Before you think that this is a sappy motivational post, don’t worry: it’s not. This is about 7 simple things that you can do everyday to help you get through even the toughest of times, keep your spirits up, and stay happy all day. Give it a try; you’ll like it!
- Give yourself something to look forward to: When you have a hard day ahead, the first thing to do is set a goal for something that you will be able to accomplish by the end of the day to get through all of the challenges the day ahead will bring. It doesn’t have to be a complicated goal; it can be something simple and ordinary that you can look forward to every day. Examples include dinner with the family, a drink with friends after work, cuddling with your dog, playing with your child, or catching up on your favorite TV show.
- Eat a good breakfast: I’m not trying to sound cliche, because really, eat a good breakfast! It is the most important meal of the day. Make sure it has some protein in it for staying power to give you energy for your brain and body to work well. Protein also kickstarts your metabolism. If you are short on time, a protein bar or protein shake will suffice—just make sure that is has plenty of protein and isn’t loaded with sugar.
- Get something over with early in the day: Is there something you need to do today that you have been dreading? Tackle it first and get it over with. Once you are done, you will feel better that you did it, or at least, happy it is finished.
- Make contingency plans for potential challenges: Are you worried about what could go wrong today? Make a plan for how you will deal with these challenges so that you can at least feel confident that you will know what to do if a problem arises or the unexpected happens.
- Give a compliment or send a thank you: There is something to be said about spreading positivity. It makes you feel good because you make someone else feel good. A compliment is a simple thing that you can do at random, but you should do it at least once a day. Starting out your day by sending a thank-you email to a colleague, friend, or family member is an excellent practice. It starts out your day positively by doing a good deed, cements relationships, and makes you feel good for a long time.
- Kiss your loved ones: When you leave the house every morning, make sure to kiss your loved ones goodbye. The book The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Tell Us features a psychological study done in Germany in the 1980s that found that people who kissed their spouses goodbye before leaving for work lived an average of five years longer and earned 20% more than those who left with no kiss. They also found that men who didn’t kiss their spouses in the morning increased the probability of being in a car accident by 50%. The theory behind the results is that it isn’t the actual kiss; rather, beginning the day with a positive attitude leads to a healthier lifestyle. If you don’t have a significant other to kiss goodbye in the morning, then hugging 5 people a day is a good substitute and has been shown to cause happier people.
- Check yourself! Our last tip of the day is to set yourself up for continual happiness. Several times a day schedule in small things that make you happy. Do something that gives you back just a bit of control over your day and you can manage your mood throughout the day with just the little things like a walking break, a quick snack, a second thank-you email, another compliment for someone, a little chair workout, or even some stretches. This can be something that just takes a few minutes can reroute your mood and put you back into control over your day and your mood.