We live in a society where food is often used as reward, celebration, and comfort. Killer workouts are followed by decadent brunches, birthdays must include fabulous desserts, and breakups are cushioned by pints of ice cream. And it’s all because you want to treat yourself.

Inherently, there is nothing wrong with this. Food is emotional, and just like I would never give up the chance to sit around a table with my favorite people and my favorite food, I would never tell you to do so.

The problem comes when food is your primary coping mechanism. It’s what you turn to any time you want to celebrate a great grade or soothe yourself after a fight with your best friend. You’re just treating yourself, though, right?

Well, sure. But what are you getting out of it? Do you enjoy the food you eat in a flurry of emotion? If you really do, maybe it’s the perfect time to treat yourself with food. That said, you’re so much more than what you eat. Why not treat yourself in a different way – even just sometimes?

Pamper yourself.

Whether you paint your nails for a pretty reminder that you’re #worthit or just take a long, hot shower and bask in the steam, this is a great way to relax and practice some self care.

Watch your favorite show.

We’ve all been there, chilling in bed and watching Netflix to procrastinate on schoolwork or a workout. And afterward maybe you felt a little guilty, because you still have so much to do. What if you decided to treat yourself by allotting an hour or two to sit and watch guilt-free? I bet you’d enjoy it a lot more.

Read a book.

When was the last time you just sat and read a book for pleasure? I know for me it was a while ago, but it’s still something I love to do. Nothing helps me relax like getting lost in a good story.

Take a nap.

Sleep is oh-so important to everything from your performance in workouts to your performance in school. And frankly, I bet you don’t get enough of it. So, next time you’re feeling extra sleepy, instead of grabbing a vat of coffee, do yourself a favor and cozy up for a nap.

Stretch or foam roll.

We all know this is an important part of working out, but it’s also the part that many people neglect. If you’ve been sitting in the library all day, take a few minutes at night to put on your fave podcast or music and release all that built-up tension.

Do your favorite workout.

Love hot yoga but never get to the studio? Adore spinning but always say you’re too busy to go? Treat yourself by taking an hour or so to do a workout that makes you smile.

Go on a date.

It doesn’t even have to be a romantic date. Grab a few friends or your significant other and go shop, see a movie, hike, or simply explore your city. Being social can be a great pick-me-up, and when your schedule gets crazy, friend time often gets pushed aside for more “productive” pursuits.

Go ahead and #treatyoself. I bet you’ll be glad you did.

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About The Author

Ellen is a second year economics major at the University of Chicago, and she is originally from Columbus, Ohio. Her favorite things include writing, hockey, Ohio State football, tea, Diet Coke, photography, cooking and baking, yoga and running, and food and fitness in general. She talks a lot about all of these things on her blog, My Uncommon Everyday. She considers herself a connoisseur of pizza, nut butter, and dark chocolate.

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