Self care

It's been a long year. Treat yourself with a solo dance, a beach visit, or any of these ideas. (Dreamstime/TNS)

If there was ever a year to treat yourself, I think we can all agree it's 2020. The phrase "treat yo' self" was popularized by "Parks and Recreation," originating from beloved characters Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford. These two co-workers and confidants celebrated the day annually, designating a single day of luxurious pampering in which massages, fragrances, sushi and "fine leather goods" are all on the table.

The point is as simple as prescribed: Celebrate...you!

With a year that many eagerly await to be over, it's the perfect time to honor what you need and indulge in the finer things (whatever that looks like for you). And while you may not be jet-setting from Indiana to Beverly Hills, there is surely some way to allow yourself a Treat Yo' Self experience (even pandemic-style) — don't forget to include your bestie.

Swap vacation for staycation

While the pandemic has prevented many people from wanting to travel, mental health experts encourage getting out of your bubble. Enter the staycation. If you live near the coast, take advantage of a beachfront Airbnb. Many rentals run by third-party services have stringent cleaning and safety protocols.

If you live within a few hours' drive of the mountains, rent a cabin.

No beaches or wooded areas nearby?

No worries. Look into nearby boutique hotels or bed and breakfasts. Studies show that taking time away from your usual routine can help reduce stress, help reset sleeping patterns and help increase your productivity level upon return to real life.

Order flowers

Did you know plants reduce stress and anxiety? Plus, they smell and look good. Sometimes, we can tend to view them as fairly nonessential and only really necessary for special occasions. Consider Treat Yo' Self that special occasion. Order yourself a bouquet, and send yourself a lovely line of encouragement.

Or, for fun, pick a favorite friend, and treat each other to a surprise floral assemblage. It will be fun to see how different or similar your arrangements are.

Order an extravagant meal

Forget the Instant Pot and pizza night. Treat yourself to a dinner worthy of a king or queen. Check Postmates, UberEats or Grubhub to see what delicious delivery is in your area.

And don't skimp on the appetizers and dessert. This is your one day to splurge. For an immersive experience, consider pairing your meal with a favorite movie or series. "Under the Tuscan Sun" with Italian cuisine... "Frida" and Mexican food... "Silence of the Lambs" with Chianti and fava beans...

Revive your wardrobe

Admittedly, many, many, many people have become very comfortable being...very comfortable. And while sweats and yoga pants are perfectly wonderful, sometimes wearing something fun and fashionable can help boost your self-esteem (just ask Tom Haverford).

Many subscription services such as Stich Fix will provide you with a few items to refresh your look. You can simply order one box, or continue to treat yourself on a regular basis, depending. Fix stylists ask multiple questions about your style preferences and allow you space to include specific requests (like re-creating your prom look from circa fill-in-the-date).

Hold a small dance

If you're going to update your closet, you might as well have a place to show off your new duds. Dancing helps release endorphins to boost your mood and even improves cognitive thinking. Hold a mini prom (following social-distancing guidelines) in your backyard.

Even a solo dancing event is worthwhile and increases your likelihood of being crowned prom queen or king.

Purchase a 'Cameo'

Sift through celebrities such as "Parks and Recreation"'s very own Jerry (Jim O'Heir), Flavor Flav, Bruce Buffer, Alyssa Milano, Johnny Damon or Carole Baskin, to name a few, for a just-for-you personalized message.

Snag a previously-owned celebrity item

The next best thing to a video message from your favorite celebrity? How about treating yourself to a previously-owned celebrity item on eBay — even those who have passed on? Currently, you can purchase a bra allegedly worn by Scarlett Johansen, a signed French English Dictionary owned and signed by Hedy Lamarr or a gold check from Evel Knievel's personal bank account. Just make sure to do your due diligence to authenticate items prior to purchase.

The beauty of Treat Yo' Self day (week, or month) is you can be as excessive, or conservative, as suits your mood. Don't diminish your needs because of the looming holidays. You live once, so why not Treat Yo' Self — at least once — to something that will help you smile, make the rest of 2020 a bit more bearable, and set yourself up for what Tom Haverford would predict as a "baller 2021."

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