Taking pride in everything you do... creating little sips of delight for yourself
Taking pride in what you do - what does that really mean? How can we engage in the everyday activities, be it work, eating a meal, exercising, relaxation, socialization with others, house keeping activities, and draw more delight and satisfaction out of them? Only very recently did I truly come to realize that it is not what you do but how you do it. Take this as an example - you are expressing your thanks to a friend/family member for a gesture or gift - how different does it feel to write a personalized note on a carefully selected piece of paper and have it delivered by mail vs. writing a generic thank you email to have it circulated to everyone involved. Yes, both methods deliver the thank you message and you can check that off your to-do list - but how different do you think the recipient(s) would feel about the two different thank you gestures?
We can go about achieving many tasks and think that we are doing something for ourselves or investing in relaxation or self care. But whatever it is you decide to do, make it so that you truly can value the experience and yourself in it all rather than doing it just because it is something you feel like you have to do. Some suggestions might be:
Going to bed: make it less about crashing into bed, more about creating a ritual that you look forward to (just for that) as much as the sleep itself. Have a good book you can read for even 5 mins before you shut the nightlight off; use a lavender scented (or any other sleep-inducing smell) eye cover; rub a drop or two of your favorite essential oil (peppermint, euchalyptus, lemon may be some to try) on to your tension points; take a minute to moisturize your hands and engage in a little wrist rolling to take the tension out of the day.
Drinking water, juice, milk, wine... anything!: I must admit, I used to wonder “why create extra washing and use a glass if it already comes in a single serving can or bottle already (no judgement please!) - the can or bottle looks just as pretty...or not...? However, even the simple experience of sipping water can be so much more heightened by pouring the water in to your favorite glass, and maybe seeing your favorite taste-infusing fruit, vegetable or herb floating about in that glass. Surely that is why the spas and salons do this for their clients.
Exercising: take time to have your favorite workout music or playlist handy; have 2 or 3 pieces of workout clothing you actually enjoy wearing (rather than 5-6 pieces of clothing you know have seen better days and really should be retired); swap the plastic water bottle for a nice stainless steel or glass water bottle that will last and also looks pretty; talk to a friend, colleague, your trainer about what you truly enjoy doing rather than doing something just because you feel like this is what you should be doing (example, if you don’t enjoy running, don’t feel like you have to artificially create a love for it).
Relaxation: no matter what it is that you enjoy doing to unwind - whether it be meditation, writing in your journal, indulging in a nice glass of wine, sipping a cup of tea - do it with intent and make it a very deliberate experience. Don’t drink that wine whilst chatting on the phone wedged between your ear and shoulder and stirring your dinner. Grab a spot in your house that is most calming and appealing to you; find an attractive coaster to set your glass on, turn on some calming music, look out the window and sip the wine.
The idea of being present in your activity and engaging in it more consciously can be applied to pretty much everything (yes, even cleaning out your closet or cupboards can become an enjoyable experience). And when you say “I love you” to your kids, husband / wife / boyfriend / girlfriend, another family member or dear friend, look in their eyes, give them a hug and say those words, words which are way too precious to be just thrown out in a hurry or just because it is routine. So...how will you infuse a little more delight in to your every day...?