A pocket full of flowers, a smiling sun, and music notes floats around the pocket.

Life's Simple Pleasures

One thing I will say that heart failure has taught me is to focus and appreciate life's simple pleasures. When you are forced to slow down, it can be interesting the things that you might not have noticed or appreciated before. With the summer heat coming and more of us may be forced to take it slowly, I thought it might be a good time to share some of mine! Feel free to add a few of your simple pleasures in the comments below as that might spark an idea for someone else.

Simple pleasures within my heart failure journey: tuning into my senses

This might sound crazy, but I have grown to really appreciate all five of my senses. Like touch, tasting, smell, sight, and hearing.

Touch

I might have to spend more time inside when it gets crazy hot, but I've come to love a really comfy pillow and blanket on the couch. I also really like the non-intercourse aspects of a relationship - I really enjoy just spending 10 minutes snuggled with my partner on the couch. Even if you are not in a relationship or don't like cuddling, perhaps you know someone who gives a really good hug. Perhaps you can treat yourself to a massage every now and then or have a friend who would be willing to just give you a good backrub when you are feeling a bit sad?

Taste

There is also taste! I have found that I love cold things in the summer. Shocker, I know...I love some cold watermelon or strawberries. I also love creamy stuff, like some lime cilantro sauce in a bowl of fresh produce. Something magical happens when you blend fat, like an avocado, with olive oil, lime and cilantro in a blender. Or the occasional square of creamy milk chocolate. Whatever your 'thing' is, I encourage you to find it and enjoy it in moderation!

Sight

Sight is another interesting one. For instance, I used to be a jogger. Oftentimes now, I'm too tired, and I focus on just getting my steps in. My doctor said that is perfectly ok! However, it's interesting now what I notice in my evening walks. Like all of the beautiful flowers that are in bloom! Terrific old trees, especially when the wind rustles the leaves. It's amazing how beautiful nature can be, and how much there is to notice when you slow down and smell the roses (figuratively AND literally)... If flowers are your thing, I encourage you to check out conservatories in your area! Keep in mind the heat and being careful when it gets too hot, but I'd encourage you to first figure out what your thing is and then pursue it within your limitations.

Hearing

Sound is one too. Have you figured out what music you like? I came home the other day and my neighbor had her windows open and was playing some show tunes on her piano, and that literally made my day. Maybe you can play whatever music you like, or stream a concert from the internet as you are lounging around the house. I have also come to really appreciate the birds chirping outside. It's corny, but I don't know - it makes me feel truly like I'm 'home.'

This or That

Which do you prefer?

What are life's simple pleasures for you?

But here is a question to ask yourself...When you think of things that you find really pretty, what is that for you? Is it flowers and nature? Is it a good design? Is it perhaps architecture or building and, if so, perhaps there is a driving architecture tour of your local city? Is there a sound that makes you happy too? What about a taste or texture? There are a lot of possibilities if you can first identify what speaks to you, then have fun exploring that.

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