After Your Party Hangover

A big plan to keep the small fun going all year

Okay, so you’ve just had a big, exciting new year celebration. Now what? Feeling a little blah? Maybe kind of like you have a party hangover? Fear not. There’s an incredibly simple solution for you. In fact, follow this plan and you can keep the good times rolling all year long.
Here’s what you need to do: think small. Yep, tiny. Ordinary. Familiar. Look for pleasures that are as mundane as they can possibly get. There’s a very big idea behind small pleasures. According to researchers, exciting, rare and extravagant pleasures are extremely vulnerable to emotional trouble. In fact, that’s exactly the reason why so many people end up not getting a lasting boost out of, say, a super expensive handbag, an extravagant wedding or even a meal out at an exclusive restaurant. It’s almost cliché how many people have gotten in arguments or had some other kind of deflating problem right when they were supposed to be having the time of their life. Small (dare we even suggest quiet?) pleasures, on the other hand, are easily accessible, emotionally bullet-proof and offer an outrageous bang for the buck.
Commit to doing something tiny every day: sit in the garden and enjoy the sound of a fountain, pause and study the clouds in the sky, feel the plush texture of a fabric in a store, talk to your wacky aunt on the phone or take a walk in a new, unfamiliar neighborhood just for the heck of it. Research suggests that people who fill their lives with cheap and easy daily thrills tend to be happier than those who pursue the big, rare and exotic. In fact, a study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life showed that the highest spike in happiness came not when someone took an expensive vacation, but during the planning stage of the trip! So go ahead, you can even hit Expedia, and other travel sites. Indulge in the small pleasure of fantasizing about that trip to Paris, even if you don’t actually book it.
Need more convincing? Check out this video from School of Life on why small pleasures are a big deal.

Victoria Clayton is a Southern California-based writer who has contributed to, The Los Angeles Times, Redbook, Self and many other publications. She was a health and parenting columnist for  She’s a wife, mom, small business owner, intrepid cook and yoga lover.

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