Emotional Well-being//

How to Make Every Day a Bit Better

We offer some fun suggestions, simple changes and silly but cheerful tips that can brighten your world.


Put up a picture. We’re not talking about investing in expensive artwork — this is about displaying any image that moves or inspires you. Pop it by your bed, above your desk or wherever you’re sure to see it. If you like, just stick it up temporarily with washi tape. However you do it, notice how much better your day feels when a picture you love catches your eye.

Write a ‘note to self.’ Hang a piece of graphic art that amuses you or reminds you of a life truth. Or simply write a bit of wit or wisdom on a sticky note and put it up somewhere in the house.

On a future date in your calendar, write an inspiring or funny note, such as “Stay amazing,” “Take a break” or “Eat chocolate at 3 p.m.”

Tuck bucks away. Leave a $5 or $10 bill in the pocket of an infrequently worn coat. When you find it again, it’ll be a gift from you to you. Do something thoughtful with it for yourself or a friend.

Drink water when you wake up. Your body loses fluid while you sleep, and you spend about eight hours without a drink. By the time you wake up, you’ll be slightly dehydrated. Start your day by drinking a glass of water before you move on to coffee or tea. It’s great for your health and can improve your skin too.

Create a ‘done’ list. To-do lists have a habit of constantly growing, which can be demoralizing. Every now and then, make a list of things that you’ve already achieved on your way toward a specific goal and add to it every day.

If you depend on a to-do list to keep you going, at least leave all the completed jobs on it, satisfyingly crossed off, to give you a sense of achievement no matter how many tasks remain.

Add one item you love to each room. Whether it’s a pillow, a piece of furniture or a simple vase, try to work one treasure that means something to you into each room. You may be amazed at how often your eye seeks it out, and at how gratifying it is to see it there.

Keep your sheets nice and fresh. So simple but so effective! Nothing makes you feel more pampered than sinking into a bed made up with freshly laundered sheets. Make sure you always have a set clean and ready to use, and aim to change your bedding at least once a week.

Invest in another pair (or two) of reading glasses. Leave the spare readers in key rooms, so you never have to plod despondently around the house looking for them.

Read a book. Fallen out of the habit of reading? It’s time to reconnect with books. Banish phones, tablets and e-readers from the bedroom, and go old school by reading a real book, not a screen, before you hit the lights.

Research suggests that this will help you sleep better, plus there’s something pleasing about holding a real book in your hands.

Wear warm clothes. I don’t mean woolly sweaters or lots of layers; I mean ones that are literally warm. On cold days, put clothes on straight from the dryer. Or drape the day’s outfit over a radiator while you take your morning shower, then climb into the toasty garments. It’s like wearing a hug.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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