The holidays are usually filled with trips to the mall, office parties, and other obligations that dominate your social calendar. But it’s important to carve out some time for yourself, too: Studies have shown that finding a self-care routine (whether it’s physical, like exercise, or emotional, like a bubble bath) and sticking to it can help reduce anxiety, boost your immune system, and give you higher self-esteem. So, in collaboration with Pizza Hut, Mental Floss is bringing you seven easy ways to treat yourself this holiday season (or any time of the year).
1. Unplug from social media.
Although social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family, it can also create a lot of unnecessary stress. Give yourself a break from constant communication by turning off your phone notifications and temporarily deleting your social media apps for 24 hours (or even an entire weekend). Even though this might seem like a big challenge, you’ll soon find you don’t miss your phone’s constant buzzes, dings, or on-screen updates.
Without your phone as a distraction, you’ll be able to spend more quality time with people you care about. Once you’re ready to return online, you’ll feel refreshed, recharged, and ready to tackle anything you missed while you were away.
2. Schedule regular time for hobbies.
The older you get, the more life can get in the way of the things you want to do versus the things you have to do. Work, meal prep, daily home upkeep, social obligations, and caring for pets and children all take up a lot of energy—sometimes so much that it feels like there’s no room for anything else. To make space for something that feels like a treat, get into the habit of choosing a day every month to do a hobby that you love and put it in your calendar to avoid double-booking.
Pick a pastime you haven’t done in a while, whether it’s hiking your favorite trail, completing a puzzle or art project, going to a museum, or just settling down with a book. Make sure the activity is one that you’ll find soothing, energizing, and restorative, and consider making it a regular part of your normal routine after the holidays. That way, you’ll always have an event to look forward to even when things get chaotic.
3. Take some vacation days from work.
Sometimes the best advice is the simplest, and if you really want some time for yourself this holiday season, take a day off from your job. One study estimated that more than 760 million vacation days went unused in the United States in 2018—and chances are, a few of yours were part of it. Put an end to that habit this year by taking (and most importantly, enjoying) the days you’re given. But here’s the real trick: Don’t stress about cramming a month’s worth of vacation activities into a single day. If you want to just stay home and binge-watch some TV, go for it.
4. Have a spa day at home.
It’s important to feel pampered, and when the urge hits, treat yourself to a spa day at home. To get into relaxation mode, put on your fluffiest bathrobe, turn on some relaxing music, and light some candles to set a tranquil mood. Next, take a bubble bath—or, if you don’t have a bathtub, use an aromatherapy shower bomb to turn your shower into a calming oasis. Once you feel clean and refreshed, try out a new face mask or skincare product that you’ve been eyeing for a while, taking care to soak in the experience for as long as possible.
5. Order your favorite food.
Sometimes, the easiest way to spoil yourself is simply by indulging in your favorite comfort food. And to really do it right, make sure you can get the meal delivered right to your home so you won’t even need to change out of your pajamas to enjoy it. If a piping-hot pizza sounds like your ideal way to unwind, let Pizza Hut do all of the work with their Triple Treat Box®, which comes loaded with five breadsticks; two medium one-topping pizzas; and an order of Cinnabon® Mini Rolls. It’s more than enough food to treat yourself and your loved ones for the entire day—and you might have some leftovers too.
6. Buy yourself a gift.
Too often, we spend our time and energy on the people around us, putting ourselves last instead of first. But everyone deserves to treat themselves every now and then. This year, give yourself permission to buy that one item you’ve been eyeing for a while, even if it is completely self-indulgent. This can be a new pair of headphones, a 4K TV, a fancy coffee machine—anything that you’ve been wishing for. So long as it doesn’t break your personal piggy bank, you shouldn’t feel guilty for rewarding yourself with a present that’s meaningful, useful, or just plain fun.
7. Re-watch your favorite childhood movie.
Movies can evoke a sense of nostalgia and warmth, transporting us back to a period when life wasn’t quite so busy. Spend an evening watching a beloved movie from when you were little and order some comforting take-out to make the experience feel all the more authentic. You might be surprised by how much this simple activity can transport you back in time and help you forget about life’s stresses. Make the night even better by inviting some friends and family over to watch along with you.
It’s important to do something special for yourself this holiday season, and you can complete your self-care routine with the help of Pizza Hut’s Triple Treat Box, which comes packed with five breadsticks; two medium, one-topping pizzas; and an order of Cinnabon® Mini Rolls .
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