We have all had “One of those days.” You know the days you don’t see coming that hit you like a freight train. Or more commonly for me the days that nothing really bad happens, just a string of unfortunate events. Yeah, those days suck the life out of me. During one of these epic “What in the world is going on?” days, I stopped and thought, “Man, what can I do to make this day better? What can I do to make every day better? Do I have the power to control that?” I decided the answer was Yes, yes, I do. Then I asked myself, “How do I accomplish this?” I was hoping for a life-changing solution. I came up with a few things I now do on the regular to have a good day. I expect this list to change and grow as my life does.
Pre Day Prep
Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is my day like I am a ball of yarn for a cat named The Universe?” I realized I was unprepared for my day; this was good news. I can change that. I started by getting everything I needed for the next morning in one spot. Clothes, work-bag, already filled with the things I needed, and my keys. No more waisting time in the mornings packing my bag or looking for my car keys.
Picture this. You walk into the office with a smile on your face, set your coffee or beverage of choice, down. The sun is shining, and the birds are chirping. Then BOOM! POW! KABAM! You are pushed and pulled from one project to the other, never completing anything. This can be curbed by your days’ intention and taking a deep breath.
I know sometimes you have to go put a fire out, but that’s not what I am talking about here. I am talking about not being able to stay on task. This creates stress and usually a big mess. Taking the time to make a list in order of priority will stop the madness, do this for work and home life. I do not like the days I get home from work and piddle around only to realize I have missed out on a whole evening of doing something I love. List and sticking to them is what makes the world go round.
Focus On The Positive
Focusing on the positive is a huge one for me. Thinking positive can be as simple as, yes, I spilled my drink, but nothing was ruined because of it. Taking something negative that happens and finding the good can go a long way in changing a bad day around. Pausing for a few minutes to look at the things around you is another way to focus on the positive. Are you glad it’s a sunny day? Are you glad it’s raining? Whatever you take delight in focus on that.
Boy, this one is huge! What is gratitude exactly? It is being thankful and being willing to show appreciation for a kindness done to you and returning kindness. Can you imagine if gratitude didn’t exist?
It is so easy to be grateful, yet we often let the opportunities slip by. You can simply start by being grateful. Here are a couple of things I find myself being thankful for. The encouraging text my husband sent. The fact my office plant is still alive, I have a real knack for killing those poor defenseless things. My friends that text me silly memes all day. Can you name three things you are thankful for?
I don’t want to leave out the other side of gratitude. The appreciation for a kindness done to you. When someone is kind to you, say Thank You. You could even repay it later on, but don’t forget. I use the reminder app on my phone, so I don’t forget – Send Johnny a thank you card, for example. Gratitude and being kind is the sweet stuff of life.
I had to take a long look at my week and decide if taking some downtime would benefit me and guess what I decided it would not. However, I have read a few articles on the benefits of downtime, so I decided to give it a go.
For some of you, this one will be hard. Your day is already full of work, friends, family, and obligations. I get it; we are all in the same boat here.
I decided the weekend generally reserved for work and laundry would be my best chance at taking some time to unwind. I spent a whole week thinking about what I would do with myself; a day with my dog would be the ticket. My dog, JD, is the best; he is a Labradoodle. I don’t spend nearly as much time with him as I would like.
I planned a morning hike every Saturday for the next four weeks, and you know what? The first time out was painful. I kept thinking about all the other things I could be doing and almost pulled the plug on the whole thing. Then I decide to go ahead with the next three Saturdays. I am glad I stuck with it. They have been life-changing for me. My weekends are more productive, and I look forward to it. Now I am working on ways to implement downtime during the week.
I will add, if you don’t have a dog, you should think about getting one, dogs really know how to turn a day around with that whole unconditional love thing.
Sometimes stuff just happens no matter how well prepared for the day we are. You step in that gum. You make a mistake at work. The question to ask yourself when stuff happens is, Will I even remember this in a week or a month? Learn the difference between what requires your attention and what is really just not that big of a deal. Don’t dwell on things, no good can come from it. Let everything you can roll off your back.
As you can see, these things are doable. It just takes effort on your part. You know what? You are worth it.