If you know me, you know I'm an optimist because I can find anything to be happy about. Of course, I still get sad and I can still fall into funks of negativity, I'm only human. But I'm always trying to look for reasons to be happy again. Don't get me wrong, sadness is necessary. Everyone needs to acknowledge their sadness and be negative sometimes. However, this doesn't apply to everyday life. I believe that having little things to look forward to makes life much more enjoyable, even if it's something really small. Here are a few things to change throughout your day that will always give you something to look forward to no matter how stressful your day is.
1. Wear something that makes you feel good
Wear something that you get excited about. If you look forward to being comfy all day and wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants, go for it. And if you look forward to looking really good and stylish, wear that instead. Just wear something that you feel good in and keep that in mind all day. As soon as you put your outfit on, think about how awesome you look and feel. Every time you're reminded of your outfit throughout the day, you can get a tiny confidence boost.
2. Go to the gym
You may not enjoy the actual process of working out, but after, you should feel proud of yourself that you put the time into work on yourself. Also, working out releases endorphins in your brain, which naturally reduces stress and makes you feel good. Whether it's yoga or heavy weight lifting, it's scientifically proven that you'll feel good after. So even though you may be dreading the actual act of working out, you should look forward to how good you'll feel after. Get excited that you're putting in the effort to be healthier. And maybe now you won't feel guilty about eating that chocolate cake later.
3. Eat something you really enjoy
I don't know about you, but I'm always looking forward to a certain meal of the day. In fact, I plan my day around it. The meal doesn't have to be unhealthy in order for you to enjoy it. For example, for those of you who go to Rutgers, on the days that I have class on Cook Douglass, I always look forward to eating at Harvest because I love the food there and how healthy it is. Meals are just a really simple part of your day that you can get excited about.
4. Don't work while you eat
If you have the time, just sit down and relax while you eat. Maybe you can watch some Netflix while eating or listen to music or simply do nothing. Even if you have 3 exams coming up and you have to study whenever you can, eating will only take at most 20 minutes, so let this be a short break for you during your day. You have to eat at some point, so why not make the most of it and make it something you really enjoy doing?
5. Embrace the weather
Even if it's freezing outside and you hate the cold, or it's hot but you can't stand the heat, try to find something good about the weather each day. If it's cold, maybe you can finally wear your hat and boots that you've been waiting all year to wear. Or if it's hot, you can break out that summer dress or shorts. If it's a beautiful day outside, make sure to walk as much as possible and sit outside whenever you can to make the most of it. And when it's a gross rainy day, get excited about getting to wear your rain boots and jacket or putting your pretty umbrella to use. Or maybe you just love the smell of rain. Try to find something good about every day, even when all the signs say it's going to be an awful day. If you constantly think about how awful the weather is and how miserable it is outside, that's going to affect your whole day. Change your mindset just a little bit and it can turn your day around.
6. Listen to music
I'm always listening to music whenever I can: on the way to class, on the bus, when I eat, when I'm doing work. Music just makes the most ordinary tasks so much more enjoyable. Find a playlist that matches whatever you're doing and put your headphones on or blast it on your speaker.
7. Have a relaxing morning routine
Every college student could definitely work on having a relaxing morning routine. Most of us get up with exactly enough time to get ready, rush out the door, and get to class on time. Many rarely ever eat breakfast. But I think having some time in the morning to get your mind ready for your day and not have to rush is a huge benefit. Get up maybe just 10 minutes before you normally do and you'll be able to take your time getting ready. Make your bed, sit down and have a cup of coffee, maybe do a crossword. Whether your day starts stressful or relaxing will definitely have an effect on the rest of your day.
8. Talk to a loved one
Talking to a friend, a boyfriend or girlfriend, or your parents can always make you feel better. Even if you only send a few texts back and forth or you sit and talk for hours, just reach out to anyone you want to. Humans are social creatures. If you're really feeling down in the dumps or stressed out, don't lock yourself in your room all alone, go talk to someone.
9. Unwind whenever you can
Sometimes this seems impossible to do because some days you just have so much on your plate. But this goes along with not working while you eat: even if it's just a 10-20 minute break, take it and just do nothing or do something that relaxes you. Don't over-exhaust yourself by doing too much or it'll do more harm than good. Especially at the end of the day, try to take a break right before bed to watch some TV or read a book or just hang out with friends. Don't go straight from stressing out to sleep. Unwind a little and reward yourself for all the work you've done. That way, you'll have something to look forward to.