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Should I give myself a gift

Have you ever considered the act of giving yourself a gift? It’s called self-gifting, and it can be a powerful way to boost your mood, motivation, and overall well-being. In fact, Cornell University has explored the benefits of self-gifting in a fascinating article. Whether you’re celebrating an occasion or feeling a little down, self-gifting has the potential to be a game-changer. But when should you indulge in self-gifting, and when should you hold off? Let’s dive into the world of self-gifting and uncover the answers together.

When You Should Self-Gift:

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1. When You’re Stressed or Feeling Down

Life can be overwhelming at times, and stress and low moods can take a toll on our well-being. This is when self-gifting can come to the rescue. Numerous studies, including the research described by Cornell University , have shown that self-gifting is a fantastic stress reliever. It can uplift your spirits, provide a sense of comfort, and serve as a way to unwind. By choosing a well-thought-out gift, you can solve a problem or immerse yourself in a new hobby, which is an excellent way to cope with stress.

Imagine you’ve had a long and exhausting week at work. You’re mentally drained, and the weight of the world seems to be on your shoulders. In times like these, self-gifting can be a beacon of light. Treat yourself to something that brings you joy—a spa day, a new book by your favourite author, or perhaps a luxurious scented candle. By indulging in a gift that nurtures your well-being, you’re giving yourself permission to recharge and rejuvenate.

2. When You’re Celebrating

Life is full of milestones, both big and small. Birthdays, accomplishments, and personal achievements are perfect occasions for self-gifting. It’s an opportunity to celebrate your journey, reward yourself for all the hard work you’ve put in, and acknowledge your growth.

The act of self-gifting on these special occasions goes beyond mere material possessions. It’s about acknowledging your worth, expressing self-love, and embracing a sense of achievement. In fact, numerous studies mentioned in another Cornell University article have demonstrated a significant boost in motivation and interest when participants were rewarded. So, go ahead and treat yourself—it’s a great way to keep your motivation soaring!

Perhaps you’ve recently completed a major project at work or reached a personal milestone in your fitness journey. These achievements deserve recognition and celebration. Consider gifting yourself something that aligns with your passions and brings you closer to your goals. It could be a new set of art supplies, a stylish fitness tracker, or a cooking class to hone your culinary skills. By rewarding yourself on these special occasions, you’re fueling your self-belief and empowering yourself to conquer new heights.

3. When You’re in the Midst of the Grind

Life is not always a bed of roses. We all encounter moments when we feel like we’re slogging through a herculean task or striving to overcome challenges. During these times, self-gifting can be an excellent tool to keep us going and maintain our motivation.

If you’re working on self-improvement, pursuing a long-term goal, or tackling a demanding project, strategically use self-gifting as a motivational boost. Break down your journey into smaller milestones and reward yourself with a small gift every time you reach one. This technique helps you track your progress, stay motivated, and add an element of excitement to your journey.

Let’s say you’re on a mission to lose weight. Setting smaller goals, such as losing 0.5kg at a time, allows you to celebrate your progress along the way. Treat yourself to something that aligns with your health and wellness goals—a new set of workout clothes, a fitness gadget, or a delicious healthy recipe book. By connecting your self-gifting to your milestones, you create a sense of achievement and reinforce positive habits.

It’s important to note that the gifts you choose should complement your goals and enhance your journey. If you’re working on personal growth, consider self-help books or courses that can expand your knowledge and skills. If you’re pursuing a creative endeavor, invest in quality art supplies or enroll in a workshop. The key is to make your gifts meaningful and aligned with your aspirations.

When You Should Reconsider Buying Yourself a Gift:

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1. When You’re Under Extreme Financial Pressure

As much as we may desire certain gifts, it’s crucial to prioritize our financial well-being. If you’re facing extreme financial pressure or struggling to make ends meet, buying gifts that you can’t afford would only add to your stress. In such situations, it’s essential to be mindful of your budget and find cost-free ways to treat yourself.

Instead of material possessions, explore alternative avenues to rejuvenate and reward yourself. Take a day off from work, indulge in a self-care routine at home, spend quality time with loved ones, or embark on a nature hike to a breath-taking location. Remember, self-gifting is not limited to physical items—it’s about nurturing your overall well-being.

2. When You Recently Bought a Gift for Yourself

Have you ever experienced the excitement of purchasing something new, only to move on to the next desire before fully enjoying your previous purchase? It’s a common phenomenon in the world of consumerism. Like with anything in life, moderation is key when it comes to self-gifting.

If you find yourself constantly buying gifts for yourself without taking the time to truly appreciate and enjoy them, it’s time to pause and reflect. Overindulgence in self-gifting can diminish the magic and significance of each gift. They can easily become a routine part of your life rather than sources of joy and motivation.

To prevent falling into this trap, establish a balanced approach to self-gifting. Instead of purchasing gifts frequently, create a wishlist and plan milestone gifts associated with your current goals. Space out these gifts, ensuring you have enough time to fully embrace and appreciate each one. By doing so, you’ll preserve the specialness of self-gifting and make it a more intentional and rewarding experience.

3. When You Don’t REALLY Want a Gift

Sometimes, despite the allure of self-gifting, nothing truly captures your interest or sparks excitement within you. In such instances, it’s best to hold off on purchasing anything. Self-gifting should be an act of genuine desire and enthusiasm.

By waiting for something that truly resonates with you, you ensure that your gifts bring maximum fulfilment and joy. It could be a highly anticipated sequel to your favourite film, a limited-edition item from your favourite artist, or a unique experience that aligns with your passions. Patience and discernment will lead you to a gift that truly enhances your life.


A graphic chart to summarise when you should and should not buy a gift for yourself.

In the realm of self-gifting, timing is key. Self-gifting can be an incredible tool for stress relief, motivation, and self-care. Celebrating milestones and accomplishments with a well-deserved gift can be immensely gratifying. However, it’s essential to approach self-gifting with thoughtfulness and consideration.

Avoid self-gifting when you’re under extreme financial pressure or haven’t had time to fully appreciate your previous gifts. And if you don’t genuinely want a gift, hold off until something truly special comes along. By understanding the appropriate moments to indulge in self-gifting, you can harness its benefits and make it a truly rewarding experience.

Remember, self-gifting is not just about material possessions—it’s about nurturing your well-being, expressing self-love, and celebrating your journey. So, go ahead and treat yourself when the time is right.

If you decided you do wish to treat yourself to a gift, why not check out our guide to self gifting to help you pick the gift that will truly uplift you! If you want an element of surprise however, why not let our team of experts provide you with tailored gift suggestions, completely free of chare? Head over to our gift questionnaire to get started. Happy gifting!