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Urban Hiking Is TikTok’s Newest Trend That Can Help You De-Stress and See the Beauty Outside Your Front Door

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The benefits are as impressive as those of their backcountry counterparts.

Think back to your last vacation. Whether you sprawled out on the beach or took a beautiful nature hike, almost all of your day was structured around things that brought you joy. But as soon as you returned home, those pleasurable pastimes gave way to endless chore lists and the mundanity of, well, everyday life.

That’s why Rebecca Alvarez Story, sexologist and founder of Bloomi (a Latina-owned wellness destination offering plant-based sexual wellness essentials and education), thinks it’s so important for adults to be intentional about designing their daily schedule to include pleasure, aka crafting a daily pleasure routine. And science backs up the need for daily moments of joy: Prioritizing little moments of pleasure—whether that be slowly drinking a delicious cup of coffee, listening to music you love, or even masturbating—has been shown to improve your cognitive performance and make you happier.

“A pleasure routine is a deliberate and intentional practice of prioritizing activities and experiences that bring us pleasure on a regular basis,” Story says. “It’s about carving out time in our very busy lives to indulge in things that nourish our senses, ignite our passions, and cultivate a deeper sense of happiness and fulfillment.”

“It’s about carving out time in our very busy lives to indulge in things that nourish our senses [and] ignite our passions.”

While Story still advocates for using date nights and larger-scale events such as vacations to maximize your pleasure, a daily pleasure routine focuses more on engaging in smaller daily delights. These moments can be sexual or nonsexual, as long as they’re activities that bring you joy. Keep reading for Story’s guide to creating your own daily routine.

1. Identify your pleasure profile

The first step to creating a daily pleasure routine is to reflect on how you like to experience pleasure by pinpointing your pleasure profile—either playful, sensory, kinky, relaxing, or passionate (check out this article to find yours)—which can apply to pleasure in the bedroom and out in the world. “Take some time to reflect on what activities or experiences bring you joy and satisfaction,” Story says. “These could be anything from reading a book, taking a walk in nature, indulging in a hobby, or spending time with loved ones.”

Story recommends leaning into the activities that match up with your pleasure profile when you first begin practicing your pleasure routine, since those will automatically feel good for you. But, she also encourages you to play around with pastimes from other complimentary pleasure profiles. For example, if you identify with the passionate profile, consider experimenting with the sensory profile by using relaxing aromatherapy or cooking yourself a special, savory meal or dessert.

2. Integrate pleasure daily

According to Story, you should be spending at least an hour a day on pleasure. She encourages you to block off specific time dedicated to pleasurable activities (but don’t worry—it doesn’t have to be one long stretch, you can split it up). During mundane or chaotic moments, try asking yourself ‘what activity can I engage in for a few moments to bring me pleasure?’ Maybe you go for a 20-minute nature walk in the morning, dance around your living room to your favorite album for 15 minutes after lunch, and take a 25-minute hot shower with a waterproof vibrator, like Indulge.

“Treat these moments as non-negotiable, mini appointments with yourself, just as you would with any other important commitment,” Story says. P.S. These appointments don’t have to be solo—you can absolutely include your partner in one or all elements of your pleasure routine

3. Date yourself

Adding a daily pleasure routine to an already busy schedule may feel overwhelming, but don’t give up. While this might feel like old-school advice, dating yourself by doing activities like hitting up events that make you excited or having a relaxing night in with your vibrator can help you uncover an incredibly fulfilling—physically and spiritually—pleasure routine.

4. Be mindful of the transition into pleasure

It’s important to feel present while taking part in any type of pleasurable activity, whether it’s sexual or not. If you find it hard to get into this headspace instantaneously, try partaking in a mindfulness activity—think: a meditation session, a yoga flow, or taking a few deep breaths—before engaging in your pleasure routine. If you want to bring your partner into your daily pleasure routine, Story suggests blocking off time to unwind first to ensure you’re both focusing on enjoying the time together and not the to-do list that’s been stressing you both out.

Casa Earth, Bloomi’s slow intimacy experts, recommend “[i]ntegrating the Caress Full-Body Massager into a pleasure routine that explores our whole bodies [and] activating key pressure points like where the neck and the shoulder meet. Don’t be afraid to experiment with its different parts and settings.” This can be a great step to feeling present in your body, and can be done solo or with your partner.

“Fully immerse yourself in the experience [of your pleasure routine], enjoying every moment and allowing yourself to be fully present and engaged,” Story says. “Being able to ‘be’ in your body and feeling that will improve your self-pleasure experiences and intimate connections with others.”

5. Be consistent

When you’re consistently working out, you’re more likely to feel the benefits of exercise—the same is true for pleasure, which is why being consistent (even when you’re traveling or busy) is important. When you’re busier, pushing off your pleasure routine may feel like the easiest bet, but Story encourages you to keep it a priority, as not keeping up with it makes for more work to calm down your nervous system and get in the pleasurable mood in the future.

Some simple ways to keep it a priority? When you’re traveling, Story recommends bringing a mini vibrator with you. To enjoy your lunch break, immerse yourself in a fun novel or audiobook. In the evenings, carve out a few minutes for an unwinding routine that could include lighting a candle and taking a hot shower. Being consistent ensures you’ll reap all of the benefits—so go ahead and add some pleasure to your daily life.

To learn more about your personal pleasure profile, see this Well+Good article.