When stress is getting the better of me I like to focus on the simplest pleasures and how they make me feel. Simple pleasures offer up an ocean of joy. All these simple pleasures are free or extremely low in the pennies and pounds stakes and require no more effort than putting on a pair of shoes.
Here’s my list:-
Hugging a friend or loved one
And I mean really hugging them as though you mean it. Put your arms around their waist and lay your head on their chest and squeeze hard so that your bodies are locked together platonically. You will feel their heart beating and you’ll feel their warmth and for a minute or two you’ll feel this intense joy radiating through you. Make sure you have a good relationship with them and that they don’t mind being hugged – really hugged – by you and that they return the favour and that you don’t mind them doing that.
Writing letters or postcards
Another of my favourites is writing letters and postcards and sending them to special people around the world. OK, so this one costs the price of a postage stamp to their country but it’s a cost that is negligible. It’s wonderful when you get a card or letter back. It’s such a simple pleasure, it takes a little bit of time – the choosing of the card, the thought about what nice words to write and the trip to the post box – but it is immensely worth it.
Being a Plastic-Free person
OK, again this bit costs a little, but not anything above and beyond your daily shopping bill. I use olive oil soap and a lavender soap bar to wash and condition my hair. The Greek olive oil soap and lavender conditioning soap bar last forever and the whole process of washing and conditioning takes a little more time than using the processed rubbish in plastic bottles that are on offer at the supermarket but the whole experience is beautiful. A half an hour of gorgeous me time, a simple pleasure that leaves my hair in a super-soft state. Another simple pleasure – being plastic free – is to buy oranges in nets. I love oranges and love them grouped together in nets. Oranges are my sweet treat. I live off them. They are great for the skin and there’s no plastic packaging involved.
One of my favourite cafes in Edinburgh is the Café Artista in Marchmont, run by the formidable Bruno from Italy and his merry bunch of Italian waiting staff. Whenever I go there I have a super-strong coffee – Italian coffee is in my opinion the only way to go. Italians make the best coffee – and I sit and listen to the quick-fire Italian being spoken. The small cost of a coffee and the ambience and Italian being spoken around me is one of my secret joys. It makes me feel human and loved and very, very happy. Thank you Bruno.
I hope you like my ideas. Please comment with your own thoughts on simple pleasures. I’ll try any (legal) ones you suggest. Much love, Jo xx