Why we need
more vacations to take pleasure in the simple things.
As I was creating this video from my vacation during Memorial weekend, I noticed how often I stopped to just take in the island, the rocking of the boat, the taste of the food, the conversation, the plethora of accents. It filled my heart with pleasure and yet it was those small, albeit, simple moments that made my trip worth while.
In America, we are hopelessly overworked. It’s like what Luca Spaghetti said in Eat Pray Love:
Americans. You work too hard, you get burned out. You come home and spend the whole weekend in your pajamas in front of the TV. But you don’t know pleasure. You have to be told you’ve earned it. You see a commercial that says, ‘It’s Miller Time!’ and you say, ‘That’s right, now I’m going to buy a six pack.’ And then drink the whole thing and wake up the next morning and you feel terrible.
But an Italian doesn’t need to be told. He walks by a sign that says: You deserve a break today. And he says, ‘Yes, I know…”
Well…I’m here to tell you, this summer you’ve earned it! Not only have you earned it but you should take it, you should take pleasure in the simple, every day things. Give yourself a mini vacay even when you can’t go or can’t afford to take one.
I had a conversation with hubby about this. He told me when he is at work and he takes his 10 minute smoke break, he pretends like he is on a little mini vacation every time. These blocks of mental stimulation prevent him from feeling like he is overworked, even though he knows he is.
Here are some tips on how to take pleasure in the every day moments:
1. Stop and smell the roses. No seriously. If you are walking to your car after work or enjoying a brisk walk in the park, stop to smell the scents of nature and bask in it. Yes…even the smog.
2. Let the sun energize you. The great thing about the summer is that we have an abundance of sunshine. Instead of complaining about how hot the sun is, take glory in knowing that you get energy from it…and Vitamin D. But in moderation and with sunscreen according to dermatologists.
3. Shake up your routine. The reason why we get so bored with life or we get into those hum drum moods is because we are trapped by our routine. Shake it up! Take a new route home, dry a new dish at an old restaurant, hang out with some new people and make the most of it!
4. Find your child-like innocence. Remember when you were younger how you were full of curiosity and amazement? It’s like I said in ‘Crave Adventure,’ feed your curiosity with adventure.
5. Be grateful. It seems simple but people who are grateful don’t waste their time on insignificant details. Each day you wake up simply say “Thank you” and then go about your date with gratefulness in your heart and watch how the world seems to be more vivid and bright.
6. Put the phone down. I probably shouldn’t say this since I am a self proclaimed social media advocate and currently seeking employment in it, but it’s a huge distraction away from your life. In business it’s great for communication and engagement. In life it’s great for connecting and sharing, but you have to learn moderation and control. When you are out with friends and loved ones, put the phone down and give them your undivided attention. You’ll notice things about them you’ve forgotten or didn’t know.
7. Take a staycaytion. Sometimes we just need to go away for a short while to have the opportunity to miss where we are. In your state, go to a city that isn’t in the metropolis and get to know it…even for a weekend.
8. Talk to someone wise. When was the last time you talked to your grandmother, great aunt, uncle, or grandpa? There is something so refreshing about hearing about their history and how they overcame many obstacles to get to where they are today. They are some of the most appreciative, grateful, and humorous people you will meet. They will definitely teach you how to take pleasure in the simple things.
9. Stop trying so hard. Has it ever occurred to you that when you try hard to do something it will elude you? You try and try and try with no success, but as soon as you stop trying, it just comes to you. When you are working on a tough project, client, situation and you feel like you have tried and tried…just stop trying.
10. Lastly, Find your inner peace. Some of the most stressed out people I know and see are ones who have no inner peace. You can tell they are struggling with something and are restless because of it. Even when I find myself stressing out, I know I have to do whatever it takes to find my inner peace, typically that means I need to amp up the yoga and nature walks. Whatever brings you peace, whether it be painting, compositing, singing, meditating, or whatever DO IT! Let your inner peace shine through!
Americans. We have been charged with the lack of pleasure! We aren’t going to take that lightly. We, like many of the other cultures DO KNOW pleasure, we just have to remember that it can be found in the simple things.
How do you find pleasure in the simple things? What brings you inner peace? What are you grateful for?