Simplicity and imperfection as a means for maximum enjoyment is the defining mantra of Susan‘s life, and it’s something each of us could benefit from learning to practice since most of us take ourselves way too seriously. Taking anything too seriously tends to have a net-negative effect on fun, so here’s a few life-hacks to help you lighten up, maximize fun and sink your teeth into whatever life experience you deem worth having.

So in no particular order here are five of Susan’s favorite ingredients for better living that we hope will inspire you to either try out yourself or encourage you to make up your own.

  1. Garden For Mental Health – “A garden gives you quiet so you can hear your own thoughts.” In the Posthoc podcast, Susan discussed with Sue Stewart-Smith, author of ‘The Well Gardened Mind’ about how as humans we are gardeners by our very nature and how much healing is available by stepping into a that natural role as a caretaker of both self and environment.
  2. Read A Little Bit of a Book Each Day – before you know it! As Susan revealed in the New York Times in 2019, she reads multiple books at a time a little bit each day and the net result is reading way more books each year when there’s no self-induced pressure to slog through finishing one before picking up the next.
  3. Run If You Can (Get sweaty!) – If you have a body healthy enough to run even just a little bit, consider yourself extremely lucky and get moving! Running gets your heart-rate up, pumps you full of endorphins and puts you in touch with a primal part of the human experience. Major bonus points if you can run in nature because exercise endorphins + natural environment endorphins = physical bliss. Can’t run? Understood. Try to enjoy some fresh air and get a little sweaty at the same time.
  4. Dress Up Just Cause – We’ve been in yoga pants and sweats for far too long the past year, it’s time to dress up regardless of whether there’s an occasion. Or better yet create an occasion and dress up for that! Life feels better when we feel better, and we tend to feel great when we look great so what are you waiting for?
  5. Appreciate How Far You’ve Come – It’s easy to take for granted the problems of the world we live in at present when we fail to appreciate what it took to get there. As Susan explains, “My first job was soda jerk on a nuclear sub shipyard. I followed that up with a stint packing pickles on a hippy farm family campground where I learned to cook organic meals for 60 guests every night three times a day. While I’ve never packed pickles again, it turns out the experience of cooking for large groups of people easily would come in useful later.” And we can all enjoy the fact that getting to be together tastes quite a bit sweeter in a post Covid world, so let’s savor it.