life's-little-pleasuresAnxiety and depression can be debilitating this time of year –or any time. I know exactly how hard it is, because I’m going through a sad period, myself.  Sometimes, going within helps. Sometimes reaching out to others is an escape from these dark feelings.

When times are tough we can still take pleasure in the little things, reaching within or reaching out.

The latest buzzword these last few years is “mindfulness,” which simply means to bring our full awareness to whatever we are doing. We can get even MORE out of life’s little pleasures when we experience them fully in the moment.

These are some of my favorite of life’s little pleasures and even better, most of them are free, almost free or really affordable, as in a few bucks. There’s one of life’s little pleasures for everyone in this list.

A piece of rich chocolate.
Bite in and bring your full awareness to the luxurious flavor and texture. And if it’s dark chocolate, it’s good for you! So stop into your local candy store and buy a single piece of good chocolate. Take it home….enjoy.

A back scratch.
I love to ask for this at night. LOVE. Free.

A hot bubble bath
Relax into fragrant bubbles and feel the warm water carry your troubles away. Also just about free. Only the cost of bubbles.

I love to bring my full awareness to creating in the kitchen. A tasty treat, a pretty one, focusing completely on each step. (If I don’t focus, disaster!)  A perfect distraction.

A cup of hot something: tea, cocoa, coffee.
My husband makes a seriously good cup of joe. I love to relax with it each morning, aware of the flavors, the warmth, how it soothes…. starting my day slowly. Mmm. One of my favorite of life’s little pleasures.

A massage.
Maybe someone in your household likes to give massages, in which case it’s free. I’ve got a great masseur who is quite affordable and I love to relax on his table and let him do his magic.

A ripe piece of fruit.
Ok, seriously under-rated. Bite into a ripe strawberry. A piece of sweet pineapple. A crisp apple. Taste the explosion of flavor on your tongue. A juicy orange. Mmmm.

A good book.
Does anyone go to the library any more? Do it! Or get e-books from the local library. Free.  Don’t let reading become a lost art. It’s relaxing and escapist. Try it!

Doing something for others
One of life’s big pleasures is giving. Several online opportunities exist to write notes and cards to shut-ins to brighten their day. Here’s one of my favorites: Love for the Elderly. I love doing this! You can do it for your local assisted living home or universally, as in this program.  Volunteering is also can help us feel better.

A walk.  A chick flick on TV.  Soft music. Binge-watching a TV series. Going to the movies (discount matinees!) All life’s little pleasures.

These can go a long way toward helping anxiety, depression… What is it for you? Which of life’s little pleasures resonate?

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