NYC, Greenwich Village, 2012
NYC, Greenwich Village, 2012

Serious question: how do you have fun? How do you treat yourself?

I suspect that your life is as busy as mine. Whether we want it or not, we all settle into a routine usually revolving around work, school or family. Get up, perform tasks as expected, take care of basic needs, sleep and repeat. And while we all sigh with relief every Friday evening, the weekend doesn’t usually turn into a magical two-day interlude where life gives you a break (not to mention that many of us work on weekends…). Chores still have to be performed, meals have to be prepared and forty-eight hours isn’t long enough to really refresh your body and spirit.

Gosh, I’m depressing.

Okay, it’s not all bad. Hopefully, you are surrounded by the people you love and you are doing something that you enjoy.

It’s just that… sometimes you need a “treat”. Hey, that’s why there is a thriving entertainment industry, right? Some people like to go watch a movie, while others enjoy a good meal in a restaurant. What matters is the thrill, the idea of doing something new, something fun, something selfish, something special you wouldn’t do every day.

I have a series of small treats I use throughout the week or the day to just keep me going. I love having my daily cup at Starbucks—I sit in the crowded coffee and I read a few chapters of a novel for twenty minutes or so. I get the effect of the caffeine and a selfish moment where I can ignore the blinking light on my phone and focus on fictional characters who are facing challenges and solving them beautifully (unless I’m reading a really dark novel).

At home, I like to take a moment for mini pampering sessions. I put on music or a video on my laptop and I pluck my eyebrows, wax my legs (I know it doesn’t sound like a treat, but I love the result!) or buff my nails. If I have a bit of time and money, I love getting a pedicure. It’s still a relatively cheap treat in Canada (about $30) and you do nothing but sit in these massage chairs and let someone else do the work. My ultimate favourite treat is getting a massage, but they are expensive in Canada, so I only book one when I feel rich (and apparently, the last time I felt rich was… a year ago?)

Generally speaking, I seek out comfort or novelty. Anything to break the routine. Finding a new shortcut, a new store or a new neighbourhood. Trying new foods at the supermarket. Getting a new book. Strangely, I don’t care much for shopping—I find the process tedious, although I enjoy finding a good deal, for instance, an affordable pair of jeans that fits perfectly. Yes, a unicorn, I know.

Finally, I tend to find satisfaction in completing “artistic” projects. For instance, I love taking pictures on a theme, editing them and publishing them. Or I like putting the final full stop at the end of a blog article that flows well. I enjoy arranging printed shots on the fridge, editing a document or finding clothes that match perfectly (although my definition of “match perfectly” can be questionable at times…).

But I need new ideas. I need more treats in my life. So tell me… what do you do for fun?

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  1. Gagan November 20, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Love this article Juliette 🙂

    Well books are a hit with me, some are such an escape, what I do love is being in a book store, I was at chapters and walked from aisle to aisle, I have been thinking of picking up a part time job with a book score, that’s how much I love it.

    On days I practice a little bit on my guitars, on days I enjoy a nice beer or a smooth whiskey, what’s really fun is when I do them both.

    The usual suspects are movies, music, series 🙂

    And then there is cooking 🙂 that I love a lot as well.

    There is more ;p

    1. Zhu November 20, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Oh, yes, Chapters! I spent hours there. They may be hiring for the season actually, you should check this…

      I didn’t know you were playing the guitar! Guitars, plural? Did you bring them?

      Cooking can be either extremely relaxing either super stressful, depending on the mood and the time you have. And the mouths you feed…

  2. Holly November 20, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    I also like to edit photos. I love it actually. Right now I am indulging in one of life’s little treats – going to bed two hours early and then blogging for those two hours. I don’t spend enough time relaxing like this!

    1. Zhu November 20, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      That’s a great treat! Do you bring your laptop in bed?

  3. Martin Penwald November 20, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Maybe once a month, I buy Camembert (either a French brand, more expensive, or a Québec one), tapenade, bread and tomatoes to make good sandwiches. Plus, lemon flavored honey from Alberta (I’d like rather buy local product, but Camembert in Alberta … ), and blueberries (from BC).
    Besides that, I like, once or twice a month, stay late in bed when I don’t have to work.

    1. Zhu November 21, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      Food treats are great treats. For me, it’s imported LU cookies (les p’tits écoliers… et les Pims!). I wish I could stay in bed late… but it’s difficult with Mark and I never truly enjoy it for some reason, I always feel that once I’m awake, well, it’s time to do something. I love to sleep in though, and going to bed late.

  4. Lynn November 24, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Actually, I am going to steal some of YOUR ideas. I think I don’t treat myself enough – it always feels so indulgent and I feel guilty, like I should be doing stuff for other people instead. UGH, I know – I have issues :).

    I LOVE your idea of just taking 20 minutes to sip a coffee and read at Starbucks. I had lunch by myself last week and it felt like such an indulgence to just read and enjoy treats someone else had made. I am totally going to do this.

    When I really crash out and can’t stand the stress and dull repetition of everyday life I sometimes give myself a “sick day” from consulting work, and either I will spend the day catching up on TV (sigh, SO MUCH on my PVR awaits my attention) with a big bowl of popcorn and a hot chocolate, or I’ll go shopping, which I know, SOUNDS like work but really I do it so rarely – just browsing kind of shopping – that it feels like a treat. Craft shows are my mecca :).

    1. Zhu November 24, 2015 at 1:11 pm

      It’s not a sick day… it’s a sanity day! 🙂 You deserve them, I have no idea how you manage to handle so much.

      Starbucks break (or any coffee chain, really) are awesome. It’s cheap, as long as you don’t indulge in the biggest drink + food and you feel connected to the world (coffee shops are always busy) yet in peace. I recommend it! Plus you get to know friendly employees and even though the bond is superficial, it helps when you are feeling a bit down or tired.

  5. isa November 25, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Walks in my neighboroud is my treat! I stop for a while at my local salon de thé or yoga studio, or even the comic book shop. Love it!

    1. Zhu November 25, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      I just wish my area was more lively… but I do enjoy my walks too, especially when I’m listening to podcasts.


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