Life: We’re constantly moving at full speed, running from work to workouts, happy hours, family events, and more, trying to cram as much as possible into each hour. But even — and especially — the busiest people need to balance out the hecticness with a little “me time.” Whether it’s adding a little extra joy to your regular routine or taking a moment just for yourself, here are 11 simple ways to reward yourself every day.
1. Take a long bath. At the end of a long day, decompress with a nice, warm soak in the tub. Grab some bath salts, bath bombs, bubbles, face masks, or other spa-like luxuries, and literally wash away your stress. If your fingers get pruney, then you’re doing it right.
2. Buy that fancy coffee. There’s something particularly satisfying about heading to your go-to cafe and having the barista make your favorite espresso beverage. Sure, coffee spending habits get a bad rap, but there are ways to sip (and shop) smarter. With the new Citi Rewards+ card, you can get big points on all the little things you normally buy, including groceries, gas, and that extra hot, double shot, oat milk cappuccino you love so much. Plus, points round up to the nearest 10 on every purchase. That’s great math in your favor: Rewarding yourself just got even more rewarding.
3. Meditate in the morning. Resist the urge to roll over in your bed, grab your phone, and scroll through your inbox or social feeds the minute you wake up. Instead, start your morning with some meditation or yoga to prepare your mind and body for the day ahead. Don’t worry, those work emails aren’t going anywhere.
4. Go outside during your lunch break. Eating lunch at your desk is so overrated. Schedule a lunchtime workout class or simply go outside for a walk around the block. You’ll feel more energized afterward and be more productive in the afternoon. Worried about how you’ll look post-sweat sesh? Well, that’s what dry shampoo is for.
5. Finish that book you’ve put down halfway through. We all have more books than we do time to read them. If your bedside stack of books is in danger of toppling over, or you’re tired of being left out of every, “Is the movie as good as the book?” debate, pick up that unfinished read and get to page-turning.
6. Call a loved one on the phone. In the age of memes, GIFs, and emoji, who even talks on the phone anymore? But there’s no real substitute for hearing someone’s laughter or seeing their smile on the phone or via video chat. So go on and call your BFF, sibling, partner, or mom — you’ll both appreciate an old-fashioned gabfest.
7. Get green. Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers on your way home or put some resilient succulents around your apartment or on your desk. Plants are a great form of self-care, and they’ll never talk your ear off like a noisy coworker or roommate.
8. Journal. Take stock of your day, good and bad, or just write your thoughts out on paper. Journaling your feelings can help you process through them, and at the very least, will give you a few minutes of mindful self-reflection.
9. Go to sleep early. Skip the extra screen time and late night emails, spritz some lavender on your pillowcase, and head to bed early to catch a few extra Zzzs. Getting a good night’s sleep has been linked to overall well-being, and there’s no such thing as too much beauty rest.
10. Watch a guilty pleasure TV show. Indulge in some Housewives drama, watch that ridiculously cheesy rom-com for the umpteenth time, or surrender to not one but all of the true crime series in your queue. Sometimes entertainment doesn’t need to do much more than entertain you.
11. Try something new. Sign up for a new hobby, take a different route home, try a new recipe, or make spontaneous plans with friends. It’s easy to become a creature of habit, but mixing it up can help you discover things about yourself that you never imagined.
(Photos via Getty)
Lesley Chen is a California native who writes about travel, health/fitness, and other lifestyle topics. She has a serious case of RBF and exercises mainly to balance out an aggressive candy addiction.