1: Wake up a few minutes earlier
You know the scenario; you wake up in a flurry of panic the moment your alarm goes off because you need to be on time for work. You rush around the house trying to get ready but somehow get more cereal down your crisp white shirt than in your mouth; you put the milk in the dishwasher instead of the fridge; and, as you rush from room to room your sleeve gets stuck on the door handle, sending you hurtling back a metre as you were mid-way through marching out of the living room on a mission (is there anything more annoying when you’re in a rush?). As you can probably relate to from this example, being short of time makes your stress levels rise and you’re in a pickle faster than you can say “should have set my alarm earlier”. Make your mornings easier by setting your alarm 15 minutes before you need to get up. This will leave plenty of time for your body and mind to wake up so you can get ready without the stress.
2: Make a happy list
Sometimes we dwell on the things that make us sad rather than concentrating on what makes us happy. It takes a little brain training to change your thought process from negative to positive, and a good way to do this is make a list of things that make you happy and keep referring to it every time you feel sad. Whether you want to write down your favourite quote from a movie, the date of a holiday you have booked, or you stick down a photograph of yourself on one of the happiest days of your life, it’s sure to lift your spirits when you’re feeling down in the dumps. Corny? Yes. Helpful? Most definitely.
3: Sniff a lemon
Yep, you read that right. To improve your day, simply sniff a lemon. Scientists at Tel Aviv University suggest that citrus fragrances – particularly lemon – can alleviate depression and boost our mood. Indeed, the smell of a lemon boosts your levels of serotonin (a feel-good hormone) and lowers levels of norepinephrine (a stress hormone), so improve your day by burning a lemon scented candle or spritzing on a lemony fragrance, or you could just go all out and sniff a lemon.
4: Cuddle someone
A warm embrace with your spouse or even your pet boosts the natural feel-good hormones released by the body, reduces stress, and creates a feeling of mutual trust.
5: Sweat it out
Encourage your body’s natural feel good hormones to give your mood – and ultimately your day – a boost. Walk the dog, go for a run, or dance around the living room for half an hour; anything that gets your blood pumping and makes you sweat will do the trick. The endorphins released during exercise are scientifically proven to boost your mood, making any form of physical activity a sure-fire way to boost your day.
6: Have a bath
Rather than that quick dash in and out of the shower, make some me-time and have a bubble bath and some time to work on your personal appearance. Our day always seems to go better when we look and feel our best, so gentlemen, have a shave and use a deep moisturising balm. Ladies, apply face and hair masks and paint your nails alongside your bath. It’s surprising how much a little me-time can perk up your day.
7: Prioritise your tasks
A common reason for us to be having a bad day is stress. Having a long list of tasks to do can be overwhelming so tackle any problems head-on at the start of the day to get them out of the way as early as possible. Tackling your problems in the morning will eliminate feelings of worry throughout the rest of your day. A good way to prioritise your tasks is to write them all down and then number them from one to 10, with one being the most important, and 10 being the least important. Work your way through the tasks starting with the most important first, and tick them off as you go along. You will feel a sense of achievement each time you tick a task off.