- Personal Health Information & Self-Help»
- Mentally & Emotionally Balanced Living
Three Ways To Reward Yourself Without Food
Do you ever feel sad because you're having a bad day?
Do you sometimes feel in a rut because things just aren't going right?
Sometimes you just need to be kind to yourself. Give yourself a gift!
Too often when one is depressed, they tend to eat. This is not always the best solution, especially if one is struggling to control their weight.
I don't usually have mood swings, but there were a few times when I was feeling sad for one reason or another. If this happens to you now and then, I have a solution for you that works for me.
I'll give you a few examples of how I got through some tough times by rewarding myself–and not with food.
Always Remember That You're Worth It
I remember the first time something was making me feel melancholy. I decided to be extra good to myself. I thought of myself as my own best friend.
Giving it some thought, I realized I might make myself happier with a gift, so I made a wish-list of things I always wanted in order to determine a really nice gift that would put me in my happy place.
Oh the seventies! What memories! It was the time when video cassette recorders (VCR's) were just coming out.
One day in May of 1975 I was feeling down about something, so I bought myself a Sony Betamax. It was big, it was heavy, and cost over $1000 at that time.
That first model only recorded for 30 minutes, and it didn’t even have a built-in timer to schedule recordings. Later on, longer Beta tape cartridges allowed increased recording time. Later models eventually included a timer to set for recording programs while away.
Who knew what advancements would be coming next? I was in a rush to get a gift for myself. And the Betamax was the only video recorder at that time.
I did spend more money again later on, buying another more modern video recorder. Recorders with the VHS format were released just a year later, in October 1976, by JVC.
The VHS units had many more useful features than Sony had put in the first Betamax. VHS VCR's had tape cartridges that recorded up to six hours, and they were much less expensive.
Sure, the Beta Technology was the better of the two, but VHS took over the market. You might recall that cassette tapes won over eight-track tapes in the same way. Remember those?
Anyway, that’s all beside the point. My Betamax did put me in my Happy Place.
The point is that you may need to buy a really expensive gift for yourself. It all depends on how sad you are feeling and what it will take to get you out of that terrible feeling. Remember how I felt. I realized I was my own best friend. In times like that you should do the same thing, and don't hesitate to reward yourself in any way that works. You're worth it!
Bring Back Childhood Memories When You're Feeling Gloomy
Think about something you had when you were a kid and consider ways to build up on that in a bigger way that will satisfy your adult urges.
I remembered having a little cuckoo clock on the wall in my bedroom when I was a child growing up. I don’t know what happened to that clock, but I had lingering fond memories of watching the cuckoo pop out on the hour.
Now, as an adult, I decided to get a real big cuckoo clock as a way of being good to myself when I was once again having some feelings of sadness.
I wanted to give myself a really nice gift, a real functioning, really eloquent, fun to watch, cuckoo clock.
I knew I needed to find one with more than just a little bird. I wanted one that ran a whole week with just one pull of the weights. In addition, I wanted it to have other animated stuff going on.
Having done my research I discovered that real cuckoo clocks are made in the Black Forest of Germany. Craftsmen make them by hand. I found a company that actually built them to specs.
I ordered direct from one of the clock builders overseas. It cost me over $600, but I was able to specify that I wanted animals carved into the wood frame; I wanted real wooden clock hands instead of plastic; I wanted little people dancing when the cuckoo cuckooed; and I had a choice of those people being made of plastic or hand carved and painted wood. I went for it all. After all, it’s a one-time investment in my happiness. Right?
It was marvelous. It put me in my happy place. The weights only had to be pulled up once a week. Every hour, on the hour, the cuckoo would poke his head out and cuckoo. Then little figurines of dancers would dance around for a few seconds while music played. Oh yes, I was able to select the music when I placed the custom order. It has a music box built in!
It got me out of my depression. And it continues to give me pleasure every hour of every day.
I later discovered that one could find that are built in the Black Forest and are very similar to mine. They are even cheaper than the one I ordered direct from Germany. Oh well. Live and learn. really great cuckoo clocks on Amazon
Relate a Gift to the Feelings You Have
When I turned 65 I found myself having some pangs of gloom, considering time running out. That's a major turning point in one's life.
The changes taking place with retirement planning, learning about Medicare, and other life changes, all intensify the realization that we're getting older.
So, once again, I decided to reward myself for getting through it. What to do? What should I give myself this time? Maybe something related to time itself. After all, time is running out as we age.
You might be thinking right now, why in the world would I want a gift related to time running out. Sure. I agree. However, looking at it from another angle (I tend to think outside the box), I’d like to think of a way to give myself time.
How about an hourglass similar to the one the Wicked Witch of the West had on the Wizard of Oz?
One day I stumbled upon a repeat of the original Wizard of Oz on one of the movie channels. I loved that movie when I was young.
Do you remember the scene where the Wicked Witch of the West used her hourglass to give Dorothy an hour to give her the ruby slippers?
It suddenly dawned on me! That’s it! I wanted a really big, really real, really fancy hourglass. One that really had sand that ran for a full hour. Yes! That would put me in my happy place!
A little research with Google and I found what I wanted. I ordered direct from a craftsman who hand carves the frame that holds the glass bulbs where the sand runs through. He builds each one on demand. Cool. I even was able to select the wood and the color of sand.
He told me that psychotherapists usually order one with 50 minutes of sand since they use it to show their patients when the session is over. An hour session with a therapist is really only 50 minutes. Well, that's just a side-note. Back to my story...
I was looking forward to getting my hourglass, but after a couple of weeks I called to check on the status or the order. He told me he had trouble getting more bulbs, so I canceled the order and got my money back.
Back to square one, I turned to Amazon and found a huge choice of options. There was no need to buy a custom-made hourglass. I should have checked that first! Amazon has all kinds of options with sand color, running time, and size–and I saved a lot.
I can't imagine that I was willing to pay $300 for a custom handcrafted hourglass. How silly of me. I found this one on Amazon for under $50. and it's precise to within 5 seconds per 60 minutes. I timed it. It’s a 7½ inch tall hourglass
I found so many fun uses for it. I time my exercise workout session. I use it to check how long it takes to clean my house—getting it done in under an hour. I even limit my long-winded phone conversations by keeping an eye on the level of sand remaining. When I get focused, I lose all sense of time.
I didn't order the hourglass that the Wicked Witch used, with flying monkeys carved into the wood, although I found that online too. I didn’t feel it was appropriate since I’m a good witch who’s in my happy place once again.
© 2015 Glenn Stok