11 Dec The Gift of Simple Pleasures
Recently, I’ve noticed myself bored with the seemingly endless routine of work, home, work, home, etc.
My escape has been making dramatic or exciting plans for “when this is all over.” The mental exercise of making plans and having something to look forward to at least interrupts my current routine. But neither the daily routine nor the planning for “when this is all over” provide any real joy.
As life has slowed down enough to really experience it, I’m finding simple pleasures I can count on to provide real joy. Maybe what I’m finding is true for all of us — when we appreciate and enjoy the simple things, the gratitude we feel extends to other areas as well.
Here are some simple pleasures I think are worth experiencing often:
Walking in the Snow
The peacefulness of walking in freshly fallen snow and the cold fresh air invigorate the senses. Try to experience this at least a few times this winter, as the weather allows. I love doing this at night walking my dog, Tiny.
Giving and Receiving “Eye Smiles” and Head Nods
What better way to experience a simple pleasure for free? In our current days of mask-wearing, go out of your way to give smiles, not only to your friends but also to random strangers you pass on the street. A head nod in the direction of another is a great way to express gratitude and kindness. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels to see other people light up and respond.
Getting and Giving Massage
If you’re lucky enough to live with someone, turn off the TV and your phone and have a “massage night.” Start out with 15-30 minutes and then switch. Or alternate nights being the giver and receiver. This time of total relaxation will make your troubles feel as though they are melting away.
The Endorphin Rush After Working Out
When you have a strenuous workout, you’ll get an endorphin rush as a reward. These natural, feel-good chemicals are sure to brighten your day. Try working out in the morning to use this endorphin rush to be especially productive throughout the rest of your day.
Enjoying Your Favorite Food
Even if your favorite food is not especially healthy, allow yourself to have it every now and then. The feeling of your much-loved food will bring you a little boost of pleasure. Studies have shown that if you refrain from a particular food for a certain time, it will be that more enjoyable the next time you try it. Use this trick to make your favorite meal taste even better than usual.
Laughing Til It Hurts
Laughter is like medicine. Everyone should have an opportunity to laugh until it hurts at least once a day. Whether it’s a chat with a friend, or watching a funny movie, take time to laugh away your stress.
Enjoying A Hot Cup of Coffee or Tea
Some of us really love our daily coffee or tea. Even when it’s a daily habit, it still brings a lot of joy. Take some quiet time to enjoy every bit as you sit and appreciate this moment with yourself.
Planning for “when this is all over” can give you something to look forward to for sure (so can expensive fun). But those days can be hard to come by. Instead of waiting for your next vacation, indulge in one of these simple pleasures. By learning to appreciate the little things right next to you, you’ll find great fulfillment. The game, now, is to create joy and fulfillment each and every day. It’s much more enriching than waiting “until this is all over.”
Enjoy the gift of simple pleasures.