If there’s one positive that’s come from this past year for me, it’s that I’ve really come to appreciate the little things in life. Pre pandemic, it was easy (and encouraged) to really focus on big picture plans. The holidays we’d book months in advance, the homes we’d eventually buy, the promotion we might get. These are all valid things to strive for, but what about the here and now? The small things we do every single day that can spark joy. Paying attention and focusing on the little things makes the day to day more joyful and puts everything into perspective. It’s what makes up most of our time! Here’s a few benefits, some reminders of simple things that can spark joy, and how we can make them part of our daily lives even more…
The present moment is all we have. We can’t entirely predict the future (as the past year has shown us all), but we can live in the present and fully embrace what is. When we focus on, and appreciate the little things in life it gives us chance to slow down and be present. If anything, it’s always the little things that have mattered, but sometimes it can be hard to see that.
The more we see the little things and take time to appreciate them, the more joyful we’re likely to feel day to day. The little things in life are there, around us every single day, but we rarely look us from how busy we are to appreciate them. When you look at children and the enthusiasm they have, it’s something a lot of us have had too but we end up focusing our awareness on our thoughts instead of what’s right infront of us.
Focusing and bringing your attention to the simple pleasures is basically about becoming more mindful. It’s making a conscious effort to focus on something small, which is easier said than done these days. It sounds quite extreme to type it out, but this past year I’ve been prioritising yoga, meditation and exercise in general as my main form of self care, purely to become more self aware and have the ability to notice small things. Meditating made me realise just how little time I spend in the present. My mind often wonders to the big picture stuff, when actually, I’m much happier and more joyful when I focus on the here and now.
Simply checking in with yourself is a good place to start. This could be through journaling, setting an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to just stop and observe how you feel or concentrating on your breathing. The more you connect with yourself, the easier it will be to live intentionally and focus on the little things in life.
It seems like gratitude has become a bit of a buzz word at the minute. But, it’s one of the most powerful ways to shift your mood and help you see what really matters. There’s so many simple things we have to enjoy in life that so many others don’t, sometimes simply reminding ourselves of that can make us appreciate the simple things even more. A simple way to bring more gratitude to your life is by simply bringing more attention to what you are grateful for. This could be through thinking of three things before you go to sleep, or writing down one thing you’re truly grateful for each morning.
Running a bath to the perfect temperature. That first sip of coffee (or tea) in the morning. Perfectly ripe fruit. Re-discovering an old favourite album. Forehead kisses. Finding your favourite chocolate in the cupboard. Feeling the sun on your face. Post workout endorphins and that feeling of accomplishment. The perfect cup of tea. Getting into fresh bed sheets. The change in seasons. Cleansing your face after a long day. Finally making time to read that book. Starting a new series. Long voice note chats with friends. Waking up to see the sunrise. Noticing the days are getting longer.
I hope this post bought you some comfort and hope during these strange times. What small things are bringing you joy right now?