How should you indulge in pleasures?
There is a stoic quote that roughly goes that he who resists pleasures is wise, and he is who indulges in them is a slave.
I think this is useful to my life. When I choose to resist my pleasures such as: drinking Coca Cola, binging YouTube, staying up late in the night and sleeping through the morning; I am able to be more productive.
However, a result of this is that the day is miserable for me.
What would be stoic philosophy’s answer to this problem?
Personally, what I do is I indulge in pleasures if I know it makes me happy. This might be against some Stoic principles, but I want to be happy in life. I do this in moderation, of course. And as long as I and the others around me won't be negatively affected in life.
For example: drinking coca-cola and binging youtube in moderation is good for me. But if I abuse it and it starts to affect my health and those around me, I will definitely stop it.
Use moderation when it comes to pleasures. Staying up late every now and then is fine, but don't let it affect your sleep schedule. Drinking Coca Cola is fine too, but don't drink so much that it ruins your teeth.
Because there might come a day when you don't have access to these pleasures, so you need to be prepared to let them go if necessary.
Simple things that can make you happy shouldn't be a "pleasure" as we do have these things in life in comparison to the unhappy experience you may be feeling, for me as long as it isn't a bad habit, you're good to go 🙂 For example, I give myself a day where I don't put too much mind into what I eat, now that doesn't mean I stuff my face with food, it just means that I allow myself to eat that bowl of ice cream, also it gives me something to look forward during the week. 🤣
The role that pleasure plays in life according to the Stoic conception is that it must follow virtue. Without virtue, life’s pleasures are hollow traps. They can enslave you and make you dependent on their constant presence. Without these pleasures, life becomes unbearable, leaving you weak and despondent.
It sounds extremely cliche but it's all about balance. Do the work in front of you, live virtuously, but also take some planned time for pleasure and recreation. It's unhealthy and can lead to breakdowns if not properly balanced.
I usually make time for it, for example I set a schedule and eat very small amounts of food during the week as I'm trying lessen my weight.
Honestly speaking, I've never really had an unhealthy relation with food, I've always been able to measure myself with the amount I eat, but sometimes I just want to serve myself a bowl or gallon of ice cream.
That's why I give myself a day where I don't put much mind to what I eat, now that doesn't mean I stuff my face with any type of food I get my hands on, it just means that I allow myself to eat some of that ice cream, also it gives me motivation and to look forward to every week.
I make sure that my work and tasks I wanted to complete for the day are addressed, then relax at night or go on a trip by the weekend. Being aware of its impact on your life is important to make sure it doesn't go too far. Evaluate how much time was spent and what it impacted if any afterward usually is a good approach.