Enjoying the Little Things {Even if You’re Stressed}

Enjoying Life in the midst of crazy times!

I was sitting in the empty Success Center with my “Tutor” tag dangling around my neck. I tutor English in my spare time, but no on was coming in that day, and I was bored. I sat mindlessly munching on an apple, when it hit me like a pop quiz the day before Thanksgiving break: I had been living my life just like how I was chewing my apple, in monotony and boredom. I had ceased to be the main character in my own life. Stress was the main character, and I was only the sidekick.

We have definitely reached that point in the semester when it begins to get a bit harder to breathe, and when food becomes more of a distant memory than an actual daily occurrence. This is the time in the school year that it feels like I am trying to jump on a train that just keeps speeding faster, and faster, and faster until it finally rips out of my hands. I am sure you, as a med student, or a mom of three, or a lawyer yourself know the feeling. And as I munched on that apple, all I could think about was how very disoriented, and disorganized my life had become. My life was a cup of three-day old coffee with a thick slimy overlay of half-n-half that had congealed on top. Not very appetizing to say the least. Everything in my life was getting done, but I was nothing but a drone mindlessly moving through the day.

In English class one afternoon, my professor pointed out in a particular story that when the child went into survival mode that he stopped noticing the birds, the sound of the wind, and any of the minor details around him. And when he was finally safe again, that is when he began to see life in all its intricate glory again. Even now, three years later after I took that class, that example has stuck with me. We might not be hiding from a dreadful foe, but all too often the stresses of life itself have put us in survival mode. Have we stopped hearing the birds, and tasting the apple?

If you, too, have reached the point where your daily planner is thicker than a dictionary, and your throat is parched from the lack of oxygen then there is hope for you today. What I really want you to do is take time to enjoy the small things in life. Just take a moment to breathe and realize how crazy beautiful your life is. Sure, you might be covered in baby’s spit up, and you might not have showered in two weeks, but take a moment to focus on the little blessings in your life. Take a few moments to look around you, and soak in the details. The softness of the carpet beneath your bare toes. The new bracelet that jingles around your wrist. The smell of the brightly-colored fall leaves. Notice the details, and let the stress fade away. Take a moment to just be.

Keep it simple today. Take a breath. And notice all the myriad intricately beautiful details around you. And let me know how it goes. I promise you you will be glad you did.

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28 thoughts on “Enjoying the Little Things {Even if You’re Stressed}”

  1. Awesome post Bethany. It is so true when you said- Take time to enjoy small things in life. I have two kids and I’m enjoying all the naughty things that they are doing now (i know this sounds crazy!) because one day when they get older, I will surely miss all these moments.

    1. I am so glad you are enjoying the little things, Sha! I bet as a Mom there are times you want to pull your hair out, but there are also other times that you can feel the magic in what you are doing. I am so glad you are able to enjoy the naughty things as well as the nice. You are a very wise, and good mom. Way to go!

  2. Thanks for this reminder! Life can feel so busy and boring at the same time. Even though I’m missing a lot of the pleasures I used to have, I need to remember to look around and appreciate the new blessings in my life.

    1. Sometimes the busyness of life just seeps the joy from our spirits, doesn’t it Stephanie? May we both continue to focus on all the myriad blessings in our day to day living, and not waste another moment of this precious thing called life!

  3. Such great advice. It brings to mind the “rampage of appreciation” technique discussed in the Abraham Hicks series. I’ve found it to be a simple but effective method of cultivating a good vibes and elevated mood. Thank you for the reminder!

  4. I just love the visual layout of your blog. I probably said that before.

    It’s very easy to get caught up in worry. If it weren’t, there wouldn’t be a billion dollar business in “stress”. Sometimes finding the reminder of why stress is the least important thing is hard to do though.

    1. Thank you for the compliment, Jenn. I have tried quite a few differently formats for my blog, but I like this one the best. That is very true about stress. It is something we all struggle with, and must learn to deal with at some point in our lives. Thanks for joining in on the conversation!

  5. It’s called Gratitude and being able to be gracious is a blessing. It is something that most of us need to learn and when you do, your life changes. And the thing is, the little things are free and often close to home, all around us. You are fortunate, dear Bethany, to know this at such a young age. So many people spend their lives in search of such meaning, the wander off, when n fact what they are seeking is in their own backyard.
    Will share with you a short story. Many years ago, when my daughter was perhaps 10-11 I took her on holiday, just the two of us. We did all the holiday attractions: swam with dolphins, went camel riding. When we came home and she was asked what was best, her response was shnoogling in bed with mama, watching Speed on TV and ordering a milkshake via room service! Thank you, HUGS <3

    1. You are so very observant, and eloquent Judy! You are one hundred percent correct, it is gratitude, and it is something we all need more of. I love your words about how the little things that are the most important, are free. What a great reminder for my weekend! How sweet that you were able to build these precious memories with your daughter. You are right, the simple things are always the best. 🙂

  6. Great, now I’m crying! lol. Yes I often remind myself (mother of three toddlers, wife of a cop and hopeful entrepreneur) that I must stop and look around me. Listen to the giggles and stop yelling at the fighting between kids. Smile more. Sit still more. Play more. A challenge I face everyday. I too am afraid I will wake up one day and all these wonderful moments will have passed me by. Thank you for the words. You have given me a different focus today. 😉

    1. Oh my goodness, Shauna, you do have a lot on your plate! Whew! Yes, you are greatly blessed. Do all these things more, and your life might feel a little less hectic. I am glad I blessed you if even in a small way. Keep your chin up. You are doing great things!

  7. I have often noticed this in relation to my poetry. When I am relaxed, I notice more beauty in the world around me, and I savor the small and simple things. When I am stressed, either from busyness or something happening to us that I cannot stop focusing on, inspiration is hard to grasp, and beauty difficult to observe. Beautifully written post!

    1. That is a very intuitive observation, Nathana. I think artists are the most intune to stress because they cannot create as well when they are worried about something. Artists, even more than the regular person, must take care of themselves physically and emotionally. Keep writing!

  8. A good night’s sleep and/or a big mug of coffee and/or a restorative nap are also all well worth the time, and intensify my enjoyment of the little things, especially during stressful days or weeks. The physical body must be taken care of, too! Well said, daught!

  9. I think that is great advice for everyone. Life does get so busy and overwhelming at times so to be able to take a breath, relax and reflect is very important.

    1. There are times that we forget to take life a little less seriously, aren’t there Scott? Sometimes we just need to forget about the to-do list, and take a breather. May you have a wonderful, and stress free day!

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