Reading a good book (36 percent), spending time with friends (29 percent), and playing a song that brings back happy memories (28 percent) all feature in the top 20, as does watching their favourite TV show (43 percent).
The research, commissioned by M&S Club Rewards, found almost two-thirds (64 percent) regularly set aside time to enjoy a little pick me up.
More than three-quarters (77 percent) consider these “rewarding rituals” to be an important part of maintaining or improving wellbeing – with as many as 83 percent having turned treating themselves into a habit they do on a regular basis.
In addition, 46 percent value having something to look forward to – no matter how big or small.
The research also found that those who have “rewarding rituals” treat themselves on average five times a week – with nearly one in ten enjoying a pick-me-up once a day – leaving 58 percent feeling happier, and 48 percent more relaxed.
Nic Moran, on behalf of M&S Club Rewards, said: “Our research shows us just how important rewarding rituals are to our daily lives, contributing to our overall wellbeing and happiness.
“It is often the small things that can bring the most joy on a daily basis, so it’s great to see so many people taking time out of their day to enjoy the little things.”
A quarter of those who treat themselves plan to do so more this year than in previous years.
This is because they feel they now have a better understanding of the importance of “me” time (36 percent), want to feel special (22 percent), or like being spontaneous (18 percent).
However, the research also found that planning these types of rewards is important.
More than four in ten (42 percent) admitted they need to find time to treat themselves, otherwise they won’t get around to it at all.
And over a third (37 percent) said they are more likely to treat others than themselves, with half of those admitting that rewarding others improves how they are feeling themselves.
Nic Moran added: “Although we know the positive impact of taking a little time to treat ourselves, and indeed others, it can sometimes be hard to make it a priority, particularly in the current climate.
“Earning and using loyalty points and rewards vouchers earnt throughout the year is a great way to make it easier to enjoy those little regular treats or rewards, that can have a big impact – whether it’s for yourself or your loved ones.”
TOP 20 REWARDING RITUALS:
- Watching your favourite TV show
- A hot drink like a cup of tea or coffee, enjoyed in a cafe
- Enjoying a piece/bar of chocolate
- A walk in the countryside
- Reading a good book
- Enjoying a slice of cake
- Spending time with friends
- Getting a takeaway
- Meeting a friend for something to eat/drink
- Playing a song that brings back happy memories
- Buying myself something small as a treat e.g. a new item of clothing
- Calling a loved one/relative
- Enjoying a glass of wine on a Friday night
- A warm bubble bath at the end of a stressful day
- Getting a haircut/having your hair done
- Completing a workout
- Buying fresh flowers
- Buying something small for my house e.g. a new candle
- Having a “date night” with your partner/spouse
- Looking back at old photographs