At times of upheaval and change in my life lately – some visible on the surface, others burbling away where nobody sees them – I can feel the reverberations in many parts of my life. Like a stone dropping in a pond, change and disruption can reach into the furthest regions of your life, and it can sometimes take a while for the full effect to be noticed.
I’m much more aware of how I cope with my life when things are moving and shifting in it. Like many people, my first instinct is to attempt to avoid painful feelings. I sometimes feel a need to tune out, to ‘take a break’ from everyday things and some people.
Whilst I think this normal in many ways, I’ve also noticed a not so positive version of it – a feeling of being drawn back into mindless shopping. Shopping to soothe. Shopping to distract. Shopping as a means of tuning out.
Honour and respect
What I want to do is honour what I’m experiencing and feeling, without falling back into old, unhealthy habits. I think of this as honouring myself and respecting myself at the same time. Because unhealthy habits are a form of disrespect.
Mindless shopping is not a healthy habit for me, it’s a form of disrespect for me. At any time, but especially when my feeling state is so full of extraordinary feelings of loss, grief, anger, resentment, overwhelm and confusion.
So instead of spending a couple of hours at the Plaza, a tempting place to while away a few hours and come home with a handful of unplanned (and unneeded) purchases, I’m tuning into the simple pleasures.
The power of simple pleasures, delightfully enjoyed
For me, simple pleasures are things that don’t cost much, or anything. They are things that don’t have to take a lot of time or effort. They are things that are part of every day life that are so easily missed. They are things that, if tuned into, can turn a ‘Meh’ day into a lovely day.
Simple pleasures are things that can soothe me, distract me, ground me.
Here are some of my current favourite simple pleasures:
- Relishing in a hot shower after exercise. Really feeling it, rather than rushing through it to get on with the rest of my day.
- Drinking my tea outside, instead of at my desk. Taking a full 15 minutes to enjoy being outside in the morning, a time when I’d normally be checking emails or Facebook.
- Settling in to watch a favourite movie on a Sunday afternoon, with a plate of snacks and a warm blanket. Maybe making it a double feature.
What are some of your favourite simple pleasures?