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18 Self-Care ‘Guilty Pleasures’ You’re Not Alone In Doing

How do you feel about the phrase, “guilty pleasure?” We all have hobbies, interests, or self-care strategies that we might class as a “guilty pleasure,” but here’s the thing: We don’t have to feel guilty for the things we like, that make us happy, or help us get through a hard day. Whether you’re in your 40s and watch a cartoon made for young kids, eat ice cream for breakfast, or listen to music you fear others might judge you for — you don’t deserve judgment. So long as it doesn’t harm you or others, you deserve love, compassion, and acceptance.

With this in mind, we asked our community for the self-care “guilty pleasures” they go to when they’re struggling with their mental health or chronic illness. Can you relate to any of them?

Here’s what they told us:

“Craft paint! I love taking thrifted finds and refinishing them. I just did a jute and cotton-blend tote bag. Unfortunately, I’m recently realizing how extremely taxing it is on me. So I’m not able to do it nearly as often.” — @silverlining42

“Trail mix. The kind you buy in containers at the store. I could live on it!” — @artemple95

“Singing and pretending my car is a recording studio.” — @daliadoll

“RuPaul’s Drag Race and popcorn. Every Monday night.” — @chrislynn1

“Modern window shopping — that is scrolling through online shops and adding many, many things that I will probably never buy to my wishlists. It can be houses, cars, clothes ….” — @minniemichelle

“For me, my guilty pleasure is definitely my bettas. Strange, I know, but I can’t go to the pet store to buy my dog her food or to get my son’s fancy goldfish supplies without grabbing another. It is very sad to see them in such tiny little bowls. I now have eight of them in six short months” — @lissaepp82

“Sitting on the sand watching the waves come in. Alone.” — @atl05ast

“I love watching children’s cartoons when I feel stressed.” — @lauracort

“Eyeshadow. I used to not leave the house without a full face of makeup on, but the new ‘normal’ that COVID-19 brought and struggling with mental and physical health issues means that I rarely have the energy to apply a full face of makeup anymore. That said, I love eyeshadow! Sometimes when I am having a down day, I will do a swatch party on my arm to see the different colors and textures. I call it taking a beauty break, and it makes me feel like a little kid again.” — @saes86

“Hot cocoa with cinnamon and whipped cream, and a movie marathon.” — @tryingtothrive

“Ice cream usually helps when I’m depressed. Also reading a book is helpful at times too. Not at the same time, though; that would be a mess.” — @writer21

“I love the essential oils-based lotions at Bath & Body Works. I used those on my achy joints, especially ‘Stress Relief’ or the ‘Sleep’ one with lavender. Those smell awesome and are very relaxing.” — @lakrishamahonie

“Monster apocalypse movies/TV. It makes my life feel manageable in comparison. At least I’m not being chased by vampires.” — @bethli

“Amazon. Leggings. It’s a problem.” — @bjjwells0409

“Unfortunately, I do love clothes… Having to really cut back with inflation and multiple medical tests.” — @caroline1967

“Binge-watching the entire series ‘Gavin and Stacey’ on Britbox while sipping an ice-cold Coke and rubbing my little dog’s belly! I’m a multitasker!” — @sashahans

“Pickles and cheese as a midnight snack. Lol, I also look online at houses for sale in my neighborhood!” — @elie

“I get my nails done. It’s the one girly thing I still do. So here I lounge, in my bed, with gorgeous nails.” — @cindyellenr

Are we missing your self-care “guilty pleasure?” Let us know in the comments below. You don’t need to feel ashamed!

Getty Images photo via hobo_018

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