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Even when you think you don’t have time to relax or indulge in self-care, there are so many simple pleasures that either surround you or that you can easily add to your life. Either by relishing unexpected moments or setting yourself up to be surrounded by little luxuries, you can enjoy life’s simple pleasures in the moments between all of the busy that makes up a life. This post contains a list of simple pleasures you can add to or enjoy in almost every area of your life.
How Do You Enjoy the Simple Things?This morning, while watching my son’s soccer game, I happened to glance down at my flip-flop encased, unpainted toenails and tried to recall the last time I’d had a pedicure. (Answer: in July before we went on vacation, this is Labor Day weekend.) I love having pedicures (and facials…and massages…) but, like most working moms, time is the resource and luxury I lack the most. Any “spare time” I have is spent running carpools, picking kids up/dropping things off, and keeping everyone clean and fed.
What Are the Best Simple Pleasures in Life?Below is a list of little things, from simple activities to little luxuries you can add to almost any area of your life. Whether you are at work, at home, or even in your car, there are ways to relax and enjoy the moment and your surroundings.
Enjoy “Me-Time” During Your Commute to Work
- Listen to music you love, but the rest of your family hates.
- Begin listening to Podcasts. I’m not a follower of anyone specifically but like to peek around the Apple Podcast app and have found really interesting podcasts that range from Crystal Paine to Reality Steve to Freakonomics Radio
- Listen to a good book you’ve been meaning to read. You can either download audiobooks from your library (although you’ll likely find yourself on a waiting list for most new releases) or download books from Amazon. I have an Audible subscription, which allows me to download one new audiobook a month, usually at a discount over Amazon pricing.
- Some of the books I’ve recently listened to are:
- The Road Home – the final book in the “Broken Road” series by Richard Paul Evans. It’s a nice, easy yet thought-provoking series about redemption and second chances.
- An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew – this book showed up in one of those Amazon “suggestion emails,” and I bought it on a whim. It was one of the most intriguing stories of a woman born in rural America who married into the 1900’s Pennsylvania Society, shrewdly made her own wealth, and eventually married European royalty. It has everything from love and scandal to horrid loss to “you go girl” moments. It’s a very interesting story about a woman who lived an extraordinary life.
- Girl Wash Your Face – this is the book by Rachel Hollis that absolutely everyone has read. For me, it was just okay, but I’m glad I “read” it so I can at least join the conversation when it comes up.
- The Latte Factor: Why You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Live Rich – this book by David Bach uses a parable to explain savings, debt, and wealth creation in very easily understood terms. I wanted to listen to the book before giving a copy to my teen daughter….and I can with complete certainty that a hard copy of this book will be included with EVERY graduation gift I hand out going forward.
- The Life She Was Given – by Ellen Marie Wiseman. If you liked The Woman in the Window or The Wife Between Us, you’d enjoy this book. I usually can’t read “creepy” books at home (or I have trouble falling asleep), but for some reason, I don’t have the same issue listening to them on the drive home from work.
- Some of the books I’ve recently listened to are:
- Daydream and enjoy the silence. Some days, listening to nothing and having to respond to nothing is the greatest luxury I can think of.
Finding Moment for Self-Care at Home
- Take a long, hot shower. Put some extra conditioner in your hair and just stand there and do nothing.
- Even better, take a long hot bath, complete with bath salts, face, and hair masks. This conditioner is like a “sheet mask” for your hair. It’s only $8 and is just as good or even better than any conditioning treatment I’ve ever had at a salon. Plus, it only takes 15 minutes and you never even need to leave home.
- Wrap up in a soft robe or hot towels straight out of the dryer. If you have radiators in your bathroom, they double as GREAT towel warmers.
- Stretch and do some at-home yoga. If you have a Prime Membership, here is a list of quick/beginner yoga videos you can use for free with your membership.
- Even a 10-15 minute meditation session is a great way to relax and recharge. (I’d never meditated before finding the MindValley app. The App is free to use (and a great place to start). You can also purchase medications on just about any topic you can imagine through Mindvalley.
Simple Pleasures at Work
- Most of the standard issued supplies at work are functional but “blah”. if you upgrade a few of the supplies you use the most to products you love, they will spark a little joy when you use them. Here are some of my favorite products to “upgrade” at work:
- Pretty Binder Clips
- Pretty notepads for taking notes. Fringe Studio spiral notebooks are my absolute favorite! The paper has a nice heft to it, the covers are high quality, and they just “feel good in your hands”. I’ve also found Fringe products in the journal section of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, so be sure to scout out your local store for these awesome notebooks.
- FriXion Erasable Pens are NOT the erasable pens you remember from grade school! These do not smear, they do erase cleanly, and totally beat having to white-out your mistakes. They come in a variety of colors and they are the only pens I use at work.
- A pretty and functional planner – The Happy Planner is my favorite planner. Michal’s Craft Store has a large selection of Happy Planners and accessories on-line (and they usually have some in-store as well). One of my favorite parts about this calendar system is that you can make your own printables and use the Happy Planner Hole Puncher to add them right into your planner.
- In addition to the standard family photos, bring in some extra décor or plants to make your office feel more warm, cozy, and inviting. You spend a lot of time here….do what you can to give it a more homey feel.
- If you have a favorite coffee creamer, bring a container to work. It will make your office coffee so much more enjoyable. The same goes if you’re a tea drinker…bring your favorites, don’t settle for the generic office selection.
Simple Pleasures to Help You Relax
- Enjoy a piping hot cup of your favorite coffee or tea. If you’d like an extra-luxurious cup of coffee, read this post on how to use a French Press.
- Even if you only have time to read a few chapters, take a time out to dive into a good book.
- Keep a subscription to your favorite magazine(s). Flipping through US Magazine to catch up on celebrity gossip or leafing through the Food Network Magazine is an easy way to slow down and enjoy a few moments of quiet.
- Pop a bowl of popcorn (with extra butter) and watch that movie you meant to see in the theater but never found time for.
- Take a nap. One day last week, I had an hour between getting off work and having to pick my kids up from sports practice. I put my to-do list aside, set a timer, and took a nap. Best decision ever.
- Cloud watching is one of the best free forms of entertainment on the planet. My kids and I can lose track of time calling out the shapes in the cloud and commentating as they move and change. As they’ve gotten older and their vocabulary and world experience has increased, this pastime has become even more entertaining. So fun.
- Grab a beverage of your choice and watch squirrels (or birds, or other small animals) interacting in your back yard. If you’ve never done this before, you’ll be surprised by easy it is to get lost gazing at their antics.
Simple Pleasures That Pop Up Unexpectedly
- Getting a package in the mail and finding bubble wrap….and keeping the bubble wrap for yourself! According to one study, one minute of popping bubble wrap relieves as much stress as a 33-minute massage!
- Overhearing a funny conversation
- When your pet snuggles up to you and rests their chin on you
- Catching all of the green lights
- Finding a pull-through parking space – I HATE driving backward so I LOVE it when I can pull into a parking space and the one in front of it is open. This makes me so happy and feels like a gift from the universe, especially in situations where everyone will be leaving the lot at the same time.
- Waking up and realizing you have more time to sleep or, better yet, that it’s the weekend and you have nowhere to be.
Simple Pleasure for Your Home
- If you haven’t already, upgrade the handsoap in your bathrooms and kitchen to something in a scent you love that comes in a pretty container. Usually, brands like Method or Meyers only cost a couple of dollars more than their counterparts, but they’re more enjoyable to use. If you really want to upgrade in this area, Cuccina’s Coriander and Olive Tree hand soap has the most incredible, spa-like fragrance and the bottles are lovely as well.
- The same goes for dish soap, upgrade to something that smells yummy and looks just as pretty. Cuccina’s Sanguinelli Orange and Fennel Dish Soap smells AMAZING.
- Have a favorite, cozy blanket to snuggle up in. THIS blanket has pretty much gone viral in my family, and we each have our own version. It’s super soft and has just the right weight to make you feel snug and cozy lying under it. (It is totally worth the splurge!)
- Burn candles in a scent you love.
- And, if you’re allergic to candles– fairy lights, tea candles in holders, and batterie operated candles will give your home a warm, cozy glow as well.
- Climbing into a made bed with freshly washed sheets is another simple pleasure that’s easy to conjure up.
- And, waking up in a clean, uncluttered bedroom is a relaxing, non-stressful way to start your day.