1. Do one thing that’s been on your to-do list for the last several weeks. Even if it’s the easiest, least time-consuming thing on your list, simply getting it done and crossing it off will make you feel surprisingly better.
2. Dress a little nicer than you normally would. It doesn’t even have to mean your best blazer or your nicest dress. Just put a little more effort into your appearance today than you normally do and see if it gives you just a little more of a boost.
3. Brighten up your home in some way: buy fresh flowers, open up all the windows, or just make your bed for once. A happier, lighter environment will often have a beneficial effect on your mood.
4. Spend some time shooting the shit with your friends, and avoid looking at your phone the entire time. Sometimes we fail to realize how long we’ve gone without a simple, uninterrupted connection with someone close to us. And we need it even more than we realize.
5. Listen to any TED Talk of your choice. Here is my favorite about being in your twenties.
6. Start a new book. There’s no rush on when you need to finish it, but the sense of accomplishment you feel from doing something other than staring at a screen feels really good.
7. Play a challenging brain game – try a crossword or sudoku puzzle, or any number of other games you can find online for free.
8. Try getting out of bed ten minutes earlier than usual. Sure, it seems like such a trivial thing, but I think we can all agree that the moment our alarm goes off, it seems like the most impossible task in the world. Sometimes such a small (and yet, huge) accomplishment can vastly improve your sense of confidence and accomplishment as you’re heading into your day.
9. Read some of your old college papers and assignments. It’s fun to be nostalgic, but you’ll also see how far you’ve come without even realizing it.
10. Take a walk. If even that sounds like too much, promise yourself it will be no longer than eight minutes. Gotta start somewhere, yeah?
11. Pay attention to the little things your body is able to do that you always take for granted – walking, stretching, hearing, seeing, being able to feed yourself. The more you pay attention, the more you’ll realize these are not little things at all.
12. Get an adult coloring book. A lot of people say they work wonders.
13. Take a staycation. Rent a hotel room all to yourself, go to the spa for the day, go shopping somewhere you don’t normally venture out to, or, if you’re on a tighter budget, simply spend all day at the park or another free venue where you can simply relax and unwind.
14. Perform a random act of kindness: pay for the person’s meal behind you in the drive-thru, cover someone’s toll booth fee, or even simply use your server’s actual name when you’re out at a restaurant. It makes a big difference.
15. Close your eyes and sit quietly for five minutes. It’s a lot harder than it seems, and at the end of it, you’ll have tricked yourself into meditating.
16. Do the dishes, or clean out your room, or anything else that is mindless and will force your brain to take a break from scrolling through your phone.
17. Meal prep, ya’ll. Make one giant (delicious) meal that you can eat for the entire week, and your evenings will be awesome.
18. Try not to spend any money for 24 or 48 hours. Completing the challenge successfully will feel great, and so will saving money.
19. Write a positive tweet or Instagram comment to an artist (singer, comedian, actor, whatever) whom you really admire.
20. Smile at passersby on the street and watch them either smile back or get really confused (either way, it’ll make you laugh).
21. Text someone that you’re thinking about them when you know they’re having a hard day, or week, or month.
22. Read books that tackle these kinds of issues, like The War of Art by Steven Pressfield or Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.
23. Talk to someone – your mom, your friend, your significant other, a counselor, anyone. Tell them you’re struggling. Sometimes it simply needs to be said aloud in order for you to understand it. Hang in there.