Three words

In Parks and Recreation (the best sitcom ever created) the characters Donna and Tom spend one day of each year treating themselves to gifts. It’s the best day of the year.

I thought I'd write about the importance of giving yourself gifts every now and then.

Treating yourself is good for your self-esteem, health and confidence. It’s an assertion of independence. Plus waiting for other people to treat you is supremely inefficient.

If you treat yourself well, other people will treat you well too. Weird science, but it’s true.

 Treating yo self

a beginner's guide


Don’t say negative things about yourself to yourself or to other people. If you say something unkind about yourself it gives other people permission to say or think it too.


Pay yourself a compliment every day. Even when you’re feeling truly wretched and bedraggled, say one nice thing about yourself in your head.


Treating yourself can be free: clearing an hour to read a book, having a bath, going for a run. Going to the doctors to check out a mole.

Treating yourself might involve spending cash. If it does, then save a little first. This is a treat in itself. You'll thank yourself later. After you’ve squirrelled some money away, be honest with yourself about what you can afford. If you can’t afford something then buying it with credit or getting into debt to fund it is not a treat.

As Warren Buffett says ‘Don’t risk what you have and need for something you don’t have and don’t need’. Or, as my great-grandpa said, 'If you don't have the cash to pay for it up front, then you don't have the cash to pay for it'

Here’s how I treated myself this month:



It’s hard to express my love for these shoes. They are ideal shoes for shopping, flights, city walks and because they are metallic they go with everything (I hope) I saw them full price, hesitated and then they totally sold out. I was prepared to get them on eBay and saw them on the TKMaxx website for better than half price. Shopping in that store is a nightmarish jumble sale but online was a dream. A beautiful, cost-effective dream.




Not especially glamorous but this chopping board makes kitchen-life easier. I bought my first one about two years ago but it started to show signs that it might be on the way out, so I bought a new one.



My usual lipstick shade is ‘Bare Again’ by MAC but I wanted something a bit more vivid. The shade is called ‘See Sheer’ and I’ve worn it every day.

Medicine cupboard:

I cleaned out the medicine cupboard. I avoided going near it for months because it was such a mess. But on Sunday evening I threw out one Zara carrier bag full of dusty bandages, congealed nail varnishes, orphaned cotton wool balls and out of date multi-vitamins.