All of us are busy and for me, it’s takes a lot for me to slow down and savor all that life has to offer. Usually, the only time I’m forced to slow down is when I am sick, but thankfully, I’ve been pretty healthy lately. Technology is supposed to make our lives more organized and accessible, but somehow it just complicates things. Sometimes when my energy or will is sagging, I feel like I have to break away from “life” for a while. Below are my top five guilty pleasures that help me recharge and reset my energy.
Not only does reading help me be a better writer, but it also helps me be less stressed. According to a study done by the University of Sussex, reading a book just 6 minutes a day can reduce stress by 68%! It’s no wonder that the longer I read, the more relaxed I feel. Actually, in the last few months, I’ve made a real effort to read EVERYDAY. I primarily read at mealtimes and before bed, and it’s been fun to track my progress on GoodReads. My daughter is a voracious reader so I am definitely trying to catch up with her. It makes me feel good to know that my novels can be a stress reliever too!
2.) Gummy Bears
No, it’s not chocolate, but these squishy, -ishy, fruity, bears of delight make me happy all the same. These are my favorite candy and have been since high school. Instead of gum, I was chewing gummy bears in Chemistry (yuck) and Algebra (double yuck). It made being in those classes more (pardon the pun) “bearable”. I try to always have a bag or two on hand for those really bad days at work when I just want to escape. HINT: My favorite gummy bears are Haribo!!
My sister and I were latchkey kids and my parents couldn’t afford expensive summer camps. So when she wasn’t cutting the hair off my Barbie Dolls, I would escape to my room, lie on my bed and just dream. It’s when I first decided I would put some of my daydreams on paper in the form of journaling, which transitioned into writing songs, and now, novels. It makes me feel good that all those lazy summers I spent mostly daydreaming paid off.
Now…browsing is something I rarely do. Either online or offline. Between working full-time, parenting and my writing responsibilities, I don’t have time. But when I am able to carve out a few minutes or an hour, I love to browse sites like Amazon (for books and beauty products), Etsy (for unique, handmade items) and Craiglist (for antiques and collectibles). It’s fun and relaxing to “shop” and put things in my shopping cart, even though I normally have no intention of purchasing them. I also love to see what new products are out and available, just in case I have an inkling to buy. Offline, I love to go to the mall, flea markets, antique shops or anywhere “off the beaten path”. I am always amazed and overwhelmed at all the products that are out there!
Ahh…the sound of silence is something I really treasure. I’m fortunate to live in a neighborhood that is extremely quiet most of the time, but at night especially. At night, just before I go to sleep, I lie in bed and just try to focus on the silence that is all around me. At times, it “sounds” hollow, like I’m in a tunnel. Sometimes it sounds warm. But, the silence is always relaxing and lulls me to a peaceful sleep and a good night’s sleep is just about the guiltiest pleasure of all!
What are some of your favorite guilty pleasures?
Much love! Be blessed,