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kybryl2's picture Karen Bryla McNees, EdD, RD
Registered Dietitian
College or Department
Phone Number
(859) 257-9355
Email Address

Hey everyone, it's Karen here.
Did you know that if you search the word "indulge" in Google images, about 90% of your results will have pictures of food?!?!

Sure, there might be a random spa picture mixed in there, but it seems clear to me that the word "indulge" is synonymous with food in our culture. We understand that it's a common practice for many to self-indulge with food as a way to feel good, but hear us out: its effects are temporary and the long-term effects of using food to feel good can have consequences!

So in that spirit, I'd like to take this opportunity to present non-food ways that you can indulge yourself (without breaking the bank). If your default reaction to the word "indulge" is "lemme grab my chocolate," then this post is for you! The list below contains some of my favorite ways to indulge without food. Personally, I feel indulged by engaging my senses (we're not including taste here!) So this list is heavy on those types of things, but I hope they give you ideas you can use.

Karen's arsenal of non-food self-indulgence:

  • Weighted blanket - a recent addition to my self-care toolbox and now I use it every night
  • Heated things, like a blanket or eye mask - heat is always relaxing, especially in winter
  • Facial steamer - I use it mostly in winter when my face and nasal passages feel dry
  • Aromatherapy - includes essential oils, oil diffuser, rollerballs, and mists
  • Hot baths - you can add a full body bath mat for extra indulgence
  • Relaxing yoga routine
  • Calming music - I use the free version of the Calm app to play music

If you have favorite non-food ways to indulge, we would love to hear about them!