As the days grow shorter and we prepare to indulge in Pumpkin Spice… everything, I find myself perplexed. Where did the summer go? Is it really September? Are there only 107 shopping days left until Christmas?
I ask myself these same questions, year after year, hoping for a different answer. Yet, it inevitably remains the same. Summer is (almost) over, it really is September and there are never enough shopping days until Christmas.
Time is truly an elusive thing. We spend many of our formative years wishing time away and then the better part of our lives wishing we could get it back.
Presently, there is no antidote for the quick passage of time, which is why it is important to stop and enjoy the array of lovely moments that life offers along the way.
In the first of what I expect will be a reoccurring series on this blog, here are five simple ways to create a lovely moment:
Send a handwritten note – In an age where communication is immediate and too often impersonal, take a moment to sit down with your favourite hot beverage and write a note to someone you care for. A few lines on a pretty note card and a stamp are all it takes to create a moment that is special for both you and the recipient.
Take an afternoon nap – Those who know me well will tell you that I am a huge proponent of afternoon naps. While naps will not necessarily make up for a chronic lack of sleep, countless studies have shown that a short 20 to 30 minute nap can help improve mood, alertness and overall performance. Some of history’s most renowned minds and leaders were known to partake in an afternoon nap: Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy and Albert Einstein to name a few. Be in good company and take one this weekend.
Light a candle – While we tend to associate candles with festive occasions like birthdays or a romantic dinner, candlelight also has a calming effect. For centuries, candles have been integral to religious or spiritual ceremonies – the flames soft illumination is often thought to touch the soul. So, whether you are enjoying a warm bubble bath, flipping through the recent issue of your favourite magazine or even cleaning the bathroom (not necessarily a lovely moment), light your favourite candle and bask in the glow.
Enjoy a piece of quality chocolate – As a self-professed chocoholic, I have tasted my fair share of chocolate. Whether you are partial to dark, milk or white, the options are endless. As a lover of dark chocolate truffles, I often frequent my local Godiva boutique for a mint, champagne or grand marnier treat. If you too enjoy a good piece of dark chocolate, go ahead and indulge. In moderation, dark chocolate can be “heart-healthy” due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Pick up a fresh newspaper or magazine – When was the last time you sat down to read a newspaper or glossy magazine? These days, our reading habits tend to center around Twitter feeds and Facebook updates. If you don’t read regularly, you may be missing out! Reading has a significant number of benefits including: stress reduction, vocabulary and knowledge expansion as well as increased focus and concentration. Reduce stress and become smarter? Why not?
While stopping for a moment may prove difficult most days, I encourage you to take at least 20 minutes to yourself this week. Try one of my suggestions or create your own. I am confident you will be glad you did. Enjoy!