Would you like to make the process as pleasurable and as painless as possible?
If so, then you should strongly consider savoring the simple pleasures in life.
Simple pleasures are tasks or actions that don’t require much effort or money.
What they do require, however, is our complete attention, focus, and appreciation in a given moment.
Simple pleasures make us slow down from our busy lives and take a well-deserved break or pause.
Sadly, more often than not, we tend to dismiss simple pleasures as being too simplistic (how ironic!), or at worse, utterly boring and a waste of our time.
This dismissive viewpoint truly begs the question: if we don’t have the time to slow down and savor the little bits of joy, happiness, and delight in our lives everyday, what do we have time for?
In this post, I offer a collection of over one hundred simple pleasures to help boost your productivity.
The idea behind this post is simple: the more often you can stop, slow down, and take a refreshing break in the middle of your day, the more focused and energized you’ll be to tackle that to-do list, chores, assignment, or project.
So, the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, frazzled, or stressed out, do yourself a favor and take a break from whatever it is you’re doing.
Try one (or more) of the simple pleasures on this list and see how you feel afterwards, in spirit, body, and mind.
Chances are, you’ll feel rested, refreshed, and ready to get down to business!
COVID-19 Note: I’ve added some timely “stay at home options” to several of these simple pleasures. Be sure to check out my Stay at Home Resources page for ideas on how to stay organized, declutter your home, do your best work, and stay inspired, everyday.
1. Enjoy a hot beverage from start to finish.
Savoring a hot beverage is one of life’s most simple pleasures. Purchase or make yourself a delicious hot beverage and really savor the experience from the first sip, to the last.
2. Make up a short story.
Put your imagination and creative skills to the test by creating your own original short story. There’s no need to write your story; oral storytelling counts too!
3. Savor a long email message from a friend.
Your best friend just sent you a juicy email message filled with wonderful news and updates. What should you do? Slow down, take your time, and enjoy reading the email.
4. Take your full lunch break without checking your phone, tablet, or computer.
Breaks are meant to be enjoyed…without distractions. Challenge yourself to take your full midday break without laying a finger on one of your digital devices.
5. Sing along to your favorite song.
For a real shot of energy and fun, pull up your favorite song, put it on repeat, and sing along with gusto.
6. Call an inspiring friend or family member.
Could you use some inspiration in your work or life? If so, call up a friend or family member and have a chat.
7. Visit a free museum or zoo in your hometown.
What’s on display in the free museums or zoos in your hometown? Now’s a great time to plan a weekday or weekend trip.
Stay at home version: Head online to take a virtual tour or see a live-stream of your favorite exhibits.
8. Wear your favorite pair of socks.
Sometimes, even knowing you’re wearing your favorite pair of socks or hosiery can turn a gloomy day into a bright one. Locate your favorite pair of socks and put ’em on!
9. Stretch out and lounge on your sofa.
Stretch out and get comfy! Take up as much space as you need, and just relax.
10. Stand near a window and watch the clouds roll by.
What patterns and shapes do you see in the clouds? Do you see animals, foods, or places?
11. Write a poem.
Put on your thinking cap and craft your very own poem be it rhyming or free verse.
12. Sit on a bench in a local park and take in the scene.
There’s a lot to take in at a local park or recreation area. Sit yourself down on a bench and take in the world around you. You may be surprised at what you find!
Stay at home version: Sit outdoors in your backyard or watch a documentary featuring a wildlife preserve, park, or garden.
13. Take a local train or bus to the end of the line to see what’s there.
Ready for a little hometown expedition? Dare to take a local train or bus to travel to the end of the line to see what’s there.
Stay at home version: Fire up your computer and take a virtual tour of your hometown via Google Maps or other online guide.
14. Make a list of all the countries you’d like to visit around the world.
Just because you’re not traveling now doesn’t mean you won’t travel in future. Create a list of all the countries you’d like to visit. You can even expand it it to states, cities, and landmarks, if you like.
15. Try out a free gym membership.
Make good on your New Year’s resolution and try out a free gym membership at a local gym. Who knows, this may be the boost you needed to get back into a gym routine.
Stay at home version: Watch free workout videos online or signup for a trial membership on a fitness app or website. You can also see if your local gyms are offering virtual workouts.
16. Watch a movie…without your cellphone.
Head to a local movie theater or cinema to watch a movie. Then, switch off your cellphone and enjoy the show.
Stay at home version: Watch a movie at home without your cellphone!
17. Create brand-new outfits by “shopping” your closet.
Unleash your inner stylist by creating new outfits in your closet. You may even find a few pieces you’ve never worn before.
18. Browse magazines at the supermarket or bookstore.
Check out your favorite magazines and take a look at a few new ones you wouldn’t normally browse. It’s all about expanding your mind.
Stay at home version: Browse digital books, magazines, or audiobooks from your local library or favorite digital subscription app.
19. Practice throwing paper balls into the recycling bin.
Practice your basketball game by throwing crumbled paper balls into the recycling bin. See how far back you can stand and still sink a three-pointer.
20. Spend time playing with your dog or cat.
When’s the last time you spent some quality time with Rex or Kitty? Pull out their leash or favorite toys, and have a blast!
21. Donate items you no longer need to a thrift store or shelter.
Not only will you free up space in your home or office, but you’ll get a nice rosy glow in your heart.
Stay at home version: Declutter your home or office and pack up unwanted items for donation in future.
22. Watch the sun rise in the morning or the sun set in the evening.
Behold the glory of the shining sun! Seriously, if you haven’t appreciated a sunrise or sunset recently, you should.
23. Admire the flowers in a neighborhood garden.
Take a look at all the flowers in a local or neighborhood garden. What types of flowers are growing there?
24. Go out for a jog or run.
Exercise your mind and body with a jog or run in your neighborhood or local park.
Stay at home version: Search for aerobic workouts online and workout at home.
25. Bake a cake or pie from scratch.
It’s time to put your baker’s hat on! Find a recipe, check and prepare your ingredients, and bake a delicious treat from scratch.
26. Take a long soak in the bathtub.
You don’t have to go to the spa to have a spa day. Draw a lovely hot bath in your bathroom and enjoy a good long soak.
27. Clean a window with a stunning view and admire your handiwork.
This may sound silly, but cleaning a window can make a big difference in your space. There’s more light, plus you can throughly enjoy the view!
28. Wear your favorite cologne or perfume.
Enjoy your favorite scent at home with a few strategically-placed spritzes.
29. Give someone a high-five, just for the fun of it!
Who doesn’t like to high-five? Celebrate a job well done or just high-five for fun.
Stay at home version: Have a video chat with a friend or family member and do a virtual high-five!
30. Cross-off an item from your to-do list.
You’ll feel 10 times better for finally crossing off *that* item from your to-do list.
31. Write in your diary or journal.
Let your mind relax and then write in your diary or journal. There’s no need to edit yourself, just let the words and thoughts flow…
32. Find and listen to a new podcast.
Ready to learn something new? Try checking out a podcast in a genre you don’t normally listen to.
33. Explore a new area or neighborhood on foot.
How well do you know your local area or neighborhood? Put on a pair of comfortable shoes and set out on a little trip.
Stay at home version: Research local online travel blogs and explore your town or city. What can you learn about where you live from the comfort of your own home?
34. Read a list of inspirational quotes.
Inspirational and motivational quotes are great to have on hand, especially when you’re feeling less than motivated.
35. Take a cancelled appointment or meeting time for yourself.
You’re always wishing for more free time for yourself, so why not take advantage of this wonderful free gift?
36. Try a new recipe this week for dinner.
Scan your favorite cookbooks or websites and find a tasty new recipe for dinner this week.
37. Smile at yourself in the mirror.
Locate the nearest mirror and smile! It’s sure to bring some instant happiness to your heart.
38. Give yourself a manicure or pedicure.
Make sure you look your best this season with a manicure or a pedicure.
39. Spend time working on your favorite hobby or craft.
When’s the last time you put in some solid hours working on your pottery, painting, cooking, baking, knitting, or model-making?
40. Take a walk outside around the block.
How well do you know your block? Lace up those sneakers and head out to see what you can see.
Stay at home version: Draw a map of your local block on a sheet of paper. Fill in all landmarks, from homes, buildings, shops, and stores as you can remember them. Check your handiwork with Google Maps.
41. Go to the beach and draw patterns in the sand with a stick.
Enjoy some time by the seashore and leave an ephemeral drawing or picture in your wake.
Stay at home version: Search online or on TV for inspiring beach documentaries and travelogues and enjoy!
42. Make your own bubble solution and blow bubbles.
Blowing bubbles is a fun and carefree action. Enjoy the process and see just how large you can make your bubbles.
43. Write a thank you note for a gift you’ve received.
Pull out your favorite stationery or card set and write a heartfelt thank you note. You’ll feel great, plus, your gift giver will feel appreciated.
44. Fantasize about your ultimate dream house or apartment.
If could you build your ultimate dream house or apartment, what would it look like? Have fun with this one!
45. Learn how to say “Hello, how are you?” in 10 different languages.
You never know when you’ll need to make a good impression on someone from a different country.
46. Give a loved one a hug.
Show someone else how much they mean to you with a warm hug.
Stay at home version: Hold a video chat with a friend or family member and have a virtual hug!
47. Show someone how to use a tool you’ve mastered.
Share your knowledge with someone else! Chances are, they’ll be grateful you took the time to show them how to use the tool in question, be it computer, power drill, knife, or vacuum cleaner.
Stay at home version: Hold a video session with a friend, family member, or colleague and teach them something new!
48. Window shop at your favorite clothing store.
Let your imagination run wild…which items would you buy? How many of each? In which colors?
Stay at home version: Browse your favorite shops online for the latest fashions.
49. Shake out your shoulders, head, arms, hands, legs, and feet.
Get that blood flowing with a good old-fashioned shake out! Repeat as necessary.
50. Tell a funny joke to a friend.
Heard a funny joke recently? Tell it to a friend or acquaintance and have a good laugh with them.
51. Cuddle up with a cozy blanket or comforter in bed.
Find your favorite blanket and cozy up with it in bed. Sheer bliss!
52. Spend more time doing your hair or makeup.
Preen yourself to your heart’s content. Don’t forget to use your favorite styling products and tools.
53. Look online for old-time photos of your city or town.
What did things look like in your city or town 50, 100, or more years ago? Have things changed? Stayed the same?
54. Enjoy a thoughtful conversation with a friend.
Call or meet up with a friend. Have a thoughtful conversation about the world around you, both near and far.
Stay at home version: Swap your in-person meet up for a video or online chat.
55. Look through old family photographs.
Reminisce and enjoy times past by looking through old family photographs and photo albums.
56. Plan a relaxing weekend getaway.
You can’t get away for a proper vacation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan a little getaway for this weekend. Find a local town, park, or landmark to visit.
Stay at home version: Make a point to distance yourself 100% percent from your work or other weekday concerns this weekend.
57. Make a paper airplane.
Unleash your inner engineer and construct a superior paper airplane. See how far you can make it fly!
58. Walk on the sunny side of the street.
It’s an easy way to warm up your outlook and body.
Stay at home version: Check out an online webcam of beautiful sunny locations around the globe.
59. Play a favorite childhood game.
Pull out a beloved board game, card game, or video game. Enjoy playing by yourself or with friends.
Stay at home version: Hold online games with others or hold an analog game competition virtually!
60. Recommend books, magazines, podcasts, TV shows, or movies to a friend.
Pass on all the information you’ve collected over the past few months and share with someone who will appreciate it.
61. Use a gift certificate you’ve been meaning to use.
Isn’t it about time you cashed in your gift certificate? Be sure to thoroughly enjoy your new purchases or services.
Stay at home version: Purchase a gift certificate from a local shop, restaurant, or business to help them through this difficult time.
62. Search for constellations in the night sky.
Which constellations and planets can you identify? Consult a star map if you need to.
63. Give a compliment to stranger on their outfit or hairstyle.
Pass along some happiness! Give a genuine heartfelt compliment to someone on their outfit or hairstyle.
Stay at home version: Leave a comment on someone’s social media profile or page.
64. Rewatch a funny or memorable commercial online.
Give yourself the gift of laughter by watching a side-splitting commercial online.
65. Spend some time sitting quietly or meditating.
Let your mind, body, and spirit relax with some quiet time by yourself or with others.
66. Write and mail a handwritten letter to a friend.
You’ll have fun taking time to pen the letter, plus your friend will love receiving a letter in the email!
67. Stretch your entire body.
Take a moment to stretch your entire body and just relax…
68. Go outside and fly a kite.
Dig out the ol’ kite and have some fun taking it out for sail across the sky.
69. Dance to your favorite music album.
Put on your boogie shoes and boogie on down to your favorite album.
70. Compliment someone on a job well-done.
It could be a colleague, coworker, store clerk, friend, or acquaintance. Let them know how much you appreciate their work or accomplishments.
71. Take a drive in your car on a beautiful road, street, or route.
You’ll get out of the house, plus, you’ll take in some beautiful scenery in the process.
Stay at home version: Take an online drive through an inspirational documentary or travelogue.
72. Make a list of at least 5 accomplishments you’re proud of.
What are you proud of? Write down at least five accomplishments that make you beam with pride.
73. Whistle a favorite tune.
Whistle a favorite tune or TV theme. If you don’t know how to whistle, why not learn?
74. Lend a helping hand to a friend or neighbor.
Everyone can use a helping hand every now and then. Offer to assist a friend or a neighbor with a small task or errand.
75. Wear your favorite outfit from head to toe.
Dress yourself up and feel good! Pull out everything you’ll need for your outfit, from headwear to footwear.
76. Cheer up someone who’s feeling sad.
Have a conversation, tell a story, or just spend time with them, side by side.
Stay at home version: Make a phone or video call to a friend or family member.
77. Appreciate your favorite painting, sculpture, or other work of art.
Revisit all the reasons why you love your favorite painting or sculpture so much.
Stay at home version: Find a photo or video of your favorite work out of art and enjoy it from afar.
78. Don a swimsuit and jump into a swimming pool.
If you have access to an indoor or outdoor swimming pool, consider an upcoming swim.
Stay at home version: Give yourself a nice foot soak. You can soak your feet in the bathtub or in a shallow pan of water.
79. Write a list of 10 things you’re grateful for.
What are you truly grateful for today? Take time to construct your gratitude list with care.
80. Enjoy the company of friends and family at mealtime.
Ask about the highlight of everyone’s day. Everyone’s viewpoints and experiences makes for an interesting conversation.
Stay at home version: Hold a virtual mealtime with loved ones from near and far.
81. Savor the smell of freshly-baked goods near a bakery.
Let your nose be your guide! It’s easy-to-do, free, plus, you won’t gain a pound!
Stay at home version: Bake a delicious treat from scratch in your kitchen.
82. Play a musical instrument.
When’s the last time you played a musical instrument at home? Why not start afresh today? No instrument on hand? Hum, whistle, snap your fingers, or tap your feet.
83. Take a cat nap.
Curl up in your favorite chair, sofa, or bed, and enjoy a well-deserved nap.
84. Use your favorite office supplies and tools.
Don’t save those office supplies for a special day in the future…today is a special day!
85. Add a list of fun things to your calendar or planner.
Thankfully, calendar entries don’t have to be all serious. Try adding a list of fun or exciting things to your calendar for this year.
86. Admire the architecture in your hometown or city.
Have you ever stopped to look at the different architectural styles in your hometown? If not, now’s a great time to start looking at things from a new perspective.
Stay at home version: Go online and take a virtual tour from a local historical society or preservation group.
87. Draw a funny picture.
Pull out a pen and a piece of paper and start doodling. Bonus points if you can make yourself laugh during and after you draw the picture.
88. Research gorgeous vacation destinations.
Get started on planning your next vacation getaway with some fun research. Don’t forget to take notes!
89. Snap a pretty photo with your cellphone.
See a pretty landscape out your window or still-life scene in your home? Take a quick photo of it with your cellphone.
90. Watch a motivational video speech or lecture.
You’ll be ready to take on the world after you watch a motivational video speech or lecture. Whatever it is you wish to accomplish, you can do it!
91. Make a brand-new playlist of your favorite songs.
Could you use some fresh inspiration from your favorite tunes? Make a brand-new playlist on your computer or smart phone.
92. Visit a new store, restaurant, or shop in your neighborhood.
Check out a new store, restaurant, or shop in your neighborhood. Be sure to introduce yourself to the owners.
Stay at home version: Purchase goods or services online from a local business you haven’t yet visited.
93. Re-record your voicemail message on your phone.
Freshen up your voicemail message on your landline and/or cell phone by re-recording it.
94. Frame and hang a favorite photo in your home or office.
You’ve taken a great photo and/or have a great print lying around your desk. Why not frame it and hang it so you can enjoy it every single day?
95. Ride your bike on a local bike path.
Clean off the old bicycle and consult a local bike trail or path. Then, set out for an enjoyable morning or afternoon ride.
Stay at home version: Clean and tune up your bicycle or do online research for a new bike.
96. Read a chapter from your favorite book.
You’ve probably got at least one favorite book at home or at the office. Whip it out and enjoy your favorite chapter.
97. Prepare your favorite meal or snack.
Make a culinary creation in the kitchen by preparing your favorite meal or snack. Don’t forget to savor the food when you’re finished!
98. Stretch out and relax on your bed.
Put on your pajamas, make up your bed if you haven’t already, and settle into it. Let all your cares just melt away.
99. Listen to the birds singing outside.
Say, what’s that song? Take a moment to stop and listen to birdsong near your window.
100. Spend time with a loved one without speaking to one another.
Companionship is a great thing. What’s more, silence together can be golden.
Stay at home version: Try holding a video call with a loved one and communicate only using facial expressions.
101. Skip stones on a lake or pond.
When’s the last time you skipped stones out on a lake or a pond? Bonus points if you challenge a friend to a stone skipping match!
Stay at home version: Try building or balancing a collection of stones or other small objects into a tower and see how high you can build your structure.
How about you? Which of the above simple pleasures will you try out during your daily or weekly routines? What are some other simple pleasures you enjoy that are not on this list? How do you feel after taking the time to savor a simple pleasure? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!