A very good friend, who’s recently been laid off, was wondering if it was wise to treat themselves to a new game console in the face of an uncertain future.

My advice, if you find yourself in the same situation, is this:

Treat yourself to free time.

Go for a long walk or bike ride during office hours. Do stupidly long errands. Leave your phone at home and sit on a park bench doing nothing.

Meet friends for lunch. Or invite them over. Paint the house. Disassemble something to clean it and put it back together.

Join a non-profit organization and volunteer for a few hours. Bonus points if it’s something unrelated to your professional life.

Or on the contrary: sharpen your professional skills by putting them at the service of others in need.

But more importantly: if you decide to treat yourself to something material, do not be a cheapskate to yourself. I’m an expert at that, so trust me: it does not work.

As my therapist once put it: you don’t treat yourself because you know you love yourself. You know you love yourself because you treat yourself.

I know, it’s a fine line between treating yourself and falling into a hedonistic trap.

But maybe, just maybe, get that fucking Xbox that you deserve to show you some love.