Over the years, I’ve learned to accept that it’s okay to be selfish from time to time. That’s not to say that the world should always be framed around what you want 24/7, but rather that it’s okay to do something really nice for yourself. I feel that every day you should do something, no matter how small, as a little treat for yourself.
Here are some of the ways I do this:
Actually celebrating my birthday
Usually, I hate doing anything for my birthday. I mostly see it as just a day that happens every year. My parents would push me to do something nice every year and I always kinda hated it. It felt wrong for me to have people going out of their way and doing something nice like spending money on me. I would usually just do something to make them happy like agreeing to order something small from a restaurant I liked.
This year, I decided to do something different. This is my last year being in a school setting and my first year being back on campus with people in nearly two years. I wanted to celebrate by doing something nice this year. I felt that it was appropriate to do something nice for myself as I turned 23 considering I did nothing last year, so I organized a dinner with friends at one of those all-you-can-eat Brazilian steak houses. I was afraid some people wouldn’t come, but everyone showed up and had a good time. It was reflexive on my part, but when the check came, I had to be stopped from trying to pay. We went to the Biergarten after that and I treated myself to the birthday boot. That might have been a mistake, but it was fun to be carefree for a night.
Relax your routine
When you get up in the morning, don’t always be in a rush to get everything done. Feel free to stretch out and take your time making a good breakfast. Whether you wake up with a lot of energy or need a cup of coffee to get started, you deserve the time to start your day off right.
Enjoy Your Hobbies
Sometimes, you need to decompress when you get home. You don’t always need to grind and work for the future; sometimes you just need to read a book, play a game or bake some cookies.
Having hobbies ensures you’re saving time for yourself. Finding a little joy in your personal time is always worth it, especially if you’re constantly busy.
Don’t be afraid to put things off.
If something isn’t dire, you shouldn’t be afraid of pushing it off to another time. I go to the gym every morning, but because of how cold it’s been lately, sometimes I just decide to go way later in the day than I normally would because it’s warmer out. Other things I extend this philosophy towards are work assignments. If an assignment isn’t due immediately, sometimes wait a day to get it done.
Those are some ways I try and reward myself. The world won’t explode if you give yourself a little bit of self-care.
Jalen Wade is a graduate student in the magazine, news and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.