The nation’s favourite ways to cheer up are many, and span from enjoying a slice of cake to buying fresh flowers.

A poll of 2,000 adults, commissioned by M&S Rewards, found that 64% of respondents regularly set time aside to enjoy a little pick-me-up.

It identified the little things that people build into their routines, which they do to put a smile on their faces.

Respondents revealed a variety of enjoyable activities they do to keep themselves happy. For example, 36% of those surveyed enjoyed reading a book while 43% liked to watch their favourite TV show. As well as that, 28% of people polled liked playing songs that bring back happy memories.

Nearly half (46%) of those polled value having something to look forward to – no matter how big or small.

The survey also reveals the importance of doing this on a regular basis – more than 75% of those surveyed consider these ‘rewarding rituals’ to be an important part of maintaining or improving wellbeing.

In fact, 83% of respondents turned their treats into habits.

Those who have ‘rewarding rituals’ treat themselves on average five times a week, with nearly 1 in 10 enjoying a pick-me-up once a day – leaving 58% feeling happier and 48% more relaxed.

Nic Moran, on behalf of M&S Club Rewards, describes how the poll shows ‘just how important’ rewarding rituals are in everyday life.

‘It is often the small things that can bring the most joy on a daily basis. It’s great to see so many people taking time out of their day to enjoy the little things.’

A quarter of those surveyed plan to do more fun activities than in previous years.

Out of those polled, 36% feel they now have a better understanding of the importance of ‘me’ time while 22% want to feel special.

However, the research also found planning these types of rewards is important.

More than four in 10 admitted they need to find time to treat themselves otherwise they won’t get around to it at all.

In addition, 37% said they are more likely to treat others than themselves, with half of admitting rewarding others improves how they are feeling themselves.

‘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,’ said Nic.

The top ten rewarding rituals

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