Life is the journey, not the destination. It’s true. Sometimes we’re in such a hurry to get ahead, to get more, be more, do more, that we forget to enjoy the present moment. Adding nonessential elements to your life are important. We all need food, clothing and shelter, but it’s the nonessentials that create lasting memories and nostalgic feelings. Here are 10 ways to add nonessentials for a happier life.
1. Slow walks in nature. Yes, it’s healthy to take power walks and burn off some calories. But slow, easy walks at the beach or in the park can refresh your soul. Stroll, saunter, meander. Take your time and wander. Slow down, experience life. You’ll get there.
2. Fresh flowers. Put colorful, happy blossoms on the table for dinner. Arrange a small vase for your bedside table. Take some to your favorite aunt. Take a picture of them and use it as your mobile phone background. It’s impossible to have negative feelings when looking at beautiful flowers.
3. Pretty paper napkins. You can use ordinary white napkins or you can make your table sparkle with pretty, little napkins with floral patterns or a picture of the Eiffel Tower. If you’d rather not have a print, try a bright color. You can get them at party stores, the supermarket, Amazon.
4. Vintage cocktail glasses. Find some special wine glasses, champagne glasses, or cocktail glasses that you love. I found the sweet champagne glasses (pictured above) in a vintage store. They make me happy every time I use them. If you don’t drink alcohol you can use them for juice or Perrier or water.
5. Lipstick. Find a color that is a little bolder than you would normally wear, and then wear it everywhere. Make it your signature hue. Wear it on your nature walks. Wear it to workout. Blot it on your pretty paper napkin. You’ll feel marvelous.
6. Silk scarves. Put on a colorful scarf even if you are just going to the supermarket. It will brighten up your face and make you feel beautiful. They look lovely peeking out of the top of a coat or jacket. They can add a stylish air to a sweater. Experiment.
7. Discover tea time. Take a break in the afternoon. Brew some tea, drink it from a pretty cup. Make a little snack and refresh yourself for the rest of the day.
8. Music. Listen to music while you do housework. Dance around your living room. Put on Ravel or Debussy while you sip your afternoon tea. Try some cool jazz at cocktail hour and soft classical music during dinner. Music feeds your soul.
9. Manicures. While I love nail varnish, I don’t wear it all the time. I find it uplifting to keep my nails looking neat and trim. I use a small glass file to tidy up my nails. It’s gentle and works very quickly. I’m prone to dry skin, so I keep a small tube of hand cream in my purse. My favorite is L’Occitane Shea Butter. I feel more confident when my hands are looking their best.
10. Chocolate. I adore dark, rich chocolate. The darker and richer, the better. Chocolate that is more than 70% cacao has health benefits when taken in moderation. Try a small bon-bon with your afternoon tea or as a late-night snack. It hits a pleasure center in our brains.
The moral of this list is to find something you enjoy and make time for it. Add that little something extra to your everyday routine and the moments become more memorable. Slow down and enjoy every moment of the journey by adding a few or all of these 10 nonessentials for a happier life.