Enjoying the small things or life’s simple pleasures is often overlooked in the search for grander experiences. Indeed, with all the options available out there, it’s easy to get carried away and over-complicate things thinking that, to relax or improve your mood, you need to do something like book a vacation far away.
If you have the time and means do it, go right ahead, but don’t delay feeling better today thinking you need to do something elaborate – because you might be missing an opportunity to get the mood boost you need now.
So, don’t delay your wellness. Today is the day to take notice of what you can do to start enjoying the little things and feel rewarded, without having to put it off until the weekend or next vacation.
But what to do? Well, here are some simple pleasures to get you started!
Simple Pleasures You Can Enjoy Right Now
Literally stop to smell the roses
Yes, the old cliche. However, it exists for a reason!
I literally like to stop and smell the roses whenever I see them at the market, at a garden, or (if I’m lucky) at home. To me, it means pausing for a split second to appreciate the details.
It can change your mood instantly and sometimes even prevent you from doing something foolish. It also costs you nothing, but the reward -instant appreciation for the moment- is truly worth it.
Enjoy a good-smelling hand soap
Transform a pretty mundane task into a pleasurable experience. Assuming you wash your hands regularly, if every time you do it you have a nice smell enveloping your senses you’ll at least smile and get a bit of relaxation.
I have found that coconut-scented soaps or ocean breeze ones remind me of vacations; whereas, for the holidays, nothing beats Frasier Fir or candy cane scents! Lavender and Verbena also give me that luxurious feel that transports me to a fancy place.
Send a nice message to someone – A karmic simple pleasure
How did you feel the last time you received a nice message from someone you hadn’t heard from in a while?
Did it make you smile? Start a chain reaction of goodness and you’ll feel good in return. It only takes a minute, but when you spread good it unpacks positive things in your life, helps you recharge, and could even inspire you to accomplish great things.
It doesn’t have to be a handwritten note; a simple text message is enough. The important thing is that the message is genuine.
Scroll through an album that brings you good memories
Whether it be an actual album sitting on your coffee table or a virtual one on your phone, taking a few minutes to look at pictures that remind you of happy memories is a great way to distract yourself and force yourself to stop and contemplate life. This is seldom thought of as a luxury; but in reality, it couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Strut as you walk down the street wearing something you love – One of my favorite simple pleasures
Like the song goes, I do my hair toss, check my nails, baby how you feelin’?
Yep, good as heck! Walk it and own it.
You must wear something that makes you feel truly confident about yourself, no matter what it is. Remember you’re dressing up for yourself so that when you walk out the door you are poised and walk with purpose. I can almost guarantee you, people will look at you and will want to feel as good as you, and you’ll be in the right mindset, ready to conquer the day.
Walk near a body of water
The beach is the ultimate place to stare, breathe in, and relax. But unfortunately, this is not always accessible to everyone.
However, you can explore other options and not completely miss out on the experience. For instance, just looking at a body of water like a lake or river, a pool or even a fountain, will inspire a sense of calm. If you are lucky to have something like this near work, take advantage of it and try to walk or sit by it every so often.
Have a mocktini or a beverage that you really like in a fancy glass
This may sound silly, but if you practice it and make a point of appreciating the moment you pick up the glass and have a sip, it can change your perception of something so mundane, and quickly become a mini simple pleasure that you can practice often.
So drink whatever, even if it’s just an iced tea, but drink it with style and take short sips.
Allow yourself one food treat – A delicious simple pleasure
Whatever you fancy – whether it’s a cake pop, cookie, chips, or something else.
The point is to give yourself a small treat. Just don’t overdo it, especially if it’s something very sugary or unhealthy. Some people love to enjoy a Coke Zero every now and then. If that’s your case, do it. The idea is to do something you otherwise wouldn’t do regularly so that it feels like a special treat.
Do stretching and breathing exercises.
Stretch those arms up, and breathe in and out 10 times. Smile. Exhale. Feel better. It’s all about appreciation, and you’ll soon ask yourself why you don’t take the time to do this more often.
Make sure you close the door if you’re in your office, or go to a bathroom stall or somewhere private.
Put a warm towel over your shoulders and sit back
If you don’t want to deal with the mess of water or towels, just use a warm gel pad that only requires a microwave.
In 40 seconds you’ll be on your way to relaxation. This one is awesome while sipping tea, after a long day. It’ll transform ugghh into ahhh!
Sit in the shower and let the water run down your face with the lights turned off – A daily simple pleasure
This is one of those simple pleasures you can enjoy every day; you just need to remember to do it and not rush the shower!
Sit under a tree and enjoy the breeze for a few minutes
It doesn’t have to be a picnic with Insta-worthy pictures. The only thing you need is a tree and five minutes of your time to make it work. If you’ve got 15 minutes instead of 5, even better! Stare at the green in the leaves, appreciate the smells in your surroundings, and just feel the breeze against your skin.
Enjoy the stillness, and be present. Try to smile at yourself. Even if you think you don’t have a reason, you’ll probably soon realize that, after all, you do.
Eat or have your coffee outdoors
If possible, do this and nothing else.
Don’t look at your phone. Allow yourself to enjoy the stillness and appreciate your surroundings. Look at the passersby; see if there are any dogs, birds, or maybe it’s raining? Only when you’re looking up, and not face-buried in your phone, can you have these things within eyesight and appreciate them.
Sing in the car – One of the Classic Simple Pleasures
But make sure your windows are up! It’s also better if you’re by yourself. LOL.
Joking aside, no matter if you’re a good singer, singing out loud will make you relax and take yourself less seriously. Something everyone can use!
Give someone an honest compliment
You must truly mean what you say so that you can experience that feel-good, do-good feeling.
It’s a two-way street if you think about it. Not only will you make someone feel better but, because you meant what you said, you’ll feel good, too.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Give someone an honest compliment – you’ll make two lives better today!” quote=”Give someone an honest compliment – you’ll make two lives better today!”]
The Lowdown on Simple Pleasures
Simple pleasures are often forgotten, but they can make a difference in your mood, life, and health. So don’t put it off and enjoy the little things today.
What are your “simple pleasures”? Are there any small things you do to feel instantly rewarded and make a difference in your mood?
Tom @ Dividends Diversify says
Lily. These are excellent. Just how life should be lived. Smile, stretch, take a walk by a lake and compliment someone about something. One I’d like to add is just close your eyes and relax them for a moment & let the tension drain out of them. Tom
Reverse The Crush says
Timely article with what has been going on in the world. I have noticed how easy it is to forget about simple pleasures as I get older. I certainly like your soap point right now, also the coffee one. And it’s always awesome to get near a body of water. I think a relaxing morning with coffee does the trick for me. Thanks for sharing.