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The time has come: You can officially stop feeling guilty about those little habits that you once thought were “bad-for-you” that you cannot seem to break. Lots of life’s indulgences that we seem to enjoy can offer health benefits such as: helping us think rationally, lift our spirits, and fight stress related diseases. Below are 5 vices that you no longer should feel guilty about. Start at the top of the list to achieve maximum health benefits. Learn how you can boost your well-being in the most relaxing and decadent ways possible.

Catch up on your sleep!

1. Getting Your Zzz’s

Unless you have lots to take care of, or will be late to work you should not skimp yourself short of sleep. Sleep is completely free and does not have any negative impact to your health. Pillow time offers multiple benefits such as improving your immune system, boosting your energy, and helps you stay slim. Cutting your sleep cycle short or staying out too late on a regular basis can lead to having a difficult time making simple decisions. Irregular sleep patterns can increase your risk for anxiety as well as depression. Lack of sleep can be closely associated with hypertension and even accumulation of belly fat, says Nieca Goldberg, M.D., who is the medical director of the New York University-Langone Women’s Heart Program. Set a goal for getting about seven to eight hours of sleep per night, but if you happen to be awake and ready to take on the day, no worries, some people are able to go about the day with less amounts of sleep.

Shop 'til you drop!

2. Shopping

Shopping isn’t nicknamed retail therapy for no reason; it can actually be the equivalent of a therapy session for some people. Research was conducted at the University of Westminster in London and found that shopping actually activates the same areas of the brain that are stimulated during an intense love session. Shopping is exciting to many because is allows us to express our personal style and explore various products. Buying things that we like allow us to showcase our individuality. While shopping can be therapeutic, it is important to not overdo it. Excessive amounts of shopping can lead to racking up high credit card debt, which can lead you on a long path for stress. Shopping should never be done in order to cure the soul, it simply will not work! As far as treating yourself to an item that you’ve had your eye on after a long work week, well that is completely understandable!

Take a personal day!

3. Playing Hooky

Playing hooky can also be referred to as a mental-health day. Skipping work or class is not encouraged, but there is nothing wrong with taking a day to yourself in moderation. A small amount of time away from work could easily reduce stress, because it will allow you to think creatively and feel rejuvenated. If an unscheduled day off once every few months will not negatively impact your career, it is important to take some time to yourself that will help you feel self fulfilled. You should not feel guilty about scheduling regular days of downtime in order to avoid mental breakdowns. Playing hooky too often is a legitimate reason to get fired from your job. Be sure not to “call into work sick” on a regualr basis.

Get your Vitamin D fix!

4. Basking in the sun

Soaking up the sun is known to be a natural antidepressant. Sunbathing triggers our bodies to produce melatonin leaving us feeling energized and alert. Basking in the sun also encourages the production of endorphins, which are known as feel good chemicals. When you are exposed to the sun’s UV-B rays, your skin produces Vitamin D. Vitamin D keeps bones healthy and has been suggested to prevent some types of cancers. If you are looking to achieve some color, the best time to spend time in the sun is during the middle of the day. Make sure to not stay under the sun for too long- 10 to 15 minutes to relax and get your daily dose of Vitamin D is more than enough time to alleviate stress.

Treat yourself!

5. Wine with dinner

The buzz on wine is because of the heart-healthy properties that it offers. Wine’s antioxidants may keep blood vessels working properly. Red wine has been known to boost HDL (good) cholesterol. Although no beverage can replace the perks of daily exercise along with a well balanced diet, moderate consumption of wine with your dinner could offer plenty of health benefits. There is nothing wrong with winding down at the end of the day with a glass of wine over dinner, but indulging in more than one glass could potentially raise blood pressure, and mean bad news to your waistline.Are you more of a martini kind of girl? No problem: You can get similar perks from one liquor drink or beer per day. Raise a glass to the pleasures of living a healthier life!

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