Reward Yourself


noun 1. a thing given in recognition of one’s service, effort, or achievement.

I vividly remember being asked by my 8th grade track coach to run the 300 meter hurdles. I was not excited about this prospect since I seriously hated “long” runs and was often the last person to return from my high school team mile runs. The reason why the 8th grade race sticks out so much to me is because my coach said “I’ll give you some of my wife’s homemade chocolate chip cookies if you don’t come in last in the heat!” SOLD. I ran and actually came in 2nd or 3rd in the heat. It sucked, but the whole time I was thinking “cookies!!”

Reward in our world has been tied to food for as long as we can remember. It’s time to change the way we reward ourselves (and our kids!).  Last week I checked off a lot of things off my “to do” list, so I decided to reward myself in one of my favorite ways: flowers!

Below is a list of some of my favorite non-food rewards, feel free to share some of your own favorites in the comments below!

Totally FREE:

  • Take a walk in nature (barefoot is even better)
  • Trip to a dog park
  • Take some guilt free “you time” (5 minutes or more!)
  • Volunteer some of your free time to help others!
  • Drop in at a new yoga or fitness studio

Less than $20:

  • Fresh flowers from the grocery store
  • Markers (I don’t really like pens, so new colorful markers make me smile)
  • Inspirational journal
  • Book
  • Natural high quality body care products

More than $20:

  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage
  • Manicure/pedicure
  • Trip to the mall or favorite store
  • New cookbook
  • Painting, sewing, or other hobby class
  • A piece of artwork
  • Vacation!

Bottom line, rewarding yourself with food is not a bad thing, but the way we have typically used food as reward (ice cream, candy, cake, etc.) set the stage for blood sugar swings that derail our healthy living. Looking for an unstressed recommended food reward?  Here are a few of my favorites:

Unstressed recommended food rewards:

  • High quality spices from Primal Palate
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Upgrade your cooking fats– Kerrygold butter and organic coconut oil
  • Organic coffee (unsweetened)
  • Fresh box of produce from a local farmer’s market
  • Herbal tea

Here’s to creating Unstressed Wellness together!

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