We all deserve a a splurge, whether to celebrate a milestone or just to let loose. All too often we reach for less than healthy pleasures to commemorate a job well done: sugar-filled cake, unlimited booze, and all-night dance parties that cut into our sleep.
There are healthier ways to splurge no matter what the celebration. Here are some ideas:
Instead of cake, splurge on fresh seasonal fruit
One cake will cost you the same as a small basketful of delicious, ripe fruit. Seasonal fruits will be cheaper and tastier; in the summer, that means strawberries, blueberries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, watermelon, kiwi, and mango. Go one step further by cutting the fruit and arranging it on a plate. Garnish it with freshly whipped cream or herbs.
Instead of partying through the night, party in the day with a spa treatment
The money you’d spend at a bar can be spent just as well on a spa “party” in the daytime. Invite your friends to join you for a a manicure or pedicure, book a relaxing facial, or enjoy a massage to smooth out any tension from working and sitting too long.
Instead of dancing in heels at a club, put on your sneakers and go for a celebratory workout
Dancing with high heels can cause injury and damage to your feet. Get a similar adrenaline rush by working out: go for a long bike ride, relaxing run on the beach, taking a dance class at the local club, visit a rock climbing gym, go on an urban hike, or jump at a trampoline center. Choose an activity that you wouldn’t normally make time for so it feels like a treat.
Instead of buying a boozy brunch, make your own fancy breakfast
Breakfast is a fun splurge because it’s usually such a boring meal. But a typical brunch of waffles, bacon, and mimosas loads you up with fat and sugar that crash your energy later in the day. Avoid the sluggishness by making your own brunch. Focus on protein-heavy meals that will give you lasting energy such as egg dishes (omelets, frittatas, quiches and scrambles), salads with cheese, meat, and nuts, and breakfast meats. Make it a splurge by incorporating fancier ingredients, herbs, and foodie coffee/tea.
Instead of going to the ice cream shop, buy fresh ingredients and make your own
If you have an ice cream maker, buy fresh cream and flavor your ice cream with dark chocolate, vanilla extract, or fresh fruit pieces. When you make your own treats, you can use less sugar than the recipe asks for (many recipes call for more sugar than they really need). Top your sundae with nuts, freshly shaved chocolate, coconut pieces, and berries. It’ll taste just as good if not better than a sundae from the shop.
Instead of passively watching a movie or TV show, play a game
Watching movies and TV shows are easy ways to relax because they require so little effort on your part, but there are more stimulating ways that you can relax. You can play a video game, which build skills that help you analyze situations and make better decisions. You can put together a 500 or 1,000 piece puzzle with a couple of friends. Another great idea is to play a board game such as Settlers, Monopoly, or grab a deck of cards and play a round of poker.
P.S. At Lift we like to treat ourselves on Fridays.