It may only be Wednesday, but it’s been a long, long week and I, for one, am pretty thrilled that we have a long weekend coming up.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s been a great week with lots of exciting new developments, but I think I’ve crammed far too many meetings, launches, and holiday activities into the space of a week, so a couple of days to rest and recuperate are very much needed at this point.
Whenever I’m feeling a little low on energy (or in mood), I like to spoil myself to little ‘treats’ – things like the latest issue of my favourite magazine and a slab of Woolies’ dark chocolate, or a takeaway coffee and an early morning stroll on the beach. Some of them cost money, but most are inexpensive – if not free – and are more about stealing a little ‘me-time’ and rooting myself in the present moment… Read on for a quick look at 10 little things that make me happy – hopefully they’ll inspire you to make some time to treat yourself too!
1. A bunch of fresh flowers
One sure-fire way to brighten up my day is by filling up a vase with some beautiful, fresh blooms and popping them on my nightstand or on our coffee table. And it doesn’t need to be a fancy bunch of flowers from Woolies either – I often pick a few sprigs of lavender from our garden and place them in a little tumbler on the kitchen counter, and I’ve also been known to collect some foliage from my parents’ garden to display on our dining room table (I don’t think my parents are aware of this little fact though, but my little brothers are totally guilty of helping me to ‘obtain’ said foliage).
2. A spontaneous adventure
There’s nothing that makes me happier than packing up the car and heading out for an unexpected adventure… whether it’s a long-haul road trip to somewhere we’ve never been before, or simply exploring the beautiful winelands beyond our hometown of Somerset West. The Husband, Beanie and I will often grab the flask and make a few sarmies for the road, then set off in a random direction to see what we can find. Sometimes we’ll drive around for 30 minutes before finding a beach for an impromptu picnic, or we’ll spend three or four hours on the road, admiring the scenery while stopping at various pitstops to stock up on snacks along the way.
3. Listening to an inspiring podcast
I absolutely love learning new things and working on my self-development, so it should come as no surprise that I’m a bit of a podcast addict. I always have a few of Jess Lively’s episodes saved to my phone, and I’m also a big fan of Hay House’s podcasts and guided meditations. I’ll often listen to one while driving long distances (usually from Somerset West to Cape Town for launches, meetings, and events), or while cooking or hanging up the laundry. If I’ve had a particularly stressful day, I’ll usually end it off by listening to one of Hay House’s guided meditations before bed… they always make me feel a bit better when I’ve had a rough day!
4. Lighting up my favourite scented candle
Is it just me, or does a scented candle have the capacity to turn your whole day around? Whenever I’ve had a particularly trying day, I find that lighting up a couple of scented candles and placing them on the coffee table while I binge watch my latest series obsession (I’m currently obsessed with ‘Who Do You Think You Are‘, and I’m also getting into Netflix’s ‘13 Reasons Why‘) makes my day instantly better. They have that magical ability to transform the atmosphere of a room, and my mood with it. I also find that lighting a scented candle and placing it on my desk while I work somehow gets my creative juices going and also helps me to focus.
5. Treating myself to a beautiful new fragrance
Years ago, I remember telling a therapist about my love of fragrances: I explained how I never left the house without spritzing on my scent of the day (because I had several to choose from), and I stopped going to said therapist after she suggested that my love of fragrances might be a cover up for something else… I’m still not quite sure what she was on about, and I’m still obsessed with fragrances. The only thing that’s changed? My collection of fragrances has grown considerably, and the latest addition is a beautiful new release from Elizabeth Arden. Inspired by life’s simple little pleasures, Elizabeth Arden White Tea is a fresh, crisp scent that’s perfect for everyday wear; it’s fuss-free and uncomplicated, and I’m willing to bet that the majority of women will love it, making it the perfect choice for a special gift. I’m a big fan of fresh, citrusy scents, so the top notes of Italian Mandarin (along with Clary Sage Essence and a sensual sea breeze accord) had me at hello. After a while, the calming White Tea Extract becomes more and more noticeable, and the fragrance softens into a gorgeous, sensual scent that lingers on the skin. I absolutely love it, and have been wearing it on a daily basis! (I also love the pocket-friendly price points: Elizabeth Arden White Tea retails at R494 for 30ml, R595 for 50ml, and R695 for 100ml).
6. Fresh, clean sheets (and a soothing linen spray)
Is there anything better than hopping into freshly washed sheets after a warm shower? Didn’t think so. I’ve also developed a bit of an obsession with linen sprays – they’re a real spoil and make me feel so fancy, without breaking the bank. (I’m spritzing – and loving – this one at the moment… I’m a sucker for anything lavendar, and I love that this one is budget-friendly too).
7. Takeaways and a family movie night
Confession: I have a soft spot for Steers’ veggie burgers, and I’m not even ashamed to admit it. Whenever I’m left feeling completely depleted after a busy day, I’ll try to talk The Husband into getting Steers for dinner, and this is usually accompanied by a huge series-binge or family movie night. My biggest guilty pleasure by far!
8. Snuggles with my boy
Up until very recently, Beanie still slept in his little toddler bed in our bedroom (and very often ended up in our bed, too!) It’s never been a big issue for The Husband and I, as we simply can’t get enough of little baby snuggles and we’re well aware of the fact that these moments won’t last! Since Beanie’s moved into his ‘big boy’ bed in his own bedroom, I’ve often found myself snuggling up beside him in his bed to steal a few cuddles before jumping into my own bed. By far the happiest moment of my day!
9. ‘Mother We Just Can’t Get Enough‘ by the New Radicals
I don’t know what it is about this song, but it never fails to perk me up in an instant. Give it a listen here – and tell me that you don’t feel even a teeny bit happier… I dare you!
10. Catching up with old friends
How often do you find yourself neglecting your friendships because life has a tendency take over? Yep. Me, too…. but I’ve found that, regardless of how exhausted or busy I am, making time for my friends is one of the quickest ways to feel energised and to boost my mood. I have an amazing group of women that I shared a digs with while at university and although we see or speak to each other very rarely, whenever we do, I’m amazed at how these relationships help me to reconnect with myself and remind me of what matters most in life. It’s almost like I’m given permission to forget about work stresses, finances, and all the other ‘grown up’ responsibilities of my very adult life, and I’m given the chance to remember who I truly am; to reconnect with the essence of who I am. When I meet up with my oldest, best friends, I remember the real Chereen: the eternal dreamer who is obsessed with music, loves to read (and take naps), and lives to go on road trips and to explore the world. I think it’s time I gave my friends a call… you should, too!