|By Sarah Carlson, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®|
Enjoying the simple pleasures of life can do wonders to boost your mood. Most of the things that give us the most satisfaction do not cost much (or anything):
- A hug
- That first sip of coffee in the morning
- A smile from a stranger walking by
By shifting your attitude and focusing on the little things that make you happy, you will discover even more things to be grateful for. Aspire to see beauty and wonder where others see nothing.
Our lives are built upon a foundation of subconscious habits. While navigating through the lockdown, being house-bound has suddenly upset the routine we have been used to—whether it's wanting to greet our loved ones with a hug or enjoying a beer at our favorite brew pub for dinner. It made me realize how much of an attitude of gratitude for the simple pleasures matter.
Financially, I have realized that the best things in life cost nothing—try to be present and mindfully put those moments in your memory bank so you can savor each small joy.
If you are struggling to find ways to step up to the challenge of today, read on for some tips on how to tune into your best self.
1. Stay in Touch with Nature
Have you ever noticed how much more energized you feel after being outside? How is your mood a little brighter, and your spirits lifted? This is because nature has a direct and measurable effect on our well-being.
When we stay indoors for an extended period, we miss out on those positive effects. If you can spend time outside, make the most of it!
A new pair of sneakers so that you can walk through your neighborhood will end up costing a whole lot less than a gym membership. Walking through your park or neighborhood will build new connections with people whom you may have never taken the time to connect with.
2. Examine True Meaning
We are all creatures of habit, and chances are you have certain habits that provide you with a sense of purpose and meaning. You might get fulfillment from doing your job, or from keeping up your hobby, or just from spending time with the people closest to your heart.
This means that now is an opportunity to re-examine what is truly meaningful to you and find new ways of living true to your heart's deepest desires.
Any skill or hobby that you cultivate can be turned into a side business or new activity. Perhaps you can teach others to make those candles or figure out the special recipe for your grandfather's pickles.
The more you share, the more you will connect, and help others feel connected, and you could maybe even generate a side business out of those skills. Reflect and redefine how to bring fulfillment and meaning into your life.
3. Remaining Accountable
When we were required to stay home, it was easy to lose track of any sense of structure to your day. Alarms and timetables were no longer strictly needed, and any chore can easily be postponed because there is nothing else on your schedule. It was tempting to slack off, and not do a thing. Many people took on the challenge of self-accountability.
Decide when you wake up, and what you do each morning. Commit to a time when you start with work and when you stop. Read a book you wanted to read; practice a new skill you wanted to practice. Grow, in the way you want to grow.
Be accountable to yourself—you are worth it. When it was time to return to the office, those who mastered self-accountability became a better team member and leader.
This life we live is such a delicate balance of the things we can control and the things that are uncontrollable. I hope that you are each continuing to find ways to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Stay well, my friends.
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Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
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