Pleasure = Self-Care: It’s good for you
Maybe you already practice self-care. You do everything you know is good for your health. And that’s good. Do you wonder “How can I have more pleasure in my life?”
But if you are like many over 20, women out there, with a career, a main relationship, kids too, you don’t really make much time for pleasure and fun in your life. Things to do just because they feel good and give you a feeling of enjoyment. No time you say. Too much to do. Pleasures are often related to the senses, touch, smell, taste.
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Maybe, just maybe, even your sex life is, well, not very exciting. Your main relationship may also show signs of wear and tear. You and your Significant Other pass by and are dutiful, but gone are the days of giggling and fun.
Well, I am here to help you change all that. Let’s make this season the time you get your groove back as you deliberately make time for what will give you small daily doses of pleasurable satisfaction and enjoyment and larger doses too, and leave a big grin on your face.
As you continue to read this post, I want you to let your mind wander to what would give you pleasure. Remember activities you used to do 5, 10 even 15 years ago that you just loved but somehow dropped.
There are a couple of reasons you have stopped allowing yourself regular pleasures. You may think it’s frivolous, useless now that you have responsibilities or maybe you think you don’t deserve it. And you are so used to not having fun, you assume grown ups don’t need it anyway.
Whatever the reason, I have a surprise for you. Pleasure is good for your health. It’s not a luxury like an expensive watch. And if you intend to be on this planet for a while, your health matters. What’s more many pleasures cost a lot less than an expensive bag or watch and the benefits last longer.
Let’s be clear that when I say pleasure I am not talking about excesses or destructive habits, pseudo-pleasures like over-eating, drinking or other habits that are not healthy. People who practice those pseudo-pleasures usually don’t have much joy, happiness or real clean fun in their life.
I remember during my time working in addiction how my clients did not know how to have fun without drugs or alcohol and the prescription for recovery, besides sleep, nutrition and exercise, was fun.
Health Benefits of Pleasure as Self-Care
You all know that sex is good for you. Good, loving sex that is, alone or with a partner. It relaxes you, helps you sleep better, is good for your immune system, lowers your blood pressure and lowers risks of prostate cancer in men, just to name a few benefits, as you will see in this article.
Other pleasures have similar effects, even if not as spectacular (although some studies suggest that women choose chocolate over sex quite often.) Like I said, good loving sex is first. If you add a few small pleasures on a daily basis, you will increase your well being and reap health benefits. The secret is to make time daily to recharge your pleasure centers.
We are not machines that only need a yearly tune up. We need to insure to nourish our mind and soul on a regular, ideally daily basis, just like eating healthy needs to happen daily. Just like athletes need recovery time, so do we, to be at our best. Play is one of the best destressers and it helps bond people together.
The number one pleasure that comes to mind is a loving relationship. If you have a Significant Other, do you take time daily to reconnect with your sweetheart? A healthy loving relationship is a great asset but relationships need maintenance. If you just meet like two ships and never connect deeply, you lose one of the top benefits of a relationship and risk feeling more alone than if you were single, which then has negative health effects.
If you have let work and kids take all the space, make time for you two to have fun together. Put the kids to bed on time. Shut the electronics, including the tv and devote even 15 minutes to just be together every day. Remember what you did when you met and include some of those silly moments in your evening.
Do everything you can to have a date night. Go out and do what you enjoyed on date nights when you were dating. Or find a new activity to try together. During that time, leave the “parent” label at home. Just be lovers.
Then, make time for sex. Best time: go to bed at the same time as the kids, or before dinner if there are no kids. Waiting for after the 11 o’clock news is not a good idea. Morning sex is also good.
Now what about you, just you. Whether you are single or in a relationship, you deserve to have some time to devote to something you totally enjoy, every day. For some it’s reading time: either your favorite book or a favorite magazine. Maybe you would enjoy time to spend on a hobby: painting, craft, cooking, just looking at the sky and the clouds and dreaming up your next vacation, weekend, gourmet meal. Anything goes.
Did you enjoy skiing or other sport when you were younger but let it go because your SO did not enjoy it. Then arrange to get back to it, one weeknight or a half day on the weekend. Summer sports? Check my article on Water Sports for a memorable Summer
Putting more pleasure in your life will make you happier and healthier. And happy is good. It’s easier to give when you give from a full bucket, or at least not an empty one. I ofter hear women say how tired they are, how much they always give and how selfish their partner is. Don’t wait for someone to offer help.
Start asking Lady. Tell your partner what you need. A night off. Time off on the weekend to go skiing or have a massage. Time alone with him. More help around the house. Don’t wait for others to offer. Ask so you get quality time off. Ask a friend, your sister, your mother or father to mind the kids.
The ball is in your court. Which suggestion will you follow? When? What is most tempting? What is most scary?
Dare to risk being in a playful mood when you get home tonight. See what happens.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your network and on social media. Thanks. And do let me know what you got out of it. And listen to this crickets’ choir, just for fun.
Want to work on taking better care of yourself? I work with a small number of women, coaching by phone. If you are interested, please use the contact form to get in touch.