My Guide To: Non-Food Treats

This is a concept that I have shared many times, but I realised I had never really compiled a list of ideas and suggestions on my website – so here they are.

What do I mean by non-food treats?

‘Non-food treats’ are really just another way of thinking about self-care, a way to nourish our souls and comfort frayed emotions or exhaustion with strategies that go beyond food or drink. That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with turning to good food as a form of solace, particularly when shared with loved ones, but I’ve noticed it can be easy to fall into a bit of a rut of reaching for the same old comfort foods or drinks (which may only provide a short-term boost), rather than engaging in varied activities that replenish us in other ways.

Here are a few ideas to get you started. Remember we are all unique, so many of these might not work for you. Therefore, just take any you think you might enjoy and simply leave the rest.

This is not in any way an exhaustive list, merely some suggestions that I hope will inspire and resonant with you:

  • Listen to a few favourite tracks of music. Ideally loudly!
  • Take a bath or long shower and use the ‘fancy’ products or scented candles you have been saving
  • Enjoy flicking through a magazine or a new book
  • Take a cup of tea / coffee back to bed in the morning for 5 minutes of peace
  • Practice an online yoga class (or head out to a studio if there is one nearby)
  • Turn phone to airplane mode for an hour and just read, doodle or create
  • A 10-minute guided meditation

  • Join a creative workshop (painting, flower-arranging, photography)
  • Put together a dreamy Pinterest board – your life dreams, goals, ideal home, garden design – whatever you fancy. Just let your imagination run wild
  • Take a power nap (set a timer for 25 minutes)
  • Get outside and go for a walk. If that isn’t an option, open a window and stick your head out into the fresh air for a minute or two
  • Be with your feelings, accepting them simply as they are
  • Write a letter to yourself that you will open one year from now
  • Ignore emails for an entire day
  • Go to bed early, or stay in bed late
  • Ignore social media for an entire day
  • Book a beauty treatment, or team up with a friend to do them for each other
  • Browse a charity shop for a frivolous treat – for yourself or someone else
  • Paint your nails
  • Draw something – perhaps a card for someone you care about
  • Do some journaling, or free-write whatever comes into your head
  • Watch an inspirational TED talk or video from the School of Life on YouTube
  • Play a board / card game

Kew Gardens

palm house, kew gardens

  • Plan a day out – somewhere you’ve been meaning to go for a while
  • Remember you’re only human. Validate your feelings and accept that anyone else would feel the same way given these circumstances
  • Buy or pick some flowers (or a pot plant)
  • Play, wholeheartedly, with your children / godchildren / nieces & nephews / children of friends
  • Spend a day just pottering about, letting go of the need to ‘achieve’ or fix anything
  • Look at the stars. Or watch the clouds / birds float by
  • Watch the sunrise or sunset, without trying to do anything else at the same time
  • Listen to a funny podcast
  • Arrange to call or meet up with a good friend or family member
  • Plan a mini-break or holiday (even if it is just a fantasy trip)
  • Buy some new pyjamas
  • Go to a beach, river or lake. There’s always something calming about being near water

  • Play with your pets or walk a dog.
  • Do some gardening (even if it’s just on a windowsill or in a sprouter)
  • Comforting touch (get a hug, stroke your own arm, give your hands a squeeze)
  • Do a small act of kindness for someone else – simply paying a complement can make someone else’s day
  • Ask yourself what you’d say to a dear friend in the same situation as you currently find yourself in

most importantly  . .  cherish these moments x