Life can get really busy, and sometimes you just want to do nice things for yourself. Whether work is tough, there’s a lot to do at home, or your task list seems never-ending, you still want to have good relationships with your friends and family.
It’s important to treat yourself from time to time, to go back to slowing down and appreciating the simple things.
The last couple of weeks I have been in a slothful place, I didn’t take care of myself as I wanted to.
I wasn’t working out as much, I wasn’t eating as healthy (okay I have to admit, I’m still eating candy like it’s a food group), I was being lazy, and overall I wasn’t feeling good.
All I needed to give myself a kick in the butt. I listed many options to treat yourself that I keep returning to, without breaking the bank and spending too much money.
1. Bake Your Way To Happiness
Desserts are 100% my thing. If you enjoy baking, make one of your favorite things to eat. Enjoy the entire process from start to finish, and treat yo’self!
If you are trying to keep it frugal, try to find a recipe that you can make with the stuff that’s already in your pantry.
I’ve been doing a no-spend challenge a while ago, where I challenged myself to spend half the amount of money on groceries compared to normally. During that time it was HARD to make treats that weren’t going to break the bank.
If you’re curious, I’ve learned a lot from my no-spend month. After this challenge, my grocery spending is consistently below $70 every month!
2. Go on a Staycation
Take some days off and enjoy a staycation – a vacation to explore the area where you live. This is a great thing to do on a frugal summer vacation, or you could just take some days off and explore.
A staycation saves you a lot of money in terms of accommodation and transportation, but you are having the upside of exploring your area with a whole different view!
You’re exploring as a tourist would, so you’re figuring out where to go and what things to do. I’m sure that there are tons of things to do and places to visit, that you would have never visited otherwise!
It’s a nice way to treat yourself, it does not have to be a few weeks, you can just take a few days off if that’s what you need. You have the feeling of a vacation, but it will save you a lot compared to going somewhere else.
3. Take a Personal Day
If a staycation is too much for you, consider just taking a personal day!
When you’re adulting hard, it seems that you’re never having a day off. During the week you’re working, and during the weekends you have to run errands, work out, socialize, and more.
Just take a day off from work, just to do stuff that you enjoy! It won’t feel like a treat yourself moment when you’re forcing yourself to do the things you need to do. Really allow yourself to only do things that make you happy.
For example, if you want to be with your partner or your best friend during your personal day, start planning with them!
4. Take a Nap
Naps are life! A lot of people don’t sleep enough during the day, so it’s good to take a little nap during the day.
Let’s be real, when you’re having enough sleep during the night, naps are still what we need in life! Sleeping is pretty much my favorite activity, so it’s one of the best ways to treat yourself.
Naps are free, so enjoy as many as you want!
5. Read Your Favorite Book
You probably have a favorite book, and you probably haven’t read it in a while. When is the last time you actually opened it?
Treat yourself by reading your favorite book again, immerse yourself in the story, and feel like you’re lifted from the earth for a while.
Personally, I always read Harry Potter. Such great books, that are so amazing to read and bring my mind into another world.
6. Go Outside
I love being outside, it’s something about being in nature that makes everything so much more relaxed and chill.
You could go hiking, ride your bike, go swimming, have a picnic, go running, or take a long slow walk. It will calm your mind and bring the best thoughts running through your head. Of course, I recommend leaving your phone at home!
7. Contact Friends or Family
Sometimes you’ve been so busy, that you didn’t talk to someone close to you longer than you actually wanted. Setting aside some time to catch up with them might just be what you need.
Send them a text message, a voice message, or simply give them a call. It will do wonders for your mood, and you will be happy that you spoke to the other person as well!
8. Take a Bath
Ever since I was little, a hot long bath is making me happy. Taking a bath is relaxing, cheap, and you don’t need to leave the house.
If you want to up your bath you can add a bath bomb, essential oils, or some bath salts, and you’ll feel like you’re in the spa!
It’s a good way to get some alone time in. You can read a book, take a short nap, or quiet your mind.
9. Put on a Facemask
While you’re in the bath, or outside of the bath, put on a facemask!
Facemasks are glorious! Facemasks are super cheap and they make you feel like you’re a self-care master! It’s two birds in one stone; you’re taking care of your skin and you’re getting relaxed.
Put a mask on your face, put on your favorite music, and enjoy the quiet moment you’ve just created for yourself!
Whether you want to watch your favorite movie or want to binge-watch your favorite TV shows, it’s one good way to treat yourself without breaking the bank. If you’re feeling lazy, but still want some me-time, do this!
BUT try to stick to movies or series that make you feel good! If you’re doing some self-care because you’re feeling exhausted, it might not be the best idea to watch a dramatic film.
Netflix is a great alternative for cable TV, so if you want to cut the cable
11. Put Music On
Ever feeling down, but then you’re putting music on, and everything changes? Story of my life. Sit and listen to your favorite artist.
If you currently don’t have time to really sit down and listen, just put it on as you’re doing something else. Music will upgrade any experience!
12. Dance, dance, dance
I don’t know about you, but when my favorite music is on it’s hard for me to sit still! I love to have dance parties. Let yourself go and dance to your favorite music!
Singing along is amazing, it doesn’t matter if you hit the notes because no one cares!!
13. Work Out
I know you don’t want it now, I also didn’t want to do it, but working out is seriously going to make you feel better, AFTERWARDS! It’s going to feel great that you’ve actually made yourself going.
And if you’re picking the right activity, it can even be fun! You can do some yoga, some pilates, some random fitness YouTube videos, and more.
14. Play Some Games
Whether you’re into video games or board games, go play some games! This can be with friends and family, or just online.
When I was younger I used to play so many games with my sister or with my friends. Now I do it only on more special occasions, like with the holidays. Well, treating yourself is a special occasion, so I’d say go for it!
15. Go Through Old Photos
A few weeks ago I visited my parents when I saw some old photo albums in the closet. They were family photos from
It was going through all the photos, telling storing, laughing, thinking about the great moments, and having fun with each other.
I thoroughly enjoyed it!
16. Stop the Negative
Challenge yourself by not having any negative self-talk for a while. Stop thinking: I’m too stupid/smart/fat/thin, I can’t do it, I’m not good enough, whatever it is you’re thinking.
It will be great for your mood AND for your confidence. Try it and see where you end up!
17. Go Screenless
No TV, no phone, no laptop, no screens at all.
It will mean an entire day of relaxation without any distractions. Life is good!
18. Enjoy the Sunset
I love sunsets. They’re beautiful, they’re free, they’re there every single day.
If you’re hardcore, you can try the sunrise as well.
19. Get Creative
Write, draw, color, do whatever you like to get your creative juices flowing.
Write down your thoughts, journal, or try to write a story. This is just for your eyes only!
Adult coloring books are quite the trend now, which is amazing because coloring is just so relaxing and I enjoyed it ever since I could hold a pen. Give it a try, it’s amazing!
You could also draw your own pictures and enjoy the moments of relaxation!
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Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.