The other week I was finished with class early, I got an assignment done and I was left with some time with no meetings scheduled, no assignments needing my immediate attention, no more classes.
I found myself with a rare few hours of freedom.
In my world and schedule of college, this never happens. So when it does, it feels blissful and amazing.
A true concept that I forget about sometimes.
So with this free time I wondered what I should do, it was a beautiful day out and it felt too nice to just spend it holed up watching Netflix. At first, I started going through my mental Rolodex of friends to see who I might want to hang out with. But then I paused.
I didn't need anyone else to help me occupy my time. I could just spend it by myself.
Alone time is another rare beauty in a college student's life.
When you're living on campus you are constantly around people, no matter who they are. I know by the end of each semester I am getting stir crazy to escape back home to be by myself.
So to spend a few hours with no one but yourself and your thoughts, not having to be switched "on" for conversation is so relaxing.
With these spare hours, I decided to take myself out to get my nails done. This is something I have begun to realize how much I appreciate and something I can't do by myself. Something about having a freshly painted set of colorful nails just makes me feel a little bit more put together, or if I may – polished.
Also sitting down for thirty minutes to get my nails done is so relaxing and you can't really do anything else while it's being done so it is a rare moment where I am also free from multitasking.
Once I got my nails done I decided to continue to take time for myself and walk to a bakery I had been wanting to try and got a cookie. I strolled back to campus enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.
It was a great afternoon.
This afternoon also really allowed me to gain a sense of appreciation for the generational concept of "treat yourself."
So often we'll insert this phrase to justify a calorie-laden meal, or a sweet treat or some other activity that could also be considered a "vice."
Or I know this is how often use this phrase and see those around me use it.
But what does it really mean to "treat yourself?"
It means different things for different people.
One universal aspect of treating yourself is should be giving yourself time to appreciate it.
Slow down to enjoy that meal or dessert that you are treating yourself to. Go with friends who you haven't spent much time with or even go by yourself. Don't just pick it up on the go and rush through it.
If you have the time, once and a while go out to a movie instead of just lazing in bed with Netflix (although that is good too).
Get out and go on a walk somewhere.
Get your nails done
Read for pleasure.
I can think of so many things that I would love to do right now to "treat myself."
I just also need to give myself time to do it.
I don't think the afternoon I described earlier should be a once in a blue moon type of thing. We all deserve free time and there are things we can do to build free time into our schedules.
Although it is a pretty serendipitous moment when a window of free time comes out of the blue.
So I challenge you in the next week to truly treat yourself.
Don't use the phrase as justification, use the phrase because you truly are treating yourself to something that will make you feel good, relaxed, renewed, and ready to tackle the next item on your to-do list.