I’ve spent most nights this week in meetings or in the library until 11 pm or so (party animal, I know), but last night after dinner with a friend, I headed back to my dorm around 8:30 for a change of scenery. Out of habit, I put my pajamas on right when I got back, even though I wasn’t planning on going to bed for at least 3 or 4 more hours, and I instantly felt happier and more relaxed. Putting my PJs on at the end of the day always makes me ridiculously happy and I started thinking about other really small things that make me happy, too.
Of course, there are some things that would make just about anyone happy (going on vacation! spending time with family/friends! being in a great relationship!) but I feel like there are some really small everyday things that bring me a disproportionate amount of joy. We all have our own versions of those, right?
(I might be an old soul) but mine are things like…
-Getting up early before the rest of the world is awake (which isn’t too hard to do on a college campus!)
-Putting my pajamas on at the end of the day
-Using super soft, fluffy towels & sheets
-Having long one-on-one talks with a friend
-Going on walks in the fall as the leaves change
-Closing 20+ open tabs on my laptop after finishing a research paper or studying for an exam
-Cooking for other people
-Finishing an especially fast run or a long run
-Seeing my dog go NUTS when I walk in the door
-Asking people questions to get to know them
-Having family dinners
-Waking up feeling rested
-Giving myself time to leisurely get ready in the morning instead of rushing around and hurrying to class
-Taking time to read a good book
-Figuring out a way to make a traditionally unhealthy dish a bit healthier without losing the deliciousness factor
-Turning on my essential oils diffuser before I go to bed and breathing in the scent of lavender or cinnamon
-Wrapping up in a fluffy blanket, especially during the wintertime
-Eating a small bowl of ice cream after dinner- the more chocolate and mix-ins involved, the better.
I also think it’s really valuable to find joy in every situation, too, apart from the physical things you have, but that’s probably a topic for another post. I do think it’s really important to take care of yourself, so I’ve been doing my best recently to incorporate more of these easy, small things into my day-to-day life because they really do make me feel happier and more relaxed overall, which I know is great for both my physical and mental health.
What do you like to do often to take care of yourself? What small things bring you an inordinate amount of joy?
Buying fresh flowers? Watching a favorite TV show? I’d love to hear!
This is such a good message with busy holiday season around us! I really enjoy relaxing on the couch on a Friday night to end the work week!
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday says
Haha that “20+ tabs” one is too true! I LOVE this idea and want to write out my own sometime.
I’m glad you know exactly what I’m talking about with the computer tabs 🙂 Definitely make a list- it made me realize how easy it is to add in some of these tiny things!
-Buying a new book
-Playing with pups
-Long walk & talks with friends and family
-Grocery shopping (actually this brings me WAY too much happiness)
Playing with puppies is one of my FAVORITE things ever but it definitely doesn’t happen often enough (sadly!) I love grocery shopping, too 🙂
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie says
I love being able to open a book and dive in with no time constraints. Granted, that doesn’t happen during the semester, but that is one of my favorite things to do over winter break right next to the Christmas tree.
I’ll definitely be taking advantage of having a little extra time over Christmas break to read next to the fireplace (& Christmas tree)!
You have no idea – my favorite part of the day is finishing my run, and putting my pajamas / sweats on after working all day. Nothing feels as good as spandex after a long day in dress clothes 🙂
This is definitely something I needed to hear today. The winter blues and body image issues have caught up on me and it’s nice to have a mental break from such things and think about the small things that I do love. Warm fuzzy blankets during winter is on the top of my list currently, as well as the little moments I get to spend with my family before finals happen. So many little things that I seem to forget about and then when I am reminded of them – I just smile!
So thanks for making me smile today!
Aw yay, I love this comment! Thanks for sharing, Katerina!
This post made me so excited, because I have been enjoying simple things SO much more. Life doesn’t have to be epic to be enjoyable. It truly is just treasuring the little gifts from God that has really brought so much more contentment to me lately. I love:
1. Sitting with my family by the fire.
3. Browsing blogs for fun.
4. Reading my Bible and pulling out a section to meditate on all day long.
5. Being in workout clothes or pajamas all day.
6. Baking goodies EVERY day.
7. Eating without overthinking it.
8. Hearing our church choir sing Christmas carols last night.
9. I love watching the Amazing Race with my sister. 🙂
So many wonderful things on your list 🙂 I’m a huge fan of journaling, too!
Lauren Lalicon says
Small little things can really do wonders to uplift a dreary day! Asking people questions about themselves also makes me super happy, especially if they’re into it and answering passionately haha. Off the top of my head, it would be:
– Finishing a really good workout
– Organizing my clothes
– Getting into bed early
– Finishing a show that I’ve been marathoning
– Watching SpongeBob LOL
Getting things organized is such a great feeling! And I love that watching SpongeBob makes you happy- so funny! 🙂
Amanda @ .running with spoons. says
I’m a big time believer that it’s the small things that add up to make the biggest differences, and that those small things are what contribute the most to our happiness. Some of mine:
– waking up before the sun and enjoying a cup of my favourite tea
– chocolate <3
– hanging around the house in PJs
– cleaning.. uh huh
– organizing my planner for the week
– sleeping on freshly cleaned sheets
– walking outside in the early morning or late evening
I’ve been enjoying a cup of tea when I have enough time in the mornings and it’s such a relaxing way to start the day! I’ve bene loving it, especially now that it’s starting to get chilly outside 🙂
Dr. Jennifer Weinberg MD MPH MBE says
These are such great ones! I also find it quite satisfying to close down a large collection of tabs at the completion of a successful project and love my pjs 🙂 Hope you have a joyful week!
I’m glad you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about with closing computer tabs! It’s such a relief 🙂
Gretchen | Gretchruns says
Fresh flowers definitely make me happy! Also coming home from a long day of work and seeing my dog go crazy when I open the door. Absolutely makes my day every time!
My dog goes NUTS every time I come home from college and it’s got to be one of my favorite things in the world! Being greeted by her was definitely a highlight every day in middle and high school when I got home from school 🙂
I love the new look of your blog! Some of my favorite little things are waking up before anyone else (which you’re right- happens a LOT!) and my dog’s reaction whenever I go home-INSANE! I think I’ll have to record it when I go home for Thanksgiving, it’s seriously the cutest thing. Animals always make me happy 🙂
Thanks so much, Sarah! You should definitely record your dog’s reaction. I’d love to see it 🙂
Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me says
The minute I get back to my apartment, even if it is 3pm, I put on sweatpants. Even if I am going back out for dinner or some event, I like that time of solace and comfort for me. What a wonderful list, Liv! I love the focus not he positive- I am ALL about that!
Haha! I do the same, even if I’m planning on going back out again later 🙂 I’d rather change clothes a couple of times than spend extra hours in less comfortable clothes for no reason!
I love this! I’m all about looking on the bright side and appreciating the little things. So good. And can I just say that I LOVE closing all those tabs after a paper… Such a great feeling! Also, I adore sleeping in and a leisurely brekkie with lotssss of coffee 🙂 Such a great way to start the day!
I tend to be running late in the mornings a lot, but when I can start my day with a leisurely breakfast, I feel SO much better!
Liz @ The Clean Eating Couple says
Love this!! I just started writing all these small things in a gratitude journal daily. All of the little things truly add up 🙂
A lot of these would feature on my list too but my top 5 at the moment would be:
– Running in the dark when the bridges over the Thames are lit up and all the Christmas lights are on 🙂
– Furry socks (lovely and toasty after coming in with cold feet following the above!)
– Christmas scented candles; bliss
– The carpet of my apartment after a good vacuuming session (sad but true!)
– Reading the free magazines you can pick up in supermarkets and at tube stations; so much great content for no money…
I don’t think my geriatric laptop could cope with 20 tabs open!
Seeing all of the Christmas lights and lighted bridges while you’re running sounds MAGICAL!
I love sending people random texts letting them know I’m thinking of them. I love brightening up other peoples day, and in return it brightens up mine.
That’s so sweet! I”m sure your friends and family LOVE getting those texts from you 🙂
Kristen @ Glitter and Dust says
Honestly, did you steal part of my list? I love early mornings, cozies (which I live in, because why not when you take care of an infant all day), clean sheets, wrapping up in blankets, one-on-one time with friends, family dinners, and long/fast runs.
I also find joy in my morning cup of coffee, a clean email inbox, Survivor (the show – yes, it’s a favorite), watching my son sleep, and snail mail.
I think we’d get along so well! 😉 Having a clear email inbox is a GREAT feeling and I don’t make it happen often enough!
Chelsea Cross says
so true! It’s always those lil things we forget about but always appreciate the most when we actually do them. I agree with a lot of your list (getting up earlier, cooking for others, etc). I also always appreciate the fact that I make myself my favourite foods for dinner every night and relax with it no matter what other stresses are in my day. My nightly nightcap is also a personal fav that makes me happy and helps me relax before going to bed. Grabbing my peppermint tea.
Mmm, peppermint tea! I love that you do the same nighttime routine no matter what other stresses are happening in your day and that you make your favorite foods every night for dinner 🙂
Ginger Wroot says
What a nice post, especially around this busy holiday season, when everything gets so rushed and hectic. Maybe this sounds weird, but I have a couple of old and frayed bath towels that I’ve had for decades, and I love stepping out of the shower to use these faded and frayed towels way more than my newer, plush and fluffy towels, maybe because they’re familiar and have been with me starting in college, through law school, and raising my kids until now they’re in college. My ratty old towels might be rags to someone else, but they’re so special and comforting to me!
Not weird at all! I can only imagine how comforting they are are since they’ve been through so many huge milestones with you 🙂
Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves says
I love lists like these 🙂 Good conversations with friends that remind you how good people can be— that’s my fave.
Oh wow! I really love this. It’s so funny that the smallest things can have such a big impact.
For me, I love having a really great conversation with a friend. Sometimes when I’m super busy or just going through my routine I can forget to connect but when I do I’m so much more joyful. Thanks for this lovely reminder
GiGi Eats says
Colorful fall leaves.
Not having something in either of my eyes.
Getting through three or four green lights.
Oh man, I could keep going and going!
Catching 3 or 4 green lights in a row is the greatest! It’s like the whole world is on your side that day 🙂
Sam @ Grapefruit & Granola says
Your post reminded me how happy I am when my dog is excited to see me when I come home from work!!! 🙂 I’m always so happy when we’re reunited after a long day.
One thing that makes me really happy is what I am doing right now, having a leisurely breakfast before I go into work. I love having time to myself in the morning to relax, read my devotions, eat and watch some YouTube before the hustle and bustle of work.
Dani @ Dani California Cooks says
Aw, I love this. It really is all about the little things!! We can only have so many major milestones and life events and celebrations a year, so it’s the little happy things that make up each day that really contribute more. Something I love is when the weather matches my mood! I live in California so it’s mostly sunny 🙂
masala girl says
i think i agree with almost everything 🙂
big ones you said: closing tabs after working on a paper oh my. a good book <3 the pjs, early mornings, late nights, ME time. cooking! baking, family, friends, long walks 🙂
some things to add: being with my cats <3 blogg reading, watching the sunset/star gazing, skyping friends, enjoying some snacks that i've made, making food for others that turned out well, and cooking for/with my family. haha wow this turned out long!
love this post 🙂
rachel @ Athletic Avocado says
I love this post! It’s important to enjoy the little things in life! My favorite small things are coffee right when i wake up, taking long walks in the morning with my dog and the feeling of productiveness after finishing an essay!
Rebecca @ MyEagerFeet says
I recently washed our pillows (not the cases, the actual pillow shells), and I looked forward to going to bed all day because the dryer had made them all poofy again. I also have really cold feet, so I love that moment in the shower when the hot water finally warms them up.
Kerri mCgRAIL says
Oh I think college often helps you appreciate the little things in life- because for me, all of those little things add up to some big-time happiness! I love so many of the things you listed- and also sunny mornings & good books, a long phone call with a friend, getting packages in the mail (seriously like christmas!), oversized sweats, a heart pumping workout, and spontaneous dance parties 🙂
Oh yes, a nice yummy pint of ice cream always makes me happy!I think appreciating the little things is really important – especially in today’s world. We so often overlook these small things, but it really is the tiny moments that make life so special!