You Deserve It: Healthy Self Rewarding

After a long hard workweek, do you ever feel as though you deserve a heavy night out on the town? On those early Monday mornings, do you feel you’ve earned that greasy breakfast sandwich just for getting out of bed? Due to our often stress-inducing lifestyle, many young professionals tend to indulge in less-than-healthy choices as ways of self-rewarding. It’s not our fault really, as society so often rewards achievements with such indulgences. Think of eating cake on birthdays, drinking champagne after winning in sports, or smoking cigars after landing a promotion; all very classic scenes. So when Friday comes and you know you’ve worked hard all week long, it’s natural to want to treat yourself by heading to the nearest steakhouse, smoke shop, or snifter. Our generation of young professionals tends to want to celebrate many things however, and indulging in such ways and so often can have a real negative effect on our health. So the next time you bag that big client, hit an important deadline, or just make it into work on a rough morning, try these alternative self rewards that keep your health in mind.  

Take a trip
Whether it’s one night in a luxury hotel, a week-long beach vacation, or an extended trip overseas, reward your next achievement with the gift of travel. Not only does a trip make for a great reward, it is also a great motivator. So set yourself up for success by planning a vacation as your reward for meeting that quota, completing that project, or just making it through another fiscal year.

Hit the spa
The next time you reach a goal in your career, treat yourself to a full day at the spa.  Plan a day of massages, mineral baths, beauty treatments, and relaxation (yes, it’s great for men, too). The spa offers one of the best ways for young professionals to treat themselves in a way that will actually benefit them. What’s better than rewarding yourself for all of your hard work than by taking the time to really relax? After an invigorating day at the spa, the thought of rewarding yourself with a night of Jack Daniels may actually seem like a punishment.   

Sleep in
Self-rewarding is all about partaking in something special, something you enjoy and don’t get to do all the time. The next time you deserve a treat, give yourself the gift of a Saturday morning sans alarm clock. Clear your morning schedule, tell your partner what’s up, let your roommates know the plan; whatever you have to do to make sure that this weekend you get to sleep in, lay about, lollygag, just be as lazy as you want for your special, designated you-time.

Take a bath, read a gossip mag, rent Pay-Per-View…
There are also a lot of little things you can do to pat yourself on the back. Think of those small activities you love but usually deem a waste of time or money. Taking time out to enjoy these small but pleasurable activities can be very gratifying. So go ahead, spend hours in the tub with your fave tabloid, or on the couch watching UFC…you deserve it!

Photo courtesy Keltic Lodge