Taking a moment to reflect | How to enjoy the little things in life?

The little moments to get back to yourself, take a break and enjoy what you have. It’s so important. Everyone does this in their own way, from the first coffee of the day to reading a book in the evening. Taking a walk around your local park or tiring yourself out with a good workout. Are you looking for new ways to create this moment of peace for yourself? We spoke to five women from Amsterdam, who all have their own way of enjoying the little things in life.

Slowing yourself down

Lianne Blacquiére (28) is a trauma therapist and somatic coach. She believes that life is a gathering of small moments. For example, when the sun is shining on your face. Or the first coffee of the day that gives us a smile on a drizzly morning. Society can make you feel like you have to rush, so she actually tries to slow herself down. Going against the grain for a moment by seeing, feeling, and hearing what is happening around her. The first smell of morning coffee, her breathing exercises, or a smile to a stranger. Connecting with your surroundings by showing someone a smile, puts her in the now and makes her feel like she's not alone.

Strolling in the parks

Sanne Swinkels (37) is a ground stewardess at KLM. Although she comes from the south of the Netherlands, she can enjoy the things Amsterdam has to offer. For instance, you can regularly find her at Gent aan de Schinkel - a place by the water where you can take a break and leave all the stress of the city behind. From here, she often walks further into Vondelpark. That's where she comes to find some peace for a moment. Walking through nature really gives her a moment of relaxation. Strolling through the fields of Rembrandtpark and taking a deep breath. Discovering new coffee shops with friends and then continuing your walk; it feels like recharging your own battery.

Help is in an unexpected corner

Ryanne Lewerissa (30) is a life coach & manifestation expert. She moved to Amsterdam in 2017. When she just got there, she had no idea what she wanted to do in her life. She started working at a corporate business, but that didn't make her happy at all. Through the recommendation of a colleague, she downloaded an app with which she could sometimes join in a sports class. Thanks to the app, she eventually had her first encounter with spirituality and personal development; it was an instant hit. Six years later, she has set up her own business in spirituality. She has been able to turn her little moments of happiness into her work. She sometimes goes for a walk around the city centre and looks at all the stickers stuck on the walls; or pauses to look at the tourist families all queuing up for what must be 'the best fries in the Netherlands' at Nieuwmarkt. Her philosophy goes: if you can do something that makes you happy every three seconds, you will eventually look back on a happy life.

The simple things

Puck Ast (21) studies Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics at the university of Amsterdam. She romanticises the little things into 'casual magic', as she likes to call it. Meaning, the simplest things improve her day. She then writes about them and takes time to absorb these moments. It could be about the sun falling on the water or the smell of rain on warm stones. She especially tries to make her bike rides to her next appointments a little longer than they should be. Then she can look around her a bit better or listen and dwell on little things like that.

A pause every day

Mareille Pandelaar (30) is an eating disorder coach and founder of Trust Spaces, a co-working space in Amsterdam. She tries to be mindful and grateful for the things she has and the people around her. Every day, she pauses to feel what and who she has around her, this helps her slow down during the day. She takes a break every day where she does a yoga or meditation exercise or class. Or she takes a short walk around town. She shares with others what she frets about and struggles with. She believes that too often people answer 'fine' when someone asks how you are doing. If she feels comfortable with the person, she will always express her honest feelings. This helps her to not overthink any situation. And finally, she dreams a lot. Not only in bed, but also during the day. About the future, and then she'll manifest that in the present. It's a feeling that gives her enormous energy and strength.

Are you going to Amsterdam soon and would you like some inspiration to explore this beautiful city? Then check out our Travel Guide.