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Treat yourself, but don't let the sweet things turn sour

The sweetest things become the most bitter by excess.
— Democritus

You know how there are some treats that make you feel good, and some treats that you think will make you feel good but just make you feel terrible? Apparently this “too much of a good thing” phenomenon has been a problem since 460 BC. Some things never change.

I’ve been reminded of this quote from Democritus a lot lately. One of the “treats” I often give myself after a long day is reruns of favorite shows on Netflix. Not just one episode, not even two episodes, but sometimes a few hours of episodes of television shows I’ve seen a hundred times already. I think snuggling in for a trip to Pawnee, Indiana via Netflix will be so sweet after busy and overwhelming days at work, but by the end of the night I feel sluggish and irritated at myself for wasting time. The sweet treat becomes the most bitter by excess.

Other ways I experience sweet things becoming bitter by excess include coffee in the afternoon, Christmas cookies, instagram, and pretty much any combo of tortilla chips and dip. It’s not that these things are bad, it’s just that when my will power is low I allow myself way too many of these unhealthy treats to try and give myself a boost.

So what’s a girl to do? I love treats! And sometimes it’s fun to just treat yourself. That’s why I’ve found having an arsenal of healthy treats to choose from to be critical in helping me avoid nightly Netflix binges. No matter how much I love Leslie Knope, I always regret the night wasted in front of the television.

Healthy treats are best if they don’t negatively impact your daily habits. For example, if you try to avoid sugar, a cookie probably isn’t a healthy treat for you. If you want to make sticking to a strict budget a habit, your treats shouldn’t cost you. Healthy treats shouldn't make you feel worse off in the long run.

So what could be a healthy treat?

  • Good smells - literally stop to smell the roses
  • A warm bubble bath
  • An early bedtime
  • Staying up an extra half hour past your bedtime to finish a really good book
  • Browsing through the shelves at your local library
  • Music
  • Fur therapy
  • Adding fresh fruit to flavor your water
  • Taking a short walk break with a coworker
  • A moment of blissful silence

Every person’s treats are different, but we should all be able to agree that our healthy treats make us feel better rather than worse. I’m constantly reminding myself of this when my schedule is full. It can be too easy to fall into treats that don’t serve me, but a healthy treat gives a boost in the moment without causing regret in the future. So find some healthy treats and TREAT YOURSELF!

Questions: Do you have healthy treats readily available to choose from? What are they? Do you have any sweet things that turn bitter by excess?

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