If you are anything like me, you have probably had moments of intense frustration and anxiety during this pandemic. Life as we once knew it has been turned on its head. We may have worries about our employment, a reduced income, health issues or the stress of being a key worker.
On top of that, there are few places open to add variety to your leisure time, you can only have minimal contact with friends and probably haven’t seen some members of your own family since the crisis began.
But there are some simple pleasures that I have found to keep me feeling positive and entertained, and I thought I would share mine for this week’s five frugal things round up. None of them cost much, if anything at all. They illustrate my outlook on life generally: you don’t have to spend lots of money to live a full and satisfying existence. In fact, from my conversations with people in real life, here on the blog and on Instagram, one of the positives that has come from this situation is that we have been forced to live a more simple life and are really enjoying some aspects of this!
Five simple pleasures that cheer me up
A walk in the green
I have always found a walk in a green space uplifting. Since we got Archie the Shoestring Hound, we have been walking even more, of course.
I find this is brilliant for my mental health. Being forced outdoors twice a day, come rain or shine, really reduces my stress levels. It’s the exercise and fresh air. Plus I spend a lot of time in front of my laptop, so it is an escape from that.
My favourite location for a walk is in the woods. There is something about being surrounded by plants and trees that is very soothing for the soul. Others obviously find this to be the case too, and I have seen many families on my walks. I suspect this is the first time a lot of people have had the time to get outside and explore our green spaces. Hopefully, they will think it is a habit worth keeping and cultivating when life returns to normal.
The simple pleasures of stretching
Another of the simple pleasures I appreciate is a yoga and stretching session each morning. I don’t spend hours on my yoga practice – I don’t have the time. However, just 20-30 minutes of yoga eases my aches and pains and leaves me feeling calm and relaxed.
When I am tired, I find a gentle practice actually gives me more energy too. The down side is that Archie does want to join in, although he is getting better at not launching himself on me when I am lying on the floor!
I keep meaning to do some posts with some of the routines I enjoy – I must get round to that! I did one here a while ago that you might find of interest.
Baking is a skill that has taken off during the pandemic. I am sure you noticed that flour was a scarce commodity at one point!
There is something very soothing and satisfying about it. Creating a delicious cake or loaf of bread from a few simple ingredients, then getting to sample it afterwards – you can have your cake and eat it too….
I also enjoy watching other people baking. Again, I am not alone in this, or the Great British Bake Off wouldn’t be so successful, so other people must rate this as one of their favourite simple pleasures too.
Although I am generally eating low carb at the moment, I have still done the odd bit of baking for Mr S, including his favourite bread pudding. I have also been exploring some keto friendly baking recipes, making keto crackers and some mug cakes, such as this chocolate one.
I received a lovely card and letter from a friend recently. It was so unexpected and unusual in these days of the quick text or email, I really appreciated the effort.
Since then, I have written back and sent a couple of letters to some other friends. It’s been lovely – who would have thought reviving the ancient art of letter writing would be so much fun!
If you read my blog regularly, you will know that we enjoy our garden. We are pretty messy and disorganised gardeners – no neat and tidy borders and manicured lawns here. However, the garden looks lush in the spring and summer.
We also grow some of our own food on the vegetable patch and in the greenhouse. There is little so satisfying as sowing some seeds, nurturing your plants, then getting to pick and eat your own produce fresh from the garden.
Not only do you get fantastic fresh, organic food, there is the added bonus of fresh air and exercise and you save money too.
Have you found that lock down has made you identify and appreciate some of life’s simple pleasures? What would be on your list?