A good night’s sleep. This is the hardest for me still.  It’s said that every hour of sleep you get before midnight is worth 2 hours.  Aim for sleep times that are multiples of 1.5 hours, the typical sleep cycle for the best rest ever.
  6. A hot bath. I had to travel a lot when the kids were in pre-school, and I made the most of those hotel stays alone.  The rocket scientists who traveled with me were out on the town but not  me!  I ordered room service and ate uninterrupted, watched TV uninterrupted, and then took a long, hot bath before crawling into bed for uninterrupted sleep.  Back home, my one uninterrupted treasure was 30 minutes in the bath a few times a week–and that’s when I caught up on my reading.  I still make it a must-have several times a week.

Everyone’s list is different, and even then, it can change from time to time.  Your list might include music, incense, candles, pedicures, massages, or a glass of wine.  The point is, come up with a short list of little things that feel luxurious to you, that make you feel like you’re selfishly putting yourself first for a change–and then commit to enjoying a few on a regular basis.

If you don’t treat yourself well, why should anyone else?

Flying By Night novel


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