Ever felt like diving back under the covers when your alarm goes off? It happens to even the most positive people at times. Sometimes, life throws you curve balls. Sometimes, bad things happen in three’s. Sometimes, life seems to go so catastrophically wrong that you can’t see any way out of the mess!
So, if you’re dreading a particularly challenging day at work, feeling anxious about your finances or you are thoroughly stressed out by a family or personal situation – just how do you stay positive?
Here are some ways you can get yourself into the right frame of mind before you even leave the house/get to your desk:
1. Watch something funny
You could watch your favourite comedy film or programme before bed or watch some funny clips on YouTube in the morning, whilst eating breakfast. Anything that make you smile or laugh out loud will put your mind in a more positive place. It will bring a bit of happiness to your standard morning routine. You can watch something funny on the bus or listen to a funny audio book in your car.
2. Make an effort
If you’re looking good, you start feeling good. Get ready for the day like you are going to a job interview and you will be oozing confidence. Add some jewellery to your outfit, style your hair, or try out a new lipstick. This might not be as tempting if you work from home, but at least get out of those pyjamas! Also, eat a good breakfast! Try porridge with blueberries or scrambled egg on toast…you need energy if you’re going to be awesome!
3. Switch up your routine
Life can become a bit dull and monotonous, so why not try doing something different? If you’re a freelancer, you could try taking your laptop to a pretty coffee shop with a view. If you normally commute to work, add something fun into your journey: this could be anything from the music you listen to in your car, a book you take on the train, or you could even change the route you walk or cycle, even if you have to take a detour.
4. It’s the little things that count
Why not treat yourself to one of life’s little luxuries? Even if it’s only a once a week treat, a special morning coffee or a tasty snack to look forward to at lunch time can make all the difference.
5. Give yourself things to look forward to
You’re more likely to be productive if there’s something to look forward to later. Give yourself little rewards: if you’ve spent three hours completing that job application, reward yourself with a lunch break watching Netflix; if you met that massive deadline at work, treat yourself to a takeaway; if you’ve ticked off everything on your ‘to do’ list, do a celebratory dance and go and buy some chocolate. Plan a mid-week cinema trip or a day out with friends or family at the weekend; looking forward to this will keep your momentum going!
6. Get the endorphins going
I’m probably one of the laziest people in the world, but on the rare occasion that I actually motivate myself to do some proper exercise (usually about once a fortnight I’m ashamed to say) I feel absolutely amazing afterwards. I’m not a gym person but I know some people find it useful to have a gym buddy so they can motivate one another; the classes are also great because they bring an element of fun to the hard work. At the moment, because I’m broke and living in a sleepy little village, I get my exercise DVDs out when I’m ready for a physical challenge. Get the heart racing, the sweat flowing (nice) and the music pumping. After a post-exercise shower, you’ll be ready to take on the world!
7. Slow down your mind
Some people hear the word ‘meditation’ and laugh. I didn’t think meditation was for me but I ended up giving it a go to calm myself down before stressful situations. There are tons of guided meditation videos on YouTube, so all you have to do is lie on your bed or sit on a chair, shut your eyes, relax and let the headphones to the talking. I found it hard to sit still and concentrate at first, but after a bit of practice, I did find that it really helped to clear my mind of worry.
8. Stretch those legs
Walking is good for the soul. A ten minute brisk walk in the morning is great for blowing the cobwebs away. It gives you a chance to think and to focus, as well as giving your body a bit of a work-out. If you haven’t got time in the morning, you could go for a lunch time stroll. If you commute by public transport, you could leave earlier and walk to the next bus stop (unless your nearest bus stop is already miles away!)
9. Take snoozing seriously
You snooze and you certainly don’t lose. Having enough sleep will make your life easier. This can be tough when you have a lot on your mind. My top tips would be: reading before you go to bed; no food or caffeine after 8 pm; listen to comforting sounds to help you fall asleep (I like listening to the sound of the sea). Everyone needs different amounts of sleep, so you will have to find what works for you. But when you get it right, your mornings should become a little bit easier.
10. Be kind to yourself
If you do wake up feeling the doom, remind yourself of the good things in your life. It might be worth making a list and keeping it by your bed, so you can read it in the morning. Write down what you are thankful for, what you have achieved and what has made you happy. Then write a list of your goals for the day/week/year so you can focus your mind. Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up when things don’t work out. Every day is a fresh start and you never know what’s just around the corner.