We are well into our second week of a brand-new year, and it seems that 2021 has taken on a ‘hold my beer,’ persona. You know what? It’s fine. We are all fine. You know why? Because the only person who can make or break your day is you. If you’re focused on your fear and living in your negative space, you just have to find the power to stop. New habits take 21 days to manifest, and we’re already 13 days into the new year, so we’re more than halfway there.
Today, on our second part of the stop living in fear series, we are discussing just how important it is to find time for the simplest pleasures in life. I’m fully aware that what makes me happy may not be what makes you happy and vice versa, but there are plenty of small things, gestures, habits you can invite into your everyday life that make your life so much better…and you don’t even need to put much effort into any of it.
Start your day with sex
Because what’s better than being woken up by the person you love who wants to show you first and foremost before the day starts that he or she loves you? My husband is a big fan; and so am I. It’s impossible to have a bad day when you start your day this way.
Read a book
You don’t have to read an entire book, but why not sit down with a good book and designate 20-30 minutes to reading? It’s such a pleasurable escape, and it’s good for your brain. I’m convinced that the reason I became a writer and I can spell anything correctly (damn autocorrect, though, am I right?) is because I’m a reader. I’ve been an avid reader my entire life, and it’s just plain good for your brain and your soul. On the flip side; I also know it’s next to impossible to only read for 20-30 minutes. I swear I’m going to every single time and before you know it, it’s been hours.
Yoga on the pool deck. A walk with my husband and the kids. Lunch on the lanai. A glass of wine on the front porch rockers when the sun is setting. It’s all good. Trust me.
Move your body
Y’all already know that exercise is so good for you, but it doesn’t have to feel like exercise. Move. Dance. Have sex (again…because more than once a day is my other favorite). Take a walk. Do yoga. Whatever. Just move your body.
Get in the kitchen
Try a fancy new recipe. Bake something amazing. Get into the kitchen and focus on the task at hand. It’s such a welcome distraction, and the end result will always bring you pleasure (or take out, if we are being honest).
Play a game
Our kids love playing games, and we have the best time with them. What’s more fun that playing games with little people you can beat? Really…it’s good.
As a self-proclaimed OCD neat freak over here, nothing is more amazing than something clean. Since everything in my house and cars are always clean, I find my pleasure in organizing things. Okay, okay…I take my pleasure in throwing things away and getting rid of stuff. The running joke in my family is that if you can’t find it, Tiffany/mommy probably threw it away. #andiprobablydid
I’m also a self-aware routine-oriented schedule lover, and I’m not ashamed of that. But, there’s also something so innately powerful and exciting about breaking schedule and routines and doing something spontaneous. Lunch with a friend. A spur-of-the-moment date night. Whatever it is, do it.
Do something for someone else
We make a lot of happy memories in our household, but one of my favorite annual memories is not a vacation or a big deal or a huge accomplishment. It’s our annual Friday-before-Christmas date night with our best friends. We might not remember how many years we’ve been doing it, but we always go to the same restaurant. My husband picks up a stack of gift cards for the restaurant and we pass them out to people as they dine to cover their dinner checks. It’s SUCH a good feeling to see their excitement when they realize someone did something for them. We have our waiter/waitress pass them out for us so we remain anonymous. Our best friends spend the entire dinner making offers on the Christmas headband our waitress wears, upping the offer every single time until she gives in and lets them buy it (you should see the Christmas headband collection…). On top of leaving with an exceptionally large Christmas tip from all of us, our waitress leaves every single year with an empty head and another $100 profit on her headband. Doing something for someone else that makes them smile, brings them peace, or makes their life a little easier is always a good feeling – you can’t live in fear if you’re busy making people smile, you guys.
Wake up earlier
There is something very special about being awake before anyone else. You get to enjoy the quiet, you get to take some time for yourself. A quiet, relaxed start to the day is always the best start to the day.
If 2020 gave the world one thing collectively, it was the lack of desire to put on real clothes, wash your hair, or apply makeup. Sure, that can be nice, but guys…no one ever feels their happiest and best when they look like shit. Wake up. Take a shower. Shave something – at least your armpits by also your legs if you’re really feeling good. Put on some makeup. Wear some killer outfit that makes you feel like a million dollars. It makes a difference. Trust me.
You’re never going to feel capable of letting go of the fear you’re living in if you don’t find time in the day to do things that bring you joy and happiness. Find the time. These are just suggestions; you can do anything you want to bring joy to your own life. Just do it. It’s easier than you think.