Bringing a sense of occasion to stretches of mundane days became routine during the pandemic. Whether through dopamine dressing, cooking extravagant comfort meals or taking the time to grab a frothy coffee instead of making another cup of instant, we got used to injecting small doses of pleasure into our everyday lives.
Are you still prioritising these moments of indulgence? I certainly haven't been. The second life got busy again, I slipped back into the habit of living for the weekend. But if there's anything the past two years have taught us, it's that even if we're not the Main Character, wishing our days away is no way to live at all.
So, how do we get out of this rut? Now that we're not restricted to our own homes, we don't have to keep our indulgences solo. My friends and I are constantly suggesting fun plans for "later" or "soon, I swear" and then all of a sudden a month goes by and the weight of distance is hanging over our friendship once again. What are we waiting for?
Everyday life deserves some razzle-dazzle, too. Here are six ideas to help you sprinkle some magic into your day-to-day life.
1. Pretend to be fancy
Usually the pizza party type? Same. Instead, why not throw a proper dinner party? Dress up, set the table and light the most luxurious candle you own — on a regular old Thursday night. Food brings us together, so get into the kitchen with your pals and work towards the common goal of creating a few sophisticated dishes to share. Make sure to end with a decadent dessert, too. Even if everyone claims to be full, who can really turn down a sweet treat? Affogato or brownies are crowd-pleasers and will always be devoured.
2. Treat yourselves (to a tasting menu)
My friends and I once splashed out on a truffle-themed tasting menu and it felt like such a boujee novelty that we still talk about. With a tasting menu at a fancy restaurant, you get to indulge in a lot more flavours than you usually would. Instead of one main, you'll get a bunch of scrumptious dishes to try. Opt for a restaurant that goes to extremes, so you can taste combinations of textures and flavours you'd never dream of whipping up yourself. And of course, many courses means you'll be required to sit around the table for longer — so it's an ideal way to indulge in extra time with your friends.
3. Ditch your plans
I get a little thrill when my plans fall through. Don't get me wrong, it's fun to get down on the dancefloor, but sometimes I just want to eat Pad Thai on the couch and do absolutely nothing else. So why shouldn't we do just that? Indulgence can be as simple as saying no to plans in the first place. And if you’re usually out until 2am on Saturday morning (guilty), ditching after-work drinks to stay in with your nearest and dearest will certainly feel like a treat.
Have a movie night instead of venturing out and watch the trashiest film you can find. The Princess Diaries, the Twilight series or any throwback featuring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are my tried-and-tested comfort watches. Play the movie and get comfy on the couch with something sweet to sip on — you can add some Baileys Irish cream or a spoon of Biscoff spread into your hot chocolate for a deliciously decadent treat.
4. Drag out that coffee date
In the wise words of a viral TikTok trend, “The height of luxury is drinking three liquids at once: one for hydration, one for energy, and one for fun.” And it’s true. Settling into a coffee date with a good friend, knowing you’ll be chatting away for so long that you’ll down multiple caffeinated beverages, is luxurious. I look forward to those coffee dates with close friends all week. They fill your cup as you down multiple. Whether you do it at home or head to your local, sit outside to boost your mood even more.
5. Have a cheeky holiday
Stop counting the minutes until that Euro trip in six months' time and book a staycation in your own city to tide you over. Exploring your own backyard for the weekend makes you more appreciative of the sights you might take for granted. Plus, it'll put you in a holiday mindset for optimum relaxation. Splurge a little more, eat whatever you want and get pampered at the spa. We cherish our holiday memories with loved ones, so why not make more without leaving town?
6. Bring the pampering home
These days, there are many small businesses that can give you the full day spa experience from the comfort of your own home. Whether your go-to treatment is a mani/pedi, massage or facial, there are mobile services like Blys that can drop by and pamper you and your pals. Make a cocktail, have a laugh and make a day of it!
The bottom line is, it's lovely to be able to inject some luxury into your everyday life wherever you can. Whether it’s simply staying for a second coffee with your friend or going all out and booking a luxe weekend together, indulging in time with your inner circle after the last couple of years is the ultimate treat.
Baileys is only available to those over 18 years of age. Please drink responsibly.