When I discovered minimalism, I went all in. I gladly got rid of all the things I didn’t need, especially the frivolous extras. Why fill my house with stuff that didn’t serve a purpose?
That mentality seeped into other areas of my life as well and over time I found myself taking a utilitarian approach to everything: I didn’t need fancy underwear – just something functional to cover my bits. Why bother with decorating – I just needed functional furniture. I didn’t bother painting my nails – bare and natural was just fine.
And then one day I realized something – I don’t like to live like that.
Or as I told my husband dramatically, “I feel like my soul is dying!” (I’m an Enneagram 3w2 but sometimes a 4 wing makes an appearance).
Function is great and all, but what about beauty? What about the simple pleasures in life that make the difference between a drab, purely functional life and a beautiful one filled with wonder?
Part of that was my natural cycle of doing things. I tend to go the extreme, test it out and then figure out what works for me (and definitely what doesn’t) and then naturally things balance out.
As it turns out, life can be simple and filled with beauty and pleasure. And, in my experience, it’s the simplicity that makes it even more enjoyable.
The intentionality of simple living allows you to cultivate a life that blends functionality with beauty and joy.
More often than not, it seems that simple living is presented as an either/or kind of thing (and I know I’ve done it myself).
Either you live simply, or you have beautiful things in your life.
Either you live simply or you practice self-care with lots of pampering.
Either you live simply or you are unintentional about the way you live.
It just doesn’t have to be this way.
For the last few years, I’ve been practicing the art of enjoying life’s simple pleasures. I’ve focused on seeking out those things/experiences that create joy for me and enhance my simple lifestyle without cluttering it up.
Today, I wanted to share those simple pleasures with you and invite you to seek out your own. Maybe none of these resonate with you, maybe they all do.
Either way, I hope it inspires you to cultivate a simple lifestyle that both meets your needs and fills your soul.
1. Wear sexy underwear
A few years ago, I got fitted for a bra and realized that I had been wearing the wrong size for a very long time. (Do this on the regular, ladies!) That excursion led to the purchase of two lovely bras, some sexy panties that I loved to wear (though I absolutely hate the word panties) and the commitment to replacing them as needed with equally lovely undergarments.
I still only bought black and nude because, well, I love those colors. But now I’m open to having underwear that both serves a purpose and makes me feel sexy as hell.
2. Take a bath
And not just to get clean. But to soak and relax and just be.
Take a book if you’d like, but I invite you to leave the phone/computer/iPad somewhere else. Too often have I taken a bath and found myself checking email or scrolling through Facebook. Not exactly relaxing (especially when you’re trying not to drop it in the bath).
Is this realistic every day? It can be if it’s a priority for you – I take one almost daily.
If it’s not, make it a weekly thing or find something else you love instead.
Don’t forget the bath salts.
3. Get dressed to shoes
And by that I mean put on an entire outfit plus your shoes. Granted, if you don’t wear shoes inside your house, leave them off, but still. It makes a huge difference in productivity and how you feel.
I am frequently told, “Wow, you look so put-together all the time. I just don’t have time for that.”
You know what? I’ve timed it and it takes me exactly the same amount of time to throw on jeans and a blouse that make me feel great as it does to put on sweats and a hoodie that make me want to sit on the couch and do nothing.
The difference in how I feel, though, is huge.
When I start my day in lounge wear, that’s all I want to do. I feel frumpy and low energy. But when I dress the way I do when I’m going on a date or to a business appointment? I feel fabulous and get shit done.
How you dress matters and what you wear makes a huge difference in how your day unfolds.
It takes the same amount of time, so why not put on something that makes you feel good?
Need to update your style? I love shopping here for high quality, secondhand clothes that don’t cost a lot.
4. Observe Tea Time
I’m not sure when I started this, but each day at 4 pm, I sit down for tea. Even when it’s hot, but that’s just me. I have a hard time enjoying anything iced (except for hippie mojitos, of course).
But it doesn’t have to be tea. It can be coffee, iced tea, beer, wine, whatever.
This simple pleasure is often just the reset I need to prepare for what can be the most challenging part of the day – preparing dinner for six and getting the kids to bed.
5. Create sacred space
Recently, I decided that my bedroom was not the sacred space I desired. In fact, I kind of hated being in there. So I did something about it.
One day, a few coats of paint and some beautiful pictures later, I have a room that I love to be in. (It’s so inviting I have to keep kicking my kids out).
This one simple change impacts my day so much. Now I wake up and smile at the beautiful pictures on my wall (that I used to think were unnecessary, so I didn’t put them up) and can’t help but be grateful for this beautiful life I have.
6. Find (and wear) signature jewelry
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I like jewelry. (It’s true, mom.)
Granted, mine is still very simple and very me (a simple leather diffuser bracelet, rosebud and dangly earrings, plus my wedding band). But I actually enjoy wearing it!
It’s an extension of my style and a very simple way to feel a little luxurious.
(Diffuser jewelry is a lovely way to combine this tip and the next.)
7. Smell divine
Smell is one of the simplest of pleasures. Whether it’s the smell of fresh flowers on your desk or home made cookies straight from the oven, find some scents you love and figure out how to make them a regular thing.
I love essential oils and use them daily to uplift, ground, soothe and/or smell amazing.
So if you ever see me sitting at a cafe sipping tea with a smile on my face, it’s because I’m blissed out on my personal essential oil perfume blend, feeling like I’m getting away with something in my sexy undies.
Ah, the simple pleasures.
What simple pleasures can you incorporate into your daily life?