I know what you’re thinking. No, this is not about *that* kind of pleasure. So all those visitors from the dark side of the internet? You can quietly get up and leave without saying a word and no one will judge – promise. The kind of pleasure I’m talking about is that little moment here and there throughout your average day which makes it seem not so awful after all. It might be a piece of chocolate before bed time, or spritzing on your favourite perfume in the morning as you grab your ham sandwich and banana and race to the car. These moments may seem completely insignificant, but take them away, and you’d be proper miserable.
And maybe you are feeling a bit rough around the edges right now…in the last few days of winter I can tell you that I certainly do. When I start to look and feel like a bedraggled raccoon after an unsuccessful dumpster dive, I know it’s time to act. It’s time to increase my pleasure factor. To find as many moments in which to inject nuggets of joy as I can. As the saying goes, if you don’t look after yourself, who will?
As a self-proclaimed introvert, I get quite caught up in my own head. Thoughts, memories, to-do lists, worrying about things that will never happen, and planning my Oscar acceptance speech cloud my head on an hourly basis, and before I know it, I’m a ball of stress. The way I combat this is with the senses. Like a mini trip to a spa, just with less esoteric music and fluffy towels.
Here are some of my favourite ways to inject a little pleasure into daily life:
If you’re able to wander outside – whether into a garden or down a street – changing your immediate view does wonders. Really look around and notice the birds in the trees, street art, people, flowers, the sky…it takes your mind back into the present and gives you that #blessed feeling at being on this lovely planet.
Stuck at your desk? Take a stroll through Pinterest or Bloglovin – both great places to get lost. Pinterest is my gateway drug to articles that I’d never think to search for, and Bloglovin helps me to catch up on what other kick ass lasses are getting up to in the world.
Music. Obviously. Not going to reinvent the wheel here or talk to you like you’ve never listened to a song in your life before. If you’re not sure what to listen to, there are great playlists out there like this one and this one that really help at bringing you back from the brain dead.
Something that really helps me at my desk is ambient sound. Yes there are the old cliche tracks like whale song and thunderstorms, but there are some really interesting ones too. You’ll soon discover what presses that relax button for you. If you’re interested in checking them out, listen to my favourite ones here and here.
Tea fixes everything. Will knows that if I start to get that wild look in my eye and threaten to burn down the building, he puts the kettle on. I do enjoy all of the different varieties and flavours that comes with the problem solver that is tea. Their aromas are so relaxing, and you have different blends for different moods and ailments. Taking 5 minutes to old that hot cup in your hand and slowly sip it really works miracles.
But it needn’t be tea for you. My only advice would be to stick to something that is either moderately healthy, or to only have a small amount. Food addiction is real, y’all, and I wouldn’t want to encourage you to reward / comfort yourself with food.
Lighting a scented candle is such a wonderful thing to do – I don’t know if it’s the ceremony of the matches and flame, the warm light it offers, or the scent itself, but it just takes the edge off so subtly. Much recommend.
Perfume is also a great way to really pamper yourself, and provide a much needed cuddle for the senses. Try switching up your scents – it keeps your nose on its toes (lol) and also puts you in a different mood, depending on the type of fragrance you opt for.
Do you ever have a moment when your hair irritates the everything out of you? Or your top pulls at your armpits and feels like some torture device you’re locked into? When I want to improve my pleasure count, comfort is key. Hair up, comfy clothes and slippers on are key elements here, but that wouldn’t do so well in the boardroom. If you can’t go whole comfort hog, perhaps it’s just a case of tying up your hair, putting some hand cream on, and taking off your jacket for a bit. Listening to your body is the name of the game here.
What little pleasure rituals do you follow? I’d love to hear about them.