If you take care of yourself in ways that give you joy, you'll be stronger for all the hard work surrounding your daily life. Weaving pleasure in your life, is life-affirming. Garden, swim, play chess, watch a ball game, embroider, sing or choose any other activity that sparks your passion.
Like natures gifts that cost nothing, a smile, a hug, a word of thanks and "random acts of kindness"are free and easy to do. They can lighten the spirit of both the giver and receiver.
Laughter too has long been recognized to be enormously healing. A good belly laugh can boost the immune system as it decreases stress hormones. It can also be good for the cardiovascular system.
Here are some tips from my book
that may help you lighten your mood through giving yourself pleasure:
- Pamper yourself - treat yourself to a manicure pedicure, or something else that will make you feel good
- Rent, or go to a movie that will make you laugh
- Take a friend out for a special dinner
- Do something out of character that you may suspect might be a lot of fun
- Slow down and enjoy whatever is around you. Pet your cat/dog
- Ask for a hug; give a hug
- Connect with a child
Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings