We have all had our lives turned upside down in the last year. We have lost loved ones, canceled milestone events, and watched our favorite gyms, restaurants and other businesses close. We have had to forgo our old routines and develop new ones. We are still mourning our “old” lives and wondering when or if they will come back this year, next year or ever. Many of us are yearning for a sense of control or routine and are burned out from our zoom life.
In pre pandemic times I was one of those people that did not give much importance to those articles about self-care. You know, the ones that said you need to make time for you with a bubble bath at the end of the day. But when the pandemic began, I realized quickly that I needed to find those small moments to look forward to in the midst of the doom and gloom of the daily news.
These indulgences did not replace the sense of normalcy but they did create joy. I will continue to hold onto them as more restrictions are lifted and we are not as confined as we were in March 2020. If the last year taught me anything it is that I create my own happiness. I knew it before. I had a terrible near-death accident years ago and had to rebuild myself and find my happiness again. But sometimes you need a reminder.
Here are a few small indulgences that have helped me through the last year:
- Weekly fresh flowers. I don’t mean the kind from a fancy florist though if that is in your budget that’s wonderful. I mean heading to a local spot that has flowers under ten dollars and putting them somewhere where you see them every day. For me, that is the home office I had to create for myself when I was no longer able to go into my shared workspaces I enjoyed before covid times.
- Re-watching a favorite show or movie. Sure, like many of you I watched all the things in the last year. But at certain times of high anxiety, inability to sleep and a racing mind I realized there was a calm and happiness that came from revisiting my favorite characters. Some of my go-to’s are Forrest Gump and The West Wing.
- Having my daily La Colombe iced coffee draft latte. Some people were stockpiling toilet paper with the supply chain issues that resulted from the lockdowns last year but I was stockpiling these cans in my house.
- Daily “extra-ness.” If we were not going to be able to see family or go out for special occasions than why not make things at home extra and over the top? Using fancy plates for just my husband and I. Throwing a backyard party with just us for our rescue dog Lilly. Using our wedding flutes for a New Year’s toast at home. Why not?
- Using fancy products. I started using hair masques. I started searching for dish soap or antibacterial soap with new scents like fig and blood orange. If we have to wash our hands 8 times a day, it might as well be a scent we really enjoy right? I started ordering new flavors of sparkling water for my husband who sits on remote calls from morning to dinnertime. It was a small thing that could make his day a little brighter and less mundane.
Why is it important to find these seemingly silly, small indulgences? In order for us to make big changes and keep moving forward it starts with these small things. Maybe we couldn’t do the big stuff like go into an office and see our work families, travel, or have a non-remote holiday dinner with family but we could and can still create happiness for ourselves. Find those little things and moments that make you happy each day and I guarantee they will help you to focus on the big goals and changes you wish to accomplish.
A quick plug: I was scheduled to give a TEDx talk in person the week the country shut down and taped it in an empty studio during lockdown. It is all about change and happiness. It was written during pre-covid times but the message remains very timely. If you are interested here is a link: https://www.ted.com/talks/jennifer_lynn_robinson_from_fighting_for_breath_to_fighting_for_life
Jennifer Lynn Robinson, Esquire is the CEO of Purposeful Networking. Her services include consulting, moderating, keynotes and workshops to help build networking, communication and public speaking skills. A former litigator, Jennifer also does motivational speaking detailing her path of reinvention following a near death accident. She has been featured in local and national media. You can learn more at purposefulnetworking.com and follow Jennifer at @areyounetworked.