(BPT) - Every woman knows that hectic schedules can make it easy to forget to stop and enjoy the little things in life. But by finding creative ways to embrace some of life's simple pleasures, you can make sure to stay happy and content.
Actress, model and celebrity mom Ali Landry says she's found that taking the time to enjoy some of her favorite indulgences in moderation - whether it's snacks, travel, exercise or even a night out - has been the key to being a happy mother of two. 'There's no tried-and-true formula for finding balance and enjoying life fully' says Landry. 'According to a recent survey, three in five women say that eating certain foods is their No. 1 source of guilt. I disagree with this whole heartedly. I refuse to feel guilty about enjoying the things I love - like chocolate.'
Landry offers five tips for striking that balance:
* Ever feel like you need a vacation but don't have the time or the budget to pull it off? Opt for a vacation activity at home instead. Head out to a nearby beach or park and pack a picnic to enjoy with the friends and family. Then schedule a night of fun at home playing a new game or enjoying a new activity.
* Allow yourself to indulge with moments of moderation. Always abstaining from your favorite treats might lead you to binge after an especially stressful day. Landry allows herself a daily indulgence of her favorite snack: chocolate. 'I love Hershey's Simple Pleasures chocolates because they are individually wrapped, and they're 30 percent less fat than the average of the leading milk chocolates,' says Landry. 'I'm a woman who wants to be able to savor her chocolate without the guilt. I'm rejoicing since I found Hershey's Simple Pleasures chocolate - it's a delicious chocolate you can feel great about loving.'
* Busy women across the country struggle to find time to work out. By finding activities like kid-friendly yoga or going for a hike with friends, you can get your workout in while spending quality time together.
* If you're craving a night at a fancy restaurant, but can't get away or don't want to leave the kids, create a restaurant atmosphere at home for one special meal. Dine together with the kids and then once the kids are in bed, set aside time to read or have a drink on the porch with your spouse.
* Schedule small bits of 'me time' each day, even if it's just 15 minutes to read in a quiet part of your home. Talk with friends, roommates or family about the importance of having this time to yourself and they'll be more than understanding when they see the restorative effects that a little downtime can have on your demeanor.
'I have learned that if you take some time to enjoy the things you love, and find ways to incorporate them into your everyday life, you can help reduce stress, allowing you to be happier. For busy women trying to find balance, there's no getting around the fact that some days will be more challenging than others,' Landry says. 'But women should remember to take care of themselves too, and I've found that working in a few simple pleasures in moderation helps me be a better friend, mom and wife.'
For more on Hershey's Simple Pleasures(R) chocolates and a full list of flavors, visit www.facebook.com/hersheyssimplepleasures.