After what seems like an eternity of 16-hour work days, I am once again reminded of the tremendous power I possess to make my life miserable or joyful.
I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. Ultimately, I decide how to react to less-than-thrilling circumstances and whether or not they have an effect on my mood and on my life in general.
Amazing things happen when you get honest with yourself and accept responsibility for your own happiness: You stop wishing for the weekend. You stop merely looking forward to vacations. Life literally slows down as you begin to live in the moment.
Pardon me while I raise my tiny, white flag in defeat.
The truth is, I fail more often than not, despite my best efforts to maintain a positive outlook.
So today, I'm going to stop being so hard on myself. I'm going to forget about my massive to-do lists and close my eyes on the overwhelming pile of dirty dishes in the kitchen sink that seems to be quadrupling by the minute.
Today, I'm going to pamper myself. You know why? Because I deserve it! (That, and the fact that I may be nearing a mental breakdown otherwise.)
I hope you'll join me (on the pampering, that is.)
- SLEEP IN. Savor the feeling of having nowhere to go and nothing to do.
- BUY YOURSELF FLOWERS. Don't wait for your lover to buy you flowers; pick up a bouquet of freshly cut peonies next time you're at the grocery market.
- READ A BOOK. Head to a local coffee shop, and finally finish that book you started. I'm currently reading "A Moveable Feast" by Ernest Hemingway, and it has me dreaming of my beloved Parisian rooftops and cobblestone streets.
- KEEP A DIARY. Buy yourself a fancy leather journal, and carve out a time to let your imagination wander.
- DON A FLOOR-LENGTH GOWN. Whatever you have to do this weekend, do it in a floor-length flowing silk dress. If nothing else, washing dishes will suddenly become far more glamorous and indulgent.
- GO FOR A WALK. Take a morning stroll while most people are still in bed. You will feel energized and ready to tackle that monster of a to-do list.
- SET THE TABLE. Why save your best for special occasions? Set your table every night with a tablecloth, real napkins and pretty dishes. Light candles, put soft music on in the background and dim the overhead lights. Savor your meal and linger at the table.
- INDULGE IN A CANDLELIT BATH. Candles add a degree of sensuality to everything.
- LINGER OVER YOUR COFFEE. Take the time to truly enjoy your morning cup of coffee, and transform a rushed daily ritual into a relaxed moment of reflection.
- RETREAT AT HOME. Turn your bathroom into a luxurious spa, or plan a rejuvenating at-home retreat with your girlfriends.
- EAT DESSERT FIRST. That's right – before dinner. And while you're eating your dessert, consider for a moment what a freaking amazing person you are. Revel in your attributes, your wonderful personality and your rocking body.
- GET AWAY FOR THE WEEKEND. Take a break from routine and book a night (or five) at a hotel – even if it's down the street from your house.
- TAKE A RIDE. A car ride, that is. Blast your guilty pleasure music, and roll along pretty roads near your home. Stop somewhere scenic, and just sit for a while before heading back home.
- DANCE. Download ten new songs on iTunes, and dance to them for half an hour.
- LISTEN TO MUSIC. If dancing isn't your cup of tea, then listen instead. When was the last time you put on music just to listen to it?
- WRITE A LOVE LETTER. If nothing else, it's therapeutic and liberating. Join the #FOXYOXIEloveletters project if you need some inspiration.
- DAYDREAM. Far from being unproductive, daydreaming is an essential practice for developing creative ideas, so let your mind wander.
- STYLE YOUR FAVORITE OBJECTS. There is something soothing about making a small corner of your home a bit more beautiful.
- SAVOR A STARRY EVENING. Enjoy a moment of solitude on your balcony or porch.
- MAKE SOMETHING WITH YOUR HANDS. Crafting is a great way to relax.
What about you? Any budget-friendly ideas you'd add to the list?