Some days are just not it. Things happen - especially over this last tumultuous year - and some days are hard, and that's okay. What's not okay is not taking opportunities to make things better. You don't have to wait until tomorrow to make things better, and I definitely don't think waiting until tomorrow to start a new good day is worth it. Everyone's going to have their own ways that help, but here are some very specific things that always brighten my mood. So sit in it, take a moment to feel your feelings, and then try some of these ideas to make your day a little brighter.
1. Go outside!
Fresh air always makes me feel better. Taking a quick walk, reading a book outside, or even just opening a window all can immediately make me feel more at peace. I just let in the sunshine and have it work its natural serotonin.
2. Drink some water
I have 99 problems and being properly hydrated would probably solve 98 of them. Every time I look up how to improve my life whether it's: bloating, losing weight, increasing energy, better focus, anything, water seems to be in the top three suggestions. So I take a moment, drink a glass of water, and calm myself down. This is especially important when I've been crying because then I am for sure dehydrated.
3. StretchPhoto by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash
This doesn't have to be some big formal yoga moment, although I love that when I have the time. Just taking a second to reach up, touch my toes, and stretching my arms and back out; relieving that tension always helps me feel better.
4. Iced coffeePhoto by Demi DeHerrera on Unsplash
Iced caramel lattes are my favorite pick-me-up for a difficult day. Spending a little bit of money on myself reminds me that I’m worth taking care of and that my happiness is worth $4.00. Plus, it tastes delicious, which always helps.
5. FaceTime someone I lovePhoto by Raj Rana on Unsplash
Sometimes I forget about this option and I have to remind myself that the people I love also love me back; and they will be there for me if I need. Whether it's venting or just a distraction, talking with someone I care about always makes the day's problems feel a little smaller.
6. Watch Mamma Mia
Okay this is one of my absolute favorite, if not top favorite, movies of all time. The joy I get from this movie and it’s sequel is unmatched. It just makes me want to run away to Greece and sing ABBA, and who could feel sad after that?
7. DancePhoto by Diego Rosa on Unsplash
Okay this is semi-embarrassing, but it really does make the day brighter. I'll put things on pause and just have a dance party in my room, I would 100% recommend it. You can't be sad when you're dancing to "Bang Bang" and just letting things out.
8. Listen to Harry Styles or Taylor Swift
Or any other of my favorite artists, but these two live rent-free on my top tier. I've said it before and I will again: "Fine Line" is a no skip-album. I actually have a playlist of just their happy songs plus a few honorable mentions from other artists to improve my mood.
9. Find an animalPhoto by Matt Nelson on Unsplash
This one is important not to do in a creepy way, but if I’m out and sad and I see a dog, my remorse just absolutely disappears for a little. Especially if I pet it, which I always ask to do. I can’t be sad if I’m petting a stranger’s cat or dog, it’s just not possible.
10. NapPhoto by Stephen on Unsplash
If the day has really been bad, then I will simply fall asleep so I get another chance to wake up and start my day. An automatic reset for the day, and then I give myself a second chance for a good time.
These are things that work for me, but the real secret is just prioritizing your joy. Do the things that make you happy, and don't let a few minutes mess up your whole day.