Slow Down and Treat Yourself - Mental and Emotional Self-Care

The Witch's Book of Self-Care: Magical Ways to Pamper, Soothe, and Care for Your Body and Spirit - Arin Murphy-Hiscock 2018

Slow Down and Treat Yourself
Mental and Emotional Self-Care

Treating yourself is a fun way to engage in some self-care. We often think of a treat being food or drink or some sort of retail therapy. But it can be curling up with a book and a cup of tea or sitting in the sun with a cat on your lap.

Don’t multitask by combining your treats, unless you specifically design one as something stacked (a fancy coffee while reading a good book, for example). If you overload your treat time, you’ll lose out on the full experience of enjoying each aspect, and the self-care might become perfunctory.

There are a few things to keep in mind about treating yourself. If your treat is commonplace, it won’t be a treat. Try to keep it as something special that you only do every once in a while. Alternatively, schedule a smaller treat as “Me Time” on a regular basis and stick to it as ongoing self-care. Choose something you wouldn’t do ordinarily or that you do rarely. Or perhaps it’s something you do already but you want to do it in a different way. (Even grocery shopping at a different time on your own can be seen as a treat, if doing it with children at peak hours is your usual mode of operation. Remember, it all depends on your context!)

The important thing about a treat is that it has to be experienced mindfully. What’s the point of scheduling yourself a treat if you’re not going to pay attention while doing it?

Mindful Treat

What to Do:

1. Before you actually begin your treat, close your eyes and take a bit of time to be in the moment. Let all the things that have been dogging you melt away; it’s just you and whatever you’ve chosen as your treat. In your mind, say, “This time is mine; I declare it so.”

2. Take the time to really enjoy all the dimensions of your treat. Watch people; notice the scents of the area you’re in; taste things mindfully; enjoy the sensations of turning pages or discovering the story in your book or on your e-reader.

3. If you can’t fully settle into your treat time, don’t force it. And don’t allow yourself to be irritated that it isn’t as special as you want it to be. Not every moment of your self-care will be blissful. But it will be time spent doing what you have chosen to do, and that’s important.


♦ Naturally, mindfulness will be different if you’re in a crowd or with a group of friends for your treat. Adjust your expectations and roll on!