The devices in our hands, the appliances in our homes, the way we navigate life are only growing more elaborate and complicated. However, we can’t overlook the fact that this boom wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t what the public demanded.
Average people invest thousands—tens of thousands—of dollars in procuring the most up-to-date features, the wildest experiences, the sleekest designs, and the most multifunctional equipment and accessories. We intentionally drive away from simple in preference of convoluted—more specifically, anything worth showing off.
Examples of simple pleasures
Growing up in these intricacies makes it hard to even identify with “simple”. All of today’s teenagers and young adults were born and raised in the Information Age. Since the mid-1900s, the world has experienced hyperbolic advancement in technology.
We’ve come to glorify the excess that we’ve gained access to since the discovery of the internet and our mission to automate began. Undoubtedly, it’s fascinating how far we’ve come technologically in just the last two decades.
However, that fascination has blown up into grand expectations and an insatiable craving for bigger and better. We’ve forgotten about the little things in life that are just as capable of bringing us joy. There’s plenty of delight to be found in “simple”.
As the majority of today’s population were born in the Information Age, it raises the question of whether a lot of us know what simple is. You can’t miss what you don’t know you’re missing. Have we ever experienced it—is it obsolete?
The world today is everything but simple, but there’s a light-heartedness, a relief, and an irreplaceable wonder in indulging in things that aren’t intricate or loud, as you’ll see in this wonderful list of simplistic pleasures!
What’s considered “simple”?
It makes sense that this would be a question, and here’s the answer: “simple” involves activities and things with minimal aspects, parts, or requirements necessary to achieve pleasure from it.
Say, for instance, a trip to the park might be “simple”, while an itinerary-planned multi-destination road trip to South America would be, for lack of a better term, “not simple”. But the majority of people would always choose the latter over the former.
The simplistic bliss of a walk to the park to decompress and be with nature has been lost upon a lot of the current generation.
There’s so much to be found in activities that don’t require much. We want over-stimulation and “Instagram-optimal” moments and things. These things, however, detach us from the value of the moment itself.
Take a second to slow down and come back to focusing on where you are, the people you’re with, and to appreciate the privileges and motivations that you have. You can practice that by giving a couple activities on this list a try.
For people who already live minimally, these are some awesome minimalistic ideas for couples, families, and soloists.
Examples of Simple Pleasures
Simple date ideas
A budget, a full schedule, or your choice to live minimally doesn’t have to take away from the irreplaceable memories you can make with your partner!
It doesn’t always take a 5-star dinner complete with fireworks to woo somebody; to someone who genuinely cherishes you, the effort will mean more than the flashiness of the gesture. It’s your imagination and chemistry that’ll make your bonding-time special!
- Yoga (Be creative in spicing up your joint yoga session! Look up some two-person yoga poses—they’re harder to pull off than they look—and try to imitate them. Have fun falling over each other and snap a picture once you’ve nailed it!)
- Museum comedy tour (Visit a museum and take turns showing each other around different exhibits, making up funny facts and stories about the art and artifacts.)
- Get lost (Take a walk through a part of your neighborhood or town that you haven’t been to. Or just pick a direction and see where you end up! If you live in the city, take a couple turns you’ve never taken. If you live in a more wooded area, take a hike through an unexplored—but safe—neck of the woods.)
- Backyard or truck bed camping (Camping doesn’t have to be lengthy or a heavy load. Set up a tent or sleeping bags in the backyard; or if you have a pick up truck, drive out to a scenic location, lay out a pallet of soft blankets and pillows in the bed of your truck and spend the night under the stars.)
- Put a puzzle together (Enjoy some adult drinks to make the task more fun and challenging!)
- Draw/paint each other (Sit down in front of each other, put on some classical music, clink some glasses of wine, and have a sophisticated art session. Take your time and actually try your best to depict each other as accurately as possible, enjoying some small talk in the meantime. A pencil is just fine, but if you happen to have some paint at your disposal then add some color!)
- Make a time capsule (Get to know each other better by sharing stories about what you choose to put in.)
Simple relaxation ideas
We don’t even have to discuss how important your downtime is—it’s important. Not enough people prioritize it, but going without it can lead to the serious levels of mental and emotional stress that people endure so regularly.
Among obligations and priorities, there’s always time to care for the one person that keeps your life running—you! No massage parlor or sauna necessary. It doesn’t have to be long and it doesn’t require too much to ground yourself, check in with yourself, and treat yourself after a long day.
- Enjoy a hot tea or coffee (Feel the warmth flowing into your body, loosening your muscles, soothing your throat, and calming your stomach.)
- Take a bath (The trusty go-to! Especially if you’re experiencing a lot of physical tension, a relaxing bath—maybe with some essential oils, salts, or bath soaks—does wonders for your senses and your skin.)
- Visualize (The ability to fully immerse yourself in fantasies of what you want is actually a powerful thing. Daydream about what life will be like when you achieve your goals, or practice clearly seeing what you want in your mind. The feelings attached to these images are important. These thoughts should, very much, make you feel happy, confident, and excited. Sit in those physical and emotional sensations—not only does it speed up your manifestations, but it just feels great!)
- Sit out on your porch on a sunny day, or do some sunbathing or backyard tanning
- Close your eyes and lose your imagination in an audiobook
- Be in nature (Visit your favorite outdoor area. It’s revitalizing to touch the flowers and plants, sit in the grass, feel the breeze and the sun, or look out over the water.)
- Snuggle up with a pet or partner (Just a few minute-long embrace with someone you love can totally reset your day and lift your mood.)
You don’t have to go overseas to find a worthwhile adventure. Enjoy some alone time or gather your friends for some simply awesome mini-events and -vacations.
- Take a day trip to your closest national park or historic location
- A potluck picnic (Meet up with your friends at a park, lay out a blanket in a shady spot with a nice breeze, spread out your meal—everybody should bring one food—and just enjoy good food, wonderful scenery, and corny jokes.)
- Drive up to your nearby beach (Challenge yourself to pack minimally—only bring what you absolutely need.)
- Vacation over a family member or friend’s house (Because who wouldn’t love your company??)
- Book a bus tour (If you live in or near a big city or popular destination, especially one with a lot of historical attributes, they likely offer bus tours of the area. Take a tour and learn something new about your surroundings.)
Simple gifts can be given on special occasions or as a spontaneous gesture to let someone know you were thinking about them. Minimal gifts make great presents for elegant and casual occasions—that’s one of the things that makes them great: they’re so versatile!
More than that, small things that require your effort and time show how much you care more than things that cost three figures—those are easy to come by. Money is replaceable. Time and energy aren’t, and the time and energy you put into someone’s gift is what will stand out the most.
- A flower (Take time to find the very perfect bloom for your loved one. Pick one that’s their favorite color, one that reminds you of them, or just trust your heart to tell you which is the right one. You could also choose to make a small bouquet of different flowers, arrange it nicely, and tie it with a small string or ribbon.)
- A dessert (Bake/make your love or friend their favorite dessert to show your appreciation. Mix some extra love in just for them!)
- A handwritten note/card (How devastating to think that the charm and elegance of a handwritten love letter has gone out of style! Record your feelings manually and give it to your loved one before they leave for work or leave it in their lunchbox/bag/suitcase. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should absolutely be genuine. They can read it over and over throughout the day—and smile over and over, too!)
- A succulent (Who doesn’t love a cute little succulent plant! They purify the atmosphere in your home, they come in a variety of sizes, kinds, and colors, and they’re low maintenance. They’re a nice, gentle touch of greenery to any home or workspace.)
- Buy something they need (If you are determined to buy them something, buy according to what they need. Say, if you notice them regularly squinting through the beaming sun rays outside, then gift them a pair of sunglasses. Something practical is sure to be appreciated and put to good use.)
- Decorate the house (If you and your loved one live together, DIY some streamers and decorations around your home to get a festive mood going. Your target will appreciate the major uplift, and it could even turn into a tiny party of two.)
Extravagant is fine, but it’s been over-saturated by our constant chase for it. Flamboyance isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes we get so caught up in the convoluted plans that we see in our head that we forget to live in the moment and cherish all the small things that come in between the big things.
Like a mother racing around to cater to all the stations she’s set up at her daughter’s birthday party—it’s grand and large, but there’s little time for enjoyment for the dedicated mom. Balance is important. If anything, indulging in simple pleasures only amplifies your appreciation of the larger ones.
When “big” gets old, we turn to “bigger” to revive that spark in our lives. This rarely ever works for long and only keeps us chasing. When “big” stops working, consider going in the other direction to bring the color back to the world around you.
It might seem relatively insignificant at first but that’s only until you come to realize what truly adds that spark to life. It’s the undiluted beauty of a simple moment. Become accustomed to loving things for what they are and not how much bigger you can make them.
Simple delights, activities, and acts of kindness are so much easier to do. Hence, with a little creativity, you could have an endless list of simple little reasons to smile.