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40 Simple Pleasures Every Queen Over 40 Will Appreciate

What rituals of fulfillment, grace and self-care will you enjoy today? Sisters share how they treat themselves well.

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One of the many lessons we can take away from living through a pandemic is to enjoy the little things. When lockdowns disrupted our routines, what remained were the small acts and ordinary experiences we often take for granted. If we let go, live in the moment and act with intention, these rituals often shift from basic to blissful. Here are the many ways Black women told us they claim moments of happiness. Plus: inspiration (collected via various content sources) from famous sisters who know that luxury doesn’t always require loot.

  1. A summertime shower
    Jamie Wright, 41, Houston, opens her Juliet balcony to watch the rain. “Being present to the way it sounds, looks and smells. I love, love, love doing that!”
  2. Real estate reverie
    “I love looking at houses on Trulia and Zillow and then driving past them,” says Nikeya Young, 40, who lives outside Chicago.
  3. A slow Sunday morning
    “It's the stillness. The quiet. Sitting on my patio with a cup of coffee and looking at the lake,” says Deena Pierott, 62, Seattle.
  4. An energizing workout
    Got endorphins? Try one of these free cardio and body-sculpting videos.
  5. Getting lost in a good book
    Here’s your next favorite read.
  6. The heady perfume of a fresh bouquet 
    Queen, get your flowers. Literally!
  7. The warm glow of a compliment  
    “When someone who loves and cares about me compliments me, I feel more glamorous than when the flashbulbs are going off on the red carpet.” –Gabrielle Union, 48
  8. Eggs benedict, cheese grits, mimosas and gossip
    A good brunch with friends just warms the soul.
  9. A fragrant, steamy shower
    Find little luxuries that turn your shower into a sanctuary.
  10. A spa pedicure with a sassy shade
    The foot massage is a must, Queen!
  11. A stroll with someone special
    Jill Scott sang it best: “Let’s take a long walk around the park after dark…”.
  12. Getting outside in nature — and outside your head
    “Nothing thrills me more than to walk along the creek. To sit in the yard and enjoy the birds, bunnies, trees and boulders is calming, refreshing and joyful,” says Kimberli Fancher, 50, Waxhaw, North Carolina.
  13. Calling off work
    Three words: Mental. Health. Day.
  14.  A gift “just because”
    That item you didn't know you needed — from that special loved one who did. Giving one feels just as good!
  15. A beautifully designed journal
    Get to know someone amazing — you! Learn transformative techniques for filling the pages.
  16. Togetherness
    “… I thrive … just being with my family — whether that’s waking up in bed next to my husband under the comforter and just hugging or walking down the street and holding my son’s hand.” —Tia Mowry, 43
  17.  Sharing from the heart
    The best talks are unhurried and with folks you can be 100 percent real with.
  18.  That first bite of your favorite meal
  19.  Your own fashion show
    Have fun in front of the mirror creating the perfect outfit. Try these tips to shop your own closet.
  20. Working with your hands
    Myrlene Michel, 44, New York City, loves knitting and crocheting. “It is very therapeutic,” she says.
  21.  A morning ritual
    “Spending the first minutes of every day having coffee in bed with my husband” is a joy for Laurie Giles Shipp, 59, of Trumbull, Connecticut.
  22.  The “do not disturb” setting on your office’s virtual hub
  23.  A toe-curling orgasm
    Own your pleasure, sis.
  24. That song that takes you back
  25.  Being true to yourself
    “I like me, so I don't have any reason to want to be anybody other than me.” –Dionne Warwick, 80
  26.  Fresh sheets
    Cool, crisp, clean-smelling linens — the ultimate luxury! 
  27.  A candle that smells like happy
    Does vanilla take you back to mom’s kitchen? Does the scent of rose recall your wedding day?
  28.  The “power off” button 
    “When you’re working from home it is not so easy to unplug,” says Denise Turney, 58, Chattanooga, Tennessee. She’s intentional about leaving her workstation and getting outdoors.
  29.  A glass of bubbly and a splash of good bubble bath
  30.  Date night at home
    Try one of these creative ideas.
  31.  A massage
    Add these Black-owned luxury spas to your list for your next visit.
  32.  A slayed hairstyle
    Oh, you’re fancy, huh? Switch it up and use these tips to slay your summer looks.
  33. A clean home
    Fluff the pillows, put away the dust cloth, pour a cold drink. Exhale and enjoy that feeling of accomplishment, order and peace.
  34. A pot of good quality tea
    Chantay Bridges, 44, of Los Angeles says, “Add a tea sandwich and you have the perfect afternoon.”
  35. Skin care that says “I’m a priority”
    “Every night I choose something new: a heated eye mask, a face mask, a chin mask. Devoting that time to care for my skin makes me feel so good.” –Serena Williams, 39
  36.  A fuzzy bathrobe and slippers
  37. This evening’s sunset
    Step into the lingering light and watch the Creator paint the sky.
  38.  The glow that comes from giving
    Helping others has been proven to boost happiness, and it gives you a sense of purpose.
  39. Connecting with spirit
    “I encourage people to have a daily spiritual practice; that's the best way to take care of yourself.” ­–Iyanla Vanzant, 67
  40. An attitude of gratitude
    Lisa Swift Young, 55, Nashville, Tennessee, lives by this inspiration from Oprah: “Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.”

What rituals of fulfillment, grace and self-care will you enjoy today?