An important part of taking compassionate care of ourselves is to focus on simple pleasures. Which totally depends on you. That is, you get to decide what a simple pleasure looks like. Savoring simple pleasures is especially helpful when there’s a lot going on in our lives—deadlines to meet, hard work to accomplish, errands to run. Making time for simple pleasures helps to prevent burnout. Simple pleasures help us to refocus on the sweet small moments, which helps us to cultivate joy and welcome a boost of energy.
It also reminds us that pleasure doesn’t just reside in the big momentous occasions in our lives, such as birthdays and baby showers. We can access pleasure every day, several times a day.
Today, I’m sharing a list of my simple pleasures, all kinds of simple pleasures. I hope my list inspires you to think a bit about your own.
- eating a fresh whole grain bagel with cream cheese and sipping a decaf latte
- a hug from my husband
- taking a refreshing walk or shopping all day with my mom
- watching a favorite TV show or a program about history
- getting a new journal and pack of pens
- eating an orange or crisp apple
- slipping into bed with clean sheets, wearing PJs just out of the dryer
- hanging out in the kitchen while my hubby cooks or talking at night before falling asleep
- eating outside when the air is so fresh and cool you want to drink it
- reading in bed
- walking on the beach, breathing in the pure, salty air, or simply sitting on the wooden stairs and really looking at the ocean or burying my feet in the warm sand
- lemonade on a hot spring day
- browsing any bookstore
- taking a nap
- taking a hot shower
- lighting a yummy smelling candle
- writing inside while it pours all day
- leaving town for the day or weekend for a mini-adventure
- reading a beautiful poem
- discovering something new—a new word, a new theory, a new fact, something about someone’s creative process, about someone’s art, something about myself, about our world
- listening to songs I need to hear
- visiting a homemade ice cream shop for a scoop of chocolate chip ice cream with rainbow sprinkles
- wearing my softest, warmest hoodie while working on the couch and sipping a fruit punch-flavored Capri Sun
Sometimes, we think we don’t deserve to feel pleasure, to enjoy ourselves so much. We think we need to be more efficient and productive. We worry that taking our time is being lazy or a bad worker or just all-around bad. But, as I’ve mentioned, what could be more productive than feeling joy, than feeling alive? Than using our senses fully and being with our loved ones or listening to ourselves and our needs?
What are your simple pleasures? What simple pleasures can you savor today? Every day?