Hey babes! The past few weeks have really taken it out of me between work stress, family commitments, and the general go,go,go of life. Between all of these stressors, which I know you can all relate to, it has been tough at times to not snap at innocent bystanders (aka my husband). Well three weeks (and only one meltdown) later, I think I’ve found a system that really works to ensure that I have a good day everyday.
Now this doesn’t mean I’ve devised the magic formula to get rid of all stress, lose 10 pounds, land that promotion, and have dinner on the table at seven every night but it really helps keep everything in perspective and keep me on the right track. These are things that are pretty straight forward but listing them out is a great reminder that, yes, they do work.
Take one idea and test it out or go for the whole list to see how to have a good day everyday!
10) PLAY HAPPY MUSIC
I start my day, everyday, listening to a “Perk Me Up” playlist that has all my favorite upbeat songs. I can turn to this playlist throughout the day if it’s a particularly stressful one and I will instantly feel a little bit brighter and happier. You can see and listen to my happy playlist here on Youtube.
9) WEAR CLOTHES OR SHOES YOU LOVE
Something about having a banging outfit or wearing my favorite pair of shoes never fails to put me in a better mood. One of my personal struggles right now has been dealing with weight gain so not wearing my favorite clothes has been a recent reality. However, it’s like they say…the shoes always fit!
8) DO YOUR HAIR AND/OR MAKEUP
Just having my hair done can do wonders for my mood. It can be time consuming to blow dry or style your hair but sometimes that effort is worth it when it comes to the way you feel about yourself. Plus having just one of these done can often compensate for the other.
For example, I normally do my makeup on the bus on my way into work but on Monday I forgot my powder foundation. Not only that but I was in a training all day and was going to meet a bunch of new people. Naturally I wanted to make a good first impression so I had done my hair. With just my hair done and a healthy coating of mascara (#MaryPoppinshandbag), I was able to get through the day without feeling like a fool with hag face, which was a pleasant surprise.
7) WRITE A GOAL OR TASK LIST FOR THE DAY
Can we all agree that nothing is more satisfying that crossing something off a list? Starting your day, every day, with a task or goal list is a wonderful way to make a mental plan for your day and then to stay on track throughout the day. This is especially useful to me at work when phone calls or emails are always there to distract me. I like to write them at the end of the day so I know where to start the following morning.
The trick is to not get too attached in case last minute priorities have to shift or if your list was overly ambitious. Just scrap it at the end of the day and start a new one for the following day!
6) GET SOME SLEEP
If you know you have a big day ahead or if you’ve just had a really crummy one, just put down the phone and get some sleep. It’s incredible how a solid night of rest can reset your attitude and make the world a better place.
5) PLAN YOUR DAY AHEAD OF TIME
Pre-planning my outfit and prepping any food ahead of time has become a major part of how smoothly my morning starts. Since getting dressed is one of the first things we all do in the morning, eliminating the stress of “what should I wear” is a must! Having your clothes already laid out, makes thinking about an outfit (or about anything) unnecessary. Just check the weather the night before and you can hit snooze one extra time in the morning.
For you working girls, packing my lunch ahead of time has also greatly helped me get out the door without stress in the morning. Just pop the tupperwear from the fridge into my bag and I’m set to go!
4) STAY OFF SOCIAL (AT LEAST FOR A WHILE)
Studies have shown that people who are on social media (specifically Facebook but I think it works for all social media) a lot tend to be less happy than people who aren’t on social media as often (via The New Yorker). It makes sense, right? You see everyone else’s “perfect” lives and can’t help but compare your real life to your friend’s online life. So why would you start your day doing something that makes you sad?
One of my best friends recently started giving herself the first two hours of her day to be internetless and she’s told me how much better she feels. Not only does she feel better but the changes are visible too! My mom mentioned to me how “L just looks so happy in pictures these days” and it’s true. Her whole being has changed just by starting her day without the internet.
3) COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
Try to devote time in your day for prayer/reflection/meditation or just plain ol’ counting your blessings. It’s a practice that takes 10 minutes or less but which help put everything into perspective. You’re alive and kicking which is the greatest blessing of all.
2) GET OUTSIDE
Fresh air is underrated. It’s easy to fall into the habit of house to car, car to office, repeat and never really spend any time outside. Especially now that spring is here, try to take ten and step outside. I take the bus to work so it’s built into my day but an afternoon walk always reinvigorates me and gets me past the afternoon slump. Plus Vitamin D is always a great mood booster.
1) DRINK WATER AND EAT GREENS
It’s important to take care of body, especially during times of stress, because it has the power to fight back (trust me I’ve learned the hard way) and drinking water can help cure so many of the side affects of stress and sleep deprivation. It helps with bloating, headaches, and even tiredness. While caffeine may get your heart rate up, water can help in more ways than a Diet Coke. The same goes with eating greens. They help heal your body from the inside out so you can take on all the challenges life places in your path.
If you’re having a tough time right now too, I wanted to share this little nugget of wisdom I heard earlier this week. It’s ok to be stressed or sad or upset, that’s all part of being human, just don’t unpack and live there.
Hope this list helps you out in your next time of stress. Let me know if you already implement any of these ideas throughout your day!
Until next time,
*Special thanks to my friend Jenn from Hello Rigby for taking and editing these photos!