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Stress. It seems to get the best of me just when I need to relax. I’m writing this post as a reminder to myself as I sit here, freaking out over the crazy month that I’ve had, as well as what’s to come in the hope that not only will I remember to stop and do something fun, but that you will as well. In the fast-paced world that we live in, we all need to experience the joys of simple pleasures. It can be a great stress-reliever to take a few moments to enjoy the sensory pleasure of the beauty around us.
I offer you 10 simple pleasures that you should experience as often as possible.
1. Get outside and smell freshly cut grass. What a pleasure it is to the senses to breathe in that sweet smell that causes the feeling that summer has arrived, and allows you in one sniff to bond with nature.
2. Walk in the rain. Do you remember jumping into puddles when you were a kid and the joy you felt as you made the BIGGEST splash possible? Instead of looking outside when the rain is falling, embrace it. It is such an awesome feeling to have the rain against your face and soak you to the core as you get outside for a stroll. Don’t forget to channel your inner child and jump in a few puddles while you’re at it.
3. Have a candlelit bubble bath. If you’re like me, you think…yes I’m going to do this on Saturday night, but never do. Isn’t it time that you took a half hour or more for yourself and treat yourself gently and with care? I love soaking in a tub of Philosophy Amazing Grace and tuning out the rest of the world and while I watch those bubbles surround me.
4. Watch the sun rise. Whether you stay up all night to watch this happen or simply wake up early enough to see it, make this an occasional part of your schedule. It is a great reminder that no matter how overwhelming things feel, that the sun will rise again tomorrow.
5. Swim in the ocean. I have a pool, and while pools are fun, swimming in the ocean feels like the way it is truly supposed to be. Swimming is not exactly what I do when I go to the beach, it’s more like jumping over the waves, feeling the water engulf my ankles as I stand at the waters edge and PLAY. There is nothing like the sound, smell and feel of the ocean to take your cares away.
6. Blast and sing your favorite song alone in the car. Rachel and I do this regularly while we’re on roadtrips. We blast the music and sing at the top of our lungs. So, I might be off key, but WHO CARES? Don’t know all the words? WHO CARES? Just have FUN.
8. Wake up without an alarm clock. Many of us are constantly waking up early to get ready for jobs and extracurricular activities. Make sure you get at least a few mornings per month to sleep in and wake up when your body tells you to.
9. Choose the extra large size. We are constantly telling ourselves to make healthy decisions. If you are someone who chooses the small milkshake and refrains from the big ones, give yourself one opportunity to make the switch. Giving in to a treat is not the end of the world and will feel like such a special indulgence.
10. Make a snow angel. This is not just for kids. If you live in a climate that is suitable for this activity, put on your snow pants and get to it. You will love how it feels to look at your completed snow angel and know that you created it. Those of us in Florida can go to the beach and make sand angels.
Life is full of stress. It is time to have some fun, and take joy in the simple things in life. Use these ideas to give you a head start in the direction of simple, joyful living.