Are you tired of the same old same routine, day in and day out? I sometimes wonder if this is going to be the way it is for the next 40 daunting years of my life. Because if so, something needs to change. Quick. Like real quick.
I’ve discovered that an occasional variation in routine makes my day that much better, and there are so many I-don’t-have-to-actually-work-hard ways to brighten your day. And bonus, some of these might make other people’s days better too!
1. Workout …in the morning.
Even for a morning person, working out in the morning before work can be a challenge. But once you see how good it feels afterwards, you will wonder why you ever worked out at night. A workout and a hot shower give you the perfect boost to start your day. Coffee works too, but who says you can’t work out and have coffee (afterwards)?!
2. Get a little sunshine…even if it’s over to the office café for a snack.
Take a minute to pull yourself away from the world held in the 15-inch screen of your laptop to spend a moment in outside. Go get a snack, an afternoon coffee, make a phone personal call outside, even just take a break and people watch. If you can’t actually go outside for that long, then take an “eyebreak” and look out the window. That little sunshine break will leave you feeling refreshed so you can return back to your computer.
3. Encourage somebody.
A friend, perhaps. Wish them luck at their job interview. Tell them you love their outfit. Encourage them to write the article they just can’t seem to start. Or encourage a coworker. Tell them they did a great job on that last report. Or that you hope a meeting goes well. Guaranteed, not only will you feel better about yourself, but also they will reciprocate and it will be mutual encouragement.
4. Call your mom.
Or a friend. Or anybody. Just to say hi. Text to say “happy Wednesday” or “have a great day!” You will probably make their day, and you will have somebody to talk to other than your coworkers at 11 am.
5. Smile at a stranger.
Fun fact, your body immediately releases endorphins when you smile, even if you force it. This sudden change in mood will help you feel better and reduce stress. So why not, try it…even if it’s a fake one.
6. Read for an hour instead of watching an episode on TV.
(But seriously, you should DVR that show for later.) Reading seems to be a lost art. But pleasure reading isn’t like reading an assigned 200+ pages for a college class (let’s face it, who actually read all that?) or required summer reading books. You get to pick the book, it could be a trashy romance novel, a biography, a memoir, or a how-to-invest-so-I-never-have-to-work-again book. Spending an hour reading what you want to read is liberating, educational, and fun. But good thing you DVRed that show, because who doesn’t want to know if Kourtney is having her third baby or what the newest drama is on The Real Housewives of Wherever.
7. Cook dinner.
Now I’m no chef. I have perfected the art of the omelet and paired with sausage links and an English muffin, that’s a gourmet meal for me. But it’s better than a garbage full of empty Panera or Chipotle bags. Not only is it healthier, but there’s an accomplishment factor that goes along with cooking a meal for yourself.
8. Wear flats.
Ladies, give those feet, calves, quads, and butt a rest! They may look great, but let them look great 4 out of 5 days a week. Your feet will thank you, believe me.
9. Turn your phone off before you go to bed.
Do you really need to be available to answer a text at 3 am? Probably not. So instead being woken up in the middle of the night by a buzz on your bedside table, allow yourself at least one night of peace to sleep until your alarm goes off always seemingly sooner than it should for work.
10. Go to bed early.
Not at like 9pm I-haven’t-done-this-since-I-was-14-early, but 11 or 12. You can still get in 6 hours, and hey, you might actually want to work out again tomorrow morning.