As we enter the new year, I know it's easy to focus on what we want to change about ourselves and the resolutions we made (and probably broke by now), but we if we focused on the luxury we all have access to? The luxury that comes, not from million dollar yachts and Dom Perignon, but from appreciating the simple beauty all around us?
I would like to propose a few simple, happy changes to make. Ones that will remind you of the beauty all around us and of how lucky we are. If you're not in love with your life, consider trying a few of these. Most can be had for free or under $20.
1. Display Flowers:
For $3.99 at Trader Joe's or Safeway, or for free from your yard, fresh flowers (and branches, leaves or greens) are one of the most inexpensive way to feel truly luxe. When you open an HGTv Magazine, or Better Homes and Gardens, there is ALWAYS a bouquet of flowers displayed in the homes. The editors know we are naturally drawn to their beauty, so why not replicate it in your own home. While I spend most of my time telling you to declutter and get rid of things, some very deliberate purchases can have a lasting, positive impact and make your life feel luxurious.
2. Light a Candle:
Another favorite $3.99 splurge is IKEA's Glimma Tealight candles. These burn the best out of any tea lights I've purchased, and the tins they are in are recyclable. If the thought of heading into an IKEA makes you break out in a cold sweat, you can also get them on Amazon. I LOVE using the tea lights in my himalayan sea salt candle holders. They glow and make our room so inviting. Also try a candle at the dinner table! If you're feeling a little spendy, my all-time favorite candle is Danielle LaPorte's Clarity Candle. At $32 (including shipping), it's a bit of a splurge, but it's so worth it and lasts forevah! There are 3 other scents if that one doesn't do it for you.
3. Cultivate Gratitude: This one is free and probably pays the biggest dividends. I'm not saying go out and buy a gratitude journal. Those usually wind up with 3 pages filled, then shoved under a bed. I'm saying notice, during the day, the things you have to be grateful for. It's raining, but you're inside, and warm. You wake up in the morning and have access to fresh coffee. Bombs aren't being dropped on your house. That sorta thing. :) Tell yourself that for the next 3 days, you're going to pay attention to your blessings. It'll change your life.
4. Make a Fire:
Sticking with the $3.99 trend, grab a Duraflame log next time you're at the grocery store. Most stores have them up by the registers. Nothing feels more luxe than reclining by a fire as the winds howl and the rains fall outside.
5. Create a Morning Ritual: This doesn't have to be complicated, it just involves a bit more than hitting "snooze" 3 times, then springing out of bed, racing to take a shower and get out the door. Calm down. Go to bed earlier, so you can wake up refreshed. Then pick one or two things to be your ritual. For me, it's making 1 cup of coffee and reading a few pages of whatever book I'm in. Bonus points if it's sunny and I can sit on the porch while sipping and reading. It feels luxurious to take a few moments for myself before charging headlong into the day.
6. Watch a Movie:
Make it a guilty pleasure. Something that makes you happy. Intellectual think pieces, while amazing and important, aren't what we're talking about. I'm talking Step Up, Magic Mike, Bad Moms, Bridesmaids. Something that entertains you without requiring too much brain power. Get out of your head and start laughing. Enjoy the luxury of letting go.
7. Go for a Walk:
Even if it's just around your block, getting outdoors is the ultimate luxury. Walk a bit more slowly than you normally would. Notice the plants, the people, the houses. Feel the air in your lungs. Take a deeper breath. Feel your muscles expanding and contracting. Stretch a little.
8. Take a Bath: This can be free, or you can create a detox bath with a few inexpensive ingredients. The important thing is to grant yourself the time to sink into a warm bath and zone out for a while. If it feels luxurious to you, read a book and sip on tea. If that seems like work, just enjoy the warmth and close your eyes.
9. Make Your Damn Bed: You're an adult. It takes 3 minutes. I timed it, and we have 4 blankets and 5 pillows to wrangle. Nothing, and I mean nothing, will make your room look fancier and feel more peaceful. Don't believe me, take before and after pics and see how you feel looking at the made bed vs. the unmade one. Look at beautiful bedrooms on Pinterest and note how many have unmade beds. Still don't believe me? Make your bed for 3 days in a row and see how you feel. You're welcome.
10. Cook Something Healthy :
Seriously. Nothing says luxe more than eating a high-quality, organic, healthy meal. It doesn't have to be a huge production. One of my favorite things is to saute 2 cups of spinach with some garlic and onion, then stir in a scrambled egg and top it all with some fresh avocado and a dash of Tabasco. Easy, decadent, healthy.
Well, there you go, 10 ways I wallow in luxuriousness. Pick 1, or all 10. I hope they help you! If they do, please click the <3 or "share" button below.