I don’t know about anyone else, but today was one of the Mondayest Mondays I’ve had in a while. No amount of coffee could help how much I was struggling along, though believe me I did try to make it work. Recently, I’ve been compiling a list of ways to be happier, based on things I’d want to hear from a friend when I’m feeling down. Since Lord knows I could certainly benefit from this list at the moment, I couldn’t think of a more perfect time to share! Below are 25 ideas I came up with to help you have a happier Monday:
- Buy yourself a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. This is a perfect mini-splurge that’ll lift the mood in any room. Hint: Trader Joe’s is always my go-to for the best flowers at affordable prices!
- Put down your phone for an hour. Seriously, I think we would all be appalled if we added up the amount of hours staring at our phones all day. That much screen-staring can seriously strain your eyes and drain your energy. Better yet, commit to a social media break for a few weeks. Sometimes you need to teach yourself some tough-but-necessary lessons on what’s occupying your time.
- Get some fresh air. Call up a friend you haven’t seen in a while to go on a walk, or take your pups for a walk around the neighborhood. Dogs make everything better.
- Simply relocate. If you find yourself in the same routine of coming home after work and sitting in the same spot on the couch, just get a change of scenery! Sit on the front or back porch instead. It’ll literally give you a fresh perspective on things.
- Pay someone a compliment. It’s no secret that us ladies can get pretty competitive sometimes. But everyone has their own insecurities and can really use a surprise compliment more than you know. P.S. Nothing bad will happen to you by lifting someone else up. Their reaction may just light up your day!
- Read a book. I have great news for you: being an adult means you get to read what you want, any time you want! No more being force-fed great American classics by professors. Pick up something that interests you, and dive in. Hint: Some of those classics are actually really good, and much easier to appreciate on your own time!
- Cook something nourishing. Challenge yourself to cook something that’s truly good for you with the freshest ingredients you can find. Right now, I can’t get enough of bell peppers, spinach, grilled chicken, and zucchini. (I got hungry just typing that…)
- Grab a cup of coffee. Here’s the catch: don’t take it to-go. If you have half an hour to spare, go sit at that local coffee shop you’ve been meaning to check out, and just go! Bring work if you need to, but don’t be afraid to just go sit by yourself, enjoy a cup of Joe, and do a little people watching.
- Actually eat breakfast. I’m speaking to myself on this one as much as anyone else. You can whip up some avocado toast in about 5 minutes, and it’ll give you so much more energy to get through the day.
- Talk it out. I’m pretty much a professional at bottling things up, so again, all fingers pointed at me. We all have things constantly weighing us down, so sit down with someone you trust to both talk (and listen) to clear your conscience.
- Be mindful of your bedtime routine. If your bedtime routine currently looks like sorta-kinda taking off your makeup, giving your teeth a quick brush, then scrolling through Instagram until you fall asleep, it might be time for a few adjustments. We’ve all seen (and ignored) the studies that all say the same thing: you are guaranteed a better night’s sleep if you fall asleep without your phone. (This seems to be a reoccurring theme in this list.) Lose the phone. Give yourself a facial, put on your favorite pj’s, drink a big glass of water, and fall asleep to a good book instead.
- Drink water. Nothing else. For a week straight. BRB Chardonnay. We are in this together.
- Wear actual pajamas! Save the oversized college t-shirt for the gym. Wearing cute pj’s gives me the illusion that I have my life together. Actually getting your life together can wait until the morning.
- Write it down. If it’s getting your planner together, your daily to-do list, your bucket list, or just something you really need to get off your mind, put it on a piece of paper. Studies show that people who write down their goals are more likely to accomplish them than those who don’t. Plus, we all love that immediate gratification of putting that little check mark beside completed tasks.
- Do a clean-out of everything you’ve been ignoring. Your purse. Your bathroom cabinets. Your glove compartment. Under your bed. Your catch-all drawer. Take it one item at a time, and it’ll make a big difference!
- Begin a long-term project. In a world often focused on immediate gratification, learn to enjoy the process instead. Set lofty goals such as learning a new language (use this free app!), and commit to studying for a certain amount of time every night. This will set you up for happiness in your accomplishments down the road.
- Light a candle. There’s something so soothing about burning a yummy candle that warms up the whole room. This one from Anthropologie is my absolute favorite.
- Go out of your way for someone else. Here’s the catch: don’t tell anyone you did it. A little happiness and a little humility can go a long way.
- Get rid of excess. Oh boy, I could write an entire novel about this one. (In fact, someone already did!) I’ll try to keep it short and sweet if I can: think about what you truly need to survive. Get rid of things you don’t wear in your closet, even if you like them. (I really did just say that, and meant it.) Guess what? You will still be clothed. Go on a cleanse for a few days. It’ll teach you how much you actually need to eat to get through the day. Repeat this mantra: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
- Turn off the news. I know, I know. It’s important to be informed. But frankly, the news doesn’t offer much of anything positive these days. Instead, either turn off the TV completely, or start watching a show that’s good for the soul. My mom and I just started This Is Us, and we are hooked!
- Stretch. If you don’t have a regular exercise routine, it may have been a while since you’ve given your muscles the loosening up they probably need. (Idea: Stretch during commercial breaks while watching This Is Us! See above.)
- Stop being so hard on yourself. This is the hardest one for me. Just know that if you’re here today, you’re doing something right. We have all been through dark valleys and up mountains, but just take a few minutes to stop and think of all of the unique experiences you’ve had unlike anyone else that have shaped and molded you into who you are. There is no one on this earth like you, who knows all of the things you do, who has seen the things from the perspective you have. That, my friends, is something to be joyful about.
- Call your grandparents! Aside from grandparents being the best to begin with, they also have a few decades of wisdom you can soak up if you make the time.
- Do something you love…even if you’re not “that good” at it. For me, it’s painting. I wouldn’t consider myself anywhere near a truly talented painter, but I do it anyway simply because it’s fun and relaxing. Maybe it’s playing guitar or some other old hobby, but don’t shy away from hobbies that bring you joy simply because they’re not “performance ready.”
- Choose happiness. I know, easier said than done. It takes time to get to a place when you realize that happiness is a choice. The truth is that both good and bad things are inevitably going to happen to you every day. The sooner you accept that fact and choose to roll with the punches and focus on the good, the happier you’ll be!
Shop the Post:
Photo Credit: Rachel and Noah Echols of Iron City Photo