“Treat yourself” is one of those mantras we all can get behind, and research shows that it really does improve our mood in the moment. A recent study also found that when we treat others, too, everyone gets a psychological boost in terms of mood, functioning and overall outlook. Here are a few ideas to get the good vibes going whether you have 30 seconds or all afternoon.
Treat your community
- If you have 30 seconds: hold the door for someone.
- If you have 2 minutes: text a friend wishing them good luck on an exam, an easy shift at work, a fun night—whatever you think they need to hear.
- If you have 5 minutes: take a walk through Norlin quad and smile at the people you pass. If you see someone you know, ask how they’re doing.
- If you have 15 minutes: do your roommates/family a solid by tidying up the kitchen or living room.
- If you have all day: check in with the Volunteer Resource Center about local opportunities for ways you can have an impact.
- If you have 30 seconds: sit in a comfortable place, close your eyes and focus on your breath.
- If you have 2 minutes: watch a funny video on YouTube.
- If you have 5 minutes: try these stretches to ease your stress.
- If you have 15 minutes: savor your next snack, cup of coffee or meal. Really focus on the flavors, the experience and the enjoyment you get from the daily ritual.
- If you have all day: go all in! Try to eat healthy, filling food that nourishes you, pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read, or tackle the assignment that’s been hanging over your head. Treating yourself doesn’t have to cost a lot or even be luxurious: it’s about doing what makes you feel a little better with the time and resources you have.
Treating ourselves and others is scientifically proven to boost our happiness, health and wellbeing. It’s also contagious: researchers have found that when someone performs a good deed, those around them are more likely to follow suit. Whatever else you may have going on this week, try to find a little time to spread those good vibes. You—and those around you—deserve it!
The Healthy Buffs series is brought to you by Wardenburg Health Services. Visit us online at www.colorado.edu/health