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When “Treat Yo Self” is Too Much

Sometimes I feel this emptiness inside of me.

This void that I do not know how to fill.

And I go down this lane on instant gratification.

I eat unhealthy foods.

I watch Netflix.

I stay up way too late.

I convince myself that I just need to give myself a break, I need to let go of the things that are stressing me out and take some time to relax.

And I continue down the same lane.

The lane of way too much candy.

Where the next episode starts automatically.

And where it is 2 am and you do not know why you´re awake.

I try to convince myself of the same things. I know that in a way, I was right. I needed that time for myself.

However, what I was wrong about was the activities that I choose to reenergize.

Because truthfully, Netflix has rarely filled me with energy.

Unhealthy foods have never made me feel good.

And going to sleep this late will only make me grumpy in the morning.

And it´s not until 2 am that I see this mistake. A mistake I’ve made many times before.

Expecting instant gratification to fill my soul.

It is not until 2 am that I let myself listen to my heart. Where I hear the voice inside of myself. Where I know what I´ve known all along. What I need.

It is the same I’ve always needed and will always need.

It is what will keep me healthy and happy.

I need to take care of myself, with the things that support me.

I need a nice long shower.

I need some restorative yoga.

I need to go to bed early.

I need to go out on the balcony and breathe the fresh air.

I need to eat a healthy, homecooked meal.

I need to smile.

I need to hug.

I need to laugh.

And most of all I need to listen. To admit that maybe I am not like other people.

That binge watching makes me feel even more empty.

That eating what my taste buds like but not the rest of my body has never served me.

That staying up late for absolutely no reason feels like I’ve cheated myself, from the sleep that I so desperately needed.

And that by listening, I will always know what to do. And by acting on what I hear, instead of continuing along that same old lane, I will move forward.

I will take care of myself. Like I deserve to.

I owe myself that much.

How about you, friends? Does indulging restore you, or do you go for more traditional self-care?


  1. Bella


    December 14, 2017 at 6:42 am

    Thank you for sharing – you are not alone with this <3

  2. Federica Cusumano

    Federica Cusumano

    December 14, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Hi Pala!

    I liked a lot your article !.
    I myself have failed (or thought to have failed) in choosing ”how” treat myself well to recover from a hard time.
    It’s happened to me to feel tired but I had to pass through different habits – even the wrongest ones!- to eventually realize which are the best treatments for me to fill myself up with good energy, invigorating my mind, body and soul.

    As long as it’s not a stable habit, over indulging some sugars, laziness or an extra drink is not a sin at all. Maybe it’s simply what we need some days whereas we should work more on self-kindness and mercy towards our-selves instead. Xo

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    May 9, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    I came to your article as I was searching for how to stop ‘treating myself’. To stop the sugar, the glass of wine, the Netflix and staying up late. It is hard to to stop this pattern. It feels like I need to consume something or do something in quiet times, when there is no stimulation or anything to do. This has been a struggle for me, to cut out stimulation. Any advice?

    1. Pála Margrét

      Pála Margrét

      May 10, 2019 at 4:44 am

      Hey Kris!

      Yes, I do! What really worked for me was to truly reflect on what improved and supported my well-being and happiness, and what did not. Sometimes, the “treat yo self” behavior is substitute behavior, to substitute for a need not being me, and instead of giving you what you need, it only makes things worse. Still, sometimes Netflix and yummy food is all you need. But sometimes what you need is meditation, yoga, a walk outdoors, to go to sleep early, a bath, a talk with a friend. I have two examples of this: You can feel lonely – or you can feel overly tired. To both of those things, you turn to Netflix and junk food. Does that make you less lonely? Or less tired? Unlikely – what you actually need is to call a close friend – or to take a bath and then go to bed early. Those would be logical ways to fulfill your needs, but you always need to understand what your need is, to be able to get to there. Then again, you could be feeling overly stressed, and all you need is a 20 minute episode of something stupid and hilarious on Netflix – and that is what you do! I’ve learned to realize if Netflix is what I truly need or if it’s a need substitute that will only make it worse. I hope this helps – and take care of yourself!

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