Ever heard someone say ‘I’m ok just having one of those days’ and thought to yourself what do they actually mean when they say it? For some, it means they didn’t accomplish as much work as they could have, a meeting fell behind schedule, or that they spilt their morning coffee all over their last clean shirt. For others, the phrase can hold a deeper meaning in that they’ve been struggling with motivation, in the midst of deciding whether or not to make a big life change or they’ve got some health issues.
The most important thing to do when you’re having one of those days, everyone has them, is not to let it get you down. Don’t be embarrassed as it’s fine that you’re admitting you aren’t doing so good but don’t be passive about it, don’t let those feelings of sadness, frustration, anger or apathy overwhelm you. Try to hone in what it is that’s making you feel that way and see if you can do anything about it. We can’t rewind the clock nor can we change train delays, angry bosses or upset kids but we can analyse our response to these situations. Sometimes we know straight away that the day isn’t going to be great but is there anything we can do to help ourselves? Surprisingly, yes there is, and we’re going to share ten easy tips that everyone can use to brighten up their morning, afternoon or evening.
Flickr Photo At: Morgaine
Sort Out Your Bed
Many of us jump out of bed, shower and dress before heading downstairs and don’t return to our bedroom until late at night. This means that whatever state you left it in that morning, it’ll still be there to greet you as you go upstairs. Which, if you’ve had a not so good day, will only help to acerbate feelings of sadness and worry as you’ll feel pressured to clean up before you can get into bed and relax. Start your day off right by making your bed, not only will you have a tidy room but studies have shown a clean, bright and organised area can help your sleep pattern stabilise into a more natural, restful rhythm.
Flickr Photo At: kris krüg
Declutter Your Desk
There’s nothing worse than the sight of a desk that’s stacked with paper that resembles the leaning tower of Pisa, finding things you should have replied to weeks ago, and losing the telephone under a pile of books. You’re also hunting for invoices or sales figures which you have to present in about twenty minutes, and you can’t find a pen. How you’ve managed to get any work done in this chaotic environment, we don’t know but all that’s going to change. When you’ve next got a spare ten minutes, start organising your in-tray, clearing out old sweet wrappers and putting anything you don’t need in the bin. Once you’ve created some space, then go through the rest of the contents filing what you need to. You’ll soon wonder how you found anything in all the mess and start feeling much more productive, organised and able to concentrate better.
Flickr Photo At: Smabs Sputzer
Pack Healthy Snacks
Everyone loves snacks, but you have to be careful that your morning packet of chips isn’t masking comfort eating. We all tend to eat more when we’re feeling bored, dissatisfied or sad and it can lead to problems later on. Curb any snack attack by taking nuts, fruit and dark chocolate to work with you as not only will these items give you more energy but will also leave you feeling fuller for longer. Another way to avoid temptation is to make sure you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet of at least three solid meals per day.
Flickr Photo At: jdog90
Wear An Inspirational T-Shirt
You might want to save this one for the weekend unless you work in a cool, laid-back type of office environment. Studies show that what we wear has an impact on our moods so if you’re wearing all black and feeling a bit low why not brighten things up with a yellow shirt or blue trousers? You could even buy yourself an inspirational t- shirt as every time you walk past a window or mirror the ironic, meaningful or funny slogan will make you smile, or even laugh and laughing is incredibly important for mental health. You could even get the whole family in on it and buy everyone personalised t-shirts that express their personality at http://www.zoeyspersonalizedgifts.com/personalized-baby-bodysuits/.
Flickr Photo At: Pawel Loj
Listen To More Music
The benefits of listening to music are practically endless, but we’ll go ahead and list a few of them because it’s not just about the song it’s how it makes you feel. Music has been proven to help lower blood pressure, reduce stress and boost people’s moods and well as having a calming influence on their behaviour and the right kind of music has even been able to send people to sleep. Music is also good for the soul, and there’s nothing better than putting some tunes on, pouring yourself a lovely cold drink and kicking back and relaxing. Humans are also capable of linking music to emotions, and certain songs will bring back good memories and happier times which will instantly make you feel better.
Flickr Photo At: TIM HOGGARTH
Zest Happiness Into Your Life
In Japan, researchers found that lemon zest helped to calm the body’s flight or fight response when faced with stress and difficult situations. If you’re feeling like everything’s just falling apart grab yourself a fresh lemon, or some lemon juice and give it a good sniff. You could even try making yourself a zesty fruit smoothie every morning as not only do fruit contain antioxidants they are filled with a multitude of healthy vitamins and minerals. For example, oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C while bananas contain potassium as well as serotonin which automatically helps to boost your mood. If you don’t like lemons you could try lavender, not too much or it could make you sleepy, and basil or juniper as they’ll do the trick as well.
Flickr Photo At: Earl McGehee
Don’t worry we aren’t talking serious exercise, although regular activity is excellent for you, just some gentle stretches. Simply raise and lower your shoulders a few times while slowly breathing in and out at the same, rotate your arms in a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction as well as stretching your legs out ahead of you or leaning up against the wall at a 45-degree angle. Regular stretching helps to improve circulation and flexibility, and exercise is a fantastic weapon in the fight against stress.
Flickr Photo At: JimileeK
Keep A Gratitude Journal
Find a spare notebook, or go ahead and buy yourself a new one, then simply jot down the good and the not so good things that happened to you that day. The book is solely for your usage so feel free to rant about that annoying work colleague, how your kids don’t ever want to clean up after themselves or why your friends aren’t texting you back. However, this book is also about celebrating the positives, however, big or small, so make sure you remember to make a note of all the good things that have happened. Over time, a gratitude diary will help you to release negative emotions in a constructive manner while showing you in black and white all the things you have to be grateful for in your life.
Flickr Photo At: Caleb Roenigk
We aren’t talking about taking a vow of silence or a pilgrimage to a Tibetan monastery, but instead a short twenty minutes each day where you take the time to breathe. Find yourself a quiet, peaceful spot and make sure you won’t be interrupted, first thing in the morning and last thing at night are the easiest and check you’re not too cold or hot. Then lie, or sit on the bed or floor and close your eyes allowing your breathing to even out. Pay attention to the sound of your breath and mentally count your breaths in and out as you start to relax. Don’t worry if thoughts pop into your mind, acknowledge them and then let them float away as you return to your breathing. Many of us already practice daily meditation, from doctors, teachers and lawyers to actors and celebrities. You can even get free meditation apps that will count your breathing, take you on a short visual meditation and provide you with a range of relaxing sounds.
Flickr Photo At: Jacqui Brown
Switch Off Your Phone
Whoever they are and whatever they want they can wait as it’s important that we take short, regular breaks from our electronic devices. You’re not a robot and neither should you think like one so instead of answering work emails at eight pm, turn your phone on silent or better still off. Go and do something fun, constructive or creative unless it’s an absolute emergency. We’re all aware of the psychological effects that technology can have on us but staring at a computer, or tablet screen all day isn’t good for our physical health and can cause eye strain, headaches and even nausea. Make sure that you set aside twenty minutes each day where you aren’t surrounded by endless beeping and buzzing and get outside into the fresh air.