Sometimes it seems as if life is all about work, chores, caregiving, and other day-to-day requirements. We seem to have lost our joy and our sense of fun, and it’s no fun being a martyr or thinking, “Well, maybe someday I’ll have time to do what I want to.” Instead of feeling guilty about taking a time out, give yourself a treat.

Treating yourself doesn’t mean spending a lot of money or making time for an evening out. It can be as simple as taking an hour to start that book that’s been lying around on your shelf for months. It’s about a 15-minute walk in the cool morning breeze. Or maybe having a leisurely lunch with a friend or your spouse.

Take a few minutes to write down the things that make you feel peaceful, fulfilled, and happy. Maybe there’s something you used to do that you haven’t done for a while. Maybe a hiking trail you want to try, or a picnic in a nearby park. Or something as simple as phoning a friend for a leisurely chat. Perhaps sitting and watching kids splash in a pool or dancing for a couple of hours, or picking up the guitar that’s gathering dust in the corner. Is your sketch pad begging you to take it on an outing?

Give yourself the gift of time and attention, the same sort of time and attention you lavish on grandkids, spouses, and others. Who deserves it more? After all, life will treat you only as well as you treat yourself.

–Jan Weeks, All About Easy