The never ending “To Do “list, the crazy deadlines at work, the traffic, the email in-box that seems to refill faster than we can empty it and non-stop notifications, bells and alerts coming from multiple devices and apps interrupting our concentration. No wonder we’re wiped out as we try to keep up with it all. This seems to be the reality of the fast paced, technology driven, hyper-connected world we live in today and we are probably not going back to simpler days any time soon. Facing these daily challenges can leave us feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and out of control, but there is something we can do to recharge our own batteries in the face of the challenges of present-day life.
Yes, Beauty can be the antidote that restores us and lifts us above the everyday fray of life that can wear us down. It’s time to reconnect with that sense of aliveness that we all deserve. And spending time connecting with beauty is that path that can lead us there.
As an artist, my job is to create and share beauty, but beyond that I’m an advocate for the importance of connecting with beauty as a way to elevate your life. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or cost anything, but taking on a simple practice of including a “beauty break” in your day can provide a much needed connection with something outside yourself so you can rise above your daily challenges and be left in a space of wonder, awe and renewed energy.
Here are 25 thought starters on how you can practically include simple “beauty breaks” in your everyday life.
- Add a small live plant or fresh flowers to your desk or near your computer.
- Take a picnic lunch to a local park and sit under a tree and just observe. Leave your phone in the car to unplug and be present.
- Have a glass of wine or cup of tea and pull out a coffee table type book with big glossy photos and just savor each page like a sumptuous meal. Let yourself connect to the images
- Stop at a piece of art in your home that you love and really get present to it, staring at it for a moment or two and let it bring back the good feelings and excitement you had when you first acquired it.
- Make a beauty date once a month to go to a botanical garden, aquarium or museum.
- Turn off the news in the car ride home or while in traffic and listen to some beautiful instrumental or classical music. Stop the words and give your left brain a rest from thinking and simply enjoy the sounds and harmonious melody. Give yourself a 3-minute work break to get outside or get to a window and just contemplate the sky above. Notice the shifting movement of clouds and let yourself drift with them.
- Take a short walk outdoors during your lunch break without anything to listen to (i.e. turn off your phone). Just enjoy the sounds and notice the beautiful colors, shape, light and shadows around you.
- Take an art class or workshop or flower arranging class
- Make a beauty journal and enter something beautiful you were grateful to observe each day. Describe it in detail and how it made you feel.
- Keep a sketchbook on your desk and take an occasional break to just draw something. Even if you don’t think you know how to draw, just notice the big perimeter shapes of any nearby object. Start simple Don’t worry about details. The more you do it your skills will improve, but this is not about the outcome. Just the act of drawing can shift you into the right side of your brain for a relief from all the daily thinking, analyzing, worrying.
- Take a hike with a friend.
- If bling is your thing, take a trip to window shop at a local jewelry store. specifically notice and appreciate the craftsmanship, design, attention to detail and sparkle of your favorite pieces.
- Google top 10 beautiful places in (your city) and check out a new place you have never visited. Keep your eyes open to discover the hidden beauty. Notice how you feel.
- When traveling or if your area has any places of architectural note, take a walking tour or architectural tour to appreciate the design and beauty of the buildings.
- Make a folder or Pinterest page for your favorite art or inspirational nature scenes, I have a page called Exquisite Art which I can revisit any time I need and instant spark of beauty to get my juices flowing. Maybe you want a page called Breathe or Nature’s gifts- whatever reminds you to connect with Beauty
- Make a playlist of the music that touches your soul and listen whenever you need to replenish yourself from a tough day.
- Keep some beautiful magazines on hand by your bedside. For example, Architectural Digest, Veranda, Flower. Unplug your phone after 9 and pull out some beautiful images to see before you go to sleep.
- Buy a book of your favorite artist’s work and enjoy some time getting reconnected to their art.
- Spend time in your garden- but not weeding or working. Just to take in the beauty and enjoy it. Pick a flower and spend time with it, Slow down the mind chatter in your head. Breathe. Notice it’s fragrance, it’s shape and structure, how the petals are connected to the stem, how the leaves come out from the stem. Spend time in wonder and marvel at the magnificence of this tiny piece of life.
- Spend an hour with your camera, just taking photos. Zoom in and get really close up to discover the hidden beauty and design of ordinary things.
- Take a day trip to the mountains, beach, waterfalls whatever natural beauty might be in driving distance. Unplug your phone and plug into the healing power and energy of nature.
- Make a small container garden either for indoors or for a porch area. Or you may even get seeds and watch the magic of a plant starting to pop up and grow over time.
- Be aware of the time of sunset and peek outside to see if you might be graced with a colorful display in the sky.
- Make at least one room in your home your “happy place”- a sacred space of serenity and beauty – filled with beautiful art, colors you love, comfortable furnishings. A go to place where you can restore yourself after a hard day of work and life’s challenges. to the extent possible try to keep this space free of anything with cords- computers, TV phones, – anything that distracts you or brings you back into a frenetic energy or doing mode. This is just a space for you to BE.
Beauty can heal and restore us. It’s a natural antidote to the stresses of everyday life. Make space for a few minutes to connect with Beauty every day. You’ll feel good and return to take on the day with renewed clarity, focus and energy!
I’d love to hear about your favorite “Beauty Break”.
For a free pdf of this “Beauty Break” list delivered to your inbox TEXT FIORELLO at 22828.