man petting a dog

11 Everyday Experiences to Savor Today

By Kaitlin Vogel
March 09, 2023

A simple yet powerful way to tend to your mental health is savoring: the practice of slowing down, being present, and bringing your awareness to and taking in the positive things around you. When you savor small, everyday moments and experiences, you may boost your satisfaction with life, resilience, and overall psychological well‑being.

Perhaps the most beautiful thing about savoring is that you don’t have to wake up early to see the sunrise or go on a fancy vacation to do it. You can practice it every day, right where you are. Here are some savor-it ideas to get you started.

1. Sunlight Peeking Through Your Window

Taking a moment to admire the golden rays and feel the warmth on your skin may be beneficial for your mood, stress levels, and sleep.

2. The Ritual of Making Your Morning Cuppa

Instead of your usual rush to the coffee pot or tea kettle to get caffeinated ASAP, make a conscious effort to slow down and enjoy each step of this process. Pay attention to the aroma when grinding coffee beans or steeping your tea bag. Watch as the espresso flows into your mug or the tea infuses with the hot water. Notice the warmth and weight of the cup in your hand.

3. The Smell of Fresh Laundry

There’s something delightful about the scent of clean clothes and bedsheets coming out of the dryer. Take some deep inhales as you fold. Savoring may transform this monotonous task into a simple pleasure you look forward to.

4. Cuddles from a Pet

Even when your furry friend insists on laying across your keyboard or hopping up on your lap, distracting you from your work, video game, or book, relish in the fact that they sought you out and wanted to give their undivided attention and unconditional love.

Research suggests that interacting with dogs and cats may be good for our well‑being and stress levels. So, go ahead and take a few minutes for cuddling and savoring—oh, and ear scratches, too.

5. A Warm Shower or Bath

Observe the way the water caresses your skin. Picture your worries going down the drain. Imagine that you're washing away the stress of the day.

6. A Meal You Usually Rush Through

If you usually eat most of your meals off a tray on your lap or in your car, make a point to sit at the table and truly savor a meal. Mindful eating may help you get more pleasure out of eating and ultimately improve your well‑being.

You might observe your meal using all five senses: How does it taste, feel, smell, touch, and look? You might choose to tune in to the texture, how the flavors interact, or how the aromas make you feel or the memories they evoke.

7. An Embrace from a Loved One

Hug a friend, cuddle your kids, or kiss your partner goodbye as they head on their way to work. Research suggests that physical touch may have a calming effect and serve as a buffer against stress.

8. The Sounds in Your Backyard

Take a stroll around your back garden or sit on the deck and tune in to the sounds around you: chirping birds, gently falling rain, children playing, rustling leaves. Take note of the less pleasant sounds, too, like the hum of traffic, a car alarm, or loud music. Then, take a deep breath and allow your awareness of them to recede as you reclaim your power from those pesky noises.

9. Photos and Art You Walk by Every Day

In its simplest form, savoring is just taking a deeper dive into the familiar. Take the family photos, posters, and paintings hanging around your home. You look at and past them every day, but when was the last time you really examined them? Allow yourself to be transported back in time, reinterpret the meaning of a piece of artwork, or pinpoint a detail you didn’t notice before.

10. Brushing Your Teeth

The act of brushing your teeth might not be glamorous, but it’s two minutes when you don’t need to do anything else but stand in your bathroom and focus on a single task. Stay in the moment and tune in to your senses.

11. The Feeling of Melting into Bed

After a long day, nothing feels quite as good as climbing into bed and letting out a deep exhale. Tonight, don’t just hit the sack and shut off the lights—truly savor the moment. Slowly pull down the covers, feel each muscle of your body relax, and snuggle in for a night of well-deserved rest.

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