On October 13, 2011, Treat Yo Self day came into the world. You should splurge, smile and say goodbye to your self-doubt. Spice things up this year on Treat Yo Self Day. When October rolls around, don’t buy things for your current self. Set up your future self for big time success. Invest in yourself, and every day turns into Treat Yo Self Day.
Check out 10 gifts for yourself that’ll show the boss you are on the inside.
1. Letter to yourself
My junior year AP Language teacher, Charlene Krieger, assigned our class to write letters to our future selves. We whipped out our pens, smoothed out our papers and wrote away. I remember staring at the page and anxiously tapping my foot. What would my future self want to hear? By the time Ms. Krieger strolled in to hand-delivered our letters before graduation, I had completely forgotten the assignment entirely. So much had changed since my junior year. In that moment, Ms. Krieger’s envelope took me back in time. University of Florida sophomore Javier Moraga-Trujillo said, “These letters can serve as a way to think about what we want in the future, motivate ourselves to achieve those goals, and in the end help us appreciate what we have done and reflect on what we need to work on.” Ms. Krieger, thank you for giving my class one of the best graduation presents.
Ten seconds a day shaves off 10 years of sun damage. When I glance at my mom, her advice always bleeds years of wisdom, but her skin sure doesn’t. You’d expect years of lying under the Trinidad sky to leave her with sun spots, fine lines and a wicked sunburn. However, it’s not hard believing her every year when she tells me she’s still 39. Treating yourself doesn’t always exist in the form of extravagant brooches or a fully decked out Batman suit. This summer, treat yourself to some quality moisturizers, gentle cleansers and giant hat or two. Your skin will thank you for it once you’re perpetually 39.
Welcome to a magical, never-ending YouTube hole. Consider yourself one of us. Glimpse into a stranger’s life and watch them age before your very eyes with those famous “picture a day” videos. See friends flitter in and out, watch apartments change to houses and witness their eyes grow wiser. Just like a letter, a picture can be a physical representation of your past life. These videos are as simple as they sound—just snap a quick picture every day, for as many days as you possibly can. Taking photos forces you to slow down and smell the roses. Don’t let the memories fade if you can help it.
Ah, waking up in the morning. Or, as we dramatists like to call it: the most impossible thing in the entire known universe. We all hit snooze one too many times and do that early morning dance to race the clock. I like to think of mornings as opportunities to show courage. Some might even compare charging your enemies head on with begging your alarm clock for five more minutes (for the ninth time). Don’t crawl out of bed looking like Lord of The Rings’ Golem. Students easily forget the significance of a good night’s rest in college. Leftover Starbucks and a 30-second micro nap just can’t cut it in the mornings. Buy a quality pillow, and your future self will thank you.
Don’t hold yourself to an impossible standard. We’ll never feel pretty enough. We never work hard enough. And no matter what we do, we’ll always end up a day late and a dollar short. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to mess up sometimes. As the wise Hannah Montana once said, “Nobody’s perfect. I gotta work it again and again until I get it right.” Did you mess up your schedule and miss an exam? Don’t kick yourself; email your professor. Did you pick a fight with a family member and say something you regret? Just apologize. Did you procrastinate writing your article for a certain college-themed magazine and must come up with cheesy points like ‘forgive your past self’? That’s okay, past self; do the best that you can with it. When we feel down, the easy way out is to hate on ourselves. Practice forgiveness when you can. I’m sure Tom and Donna would want you to, too.
6. A Healthy Body
In The Book Thief, Markus Zusak writes, “Here is a small fact: You are going to die.” Dang, right? A school assignment reminded Monday-morning-middle-school me of my own mortality. Our bodies will sag, our minds will grow weak and eventually our bodies will return to the Earth. UF sophomore Daniel Gonzalez said, “Something I’m proud my past-self did recently was get a gym membership when I got back to Miami for the summer… [It’s] given me motivation to go out and be healthier. I’ve already seen a lot of changes physically and felt them mentally. It’s been a massive boost to my self-esteem.” In the end, you only get one body. It works 24/7, 365 to take care of you. Take care of it too. Also, if you do read a book, read The Book Thief. The ghost of my past English teachers might find you if you don’t.
7. A Good Scare
Is it my past English teachers? Markus Zusak? Donald Trump? Don’t worry, it’s just Miami Dade College sophomore Gabriela Espinoza. “One thing I plan on doing in my life is buying a skydiving ticket. You have to scare yourself sometimes, as a reminder to feel alive,” Espinoza said. You don’t need to do one thing a day that scares you, just one really big thing every few years. Treat yourself to something that will ground you (not in the skydiving way) and remind yourself of who you are. Sometimes a good scare will snap you back into place or send a jolt of energy into your life. Scare yourself today so that tomorrow nothing scares you at all.
It takes 21 days to create a habit. That’s it. A good habit, like a Duolingo streak, is rather hard to start. And on the other hand, a bad habit, like staying up late, is always tough to break. Starting today, pick a new skill and turn it into a daily habit. UF sophomore Edward Lainez said he wants to learn how to cook. “I’m living with my very Hispanic parents, so I get spoiled a lot when it comes to food. But I won’t have that comfort in the future when I move out! I’ve been teaching myself how to cook well enough to avoid turning to fast food.” In 21 days, you’ll wish you started sooner. Pick a skill, and pray for my friend Eddie.
I’m sure five out of five dentists will recommend you brush your teeth. However, if one dentist goes rogue and tells you not to, he and the Tooth Fairy are conspiring—and definitely after your money. Just like the skin on your bones and the eyes in your head, your teeth are important. In a few years, while smiling for the family reunion photo, you don’t want little nephews to scream out why. Your mouth looks like it belongs to a pirate. In case you need some more imagery, I’ll tell you about one of the times my brother and I went diving at the pool. We didn’t search for lost toys or forgotten goggles, we searched for a family friend’s dentures. I still shudder thinking about the slipperiness. Think about the children and brush your teeth.
10. A Hoarder’s Heart
You don’t necessarily need to stack your walls sky-high with belongings as a present to your future self. Buy one big, vintage-looking treasure box and collect mementos. Hang onto that first date movie stub and that old, worn out friendship bracelet. Allison Veliz, a journalism student at the University of Florida, said it quite nicely. “Hoarding is how I self-care,” she said. When you grow older and it hurts to walk, your treasure box will still let you stroll down memory lane.