Bring things back to the basics. That’s my motto right now. We seem to have this unshakable belief that things must be complicated. But I’ve always had such joy for the little things, those simple moments and the blissful feeling that accompanies them. In many of those moments, I get hit with the realisation that life really is that simple, but sometimes, it seems to slip my mind.
So, I broke my recipe for a good day down into 9 simple tips!
“The only cure to all this madness; is to dream, far and wide, if possibility doesn’t knock, create a damn door. If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t make it. If the journey you’re travelling seems to far fetched and wild beyond your imagination; continue on it, great things come to the risk-takers. And last but not least, live today; here, right now, you’ll thank your future self for it later.” – Nikki Rowe
Set an intention
Back in April, I wrote a post about a ‘life-changing’ habit I’d discovered. Admittedly, as always happens, I’d fallen off the wagon with it a little since, but getting back on it, it’s starting to shed light on my days once again.
Every night, I like to set an intention for the following day. I’ll sit in the dark of my room, calm my ever-babbling thoughts and ask myself, I suppose, my unconscious self, what I need. It sounds a little crazy, but it works every time. As I listen to the background hum of my consciousness and reflect on my day, something always pops up.
“I need a break”
“I want deeper connections with people”
“I want to feel more in tune with my body”
“I need some healthier foods”
“I want to be more compassionate”
It can be absolutely anything. It might be extremely broad or extremely specific, the point is to just let it be whatever it is and to honour that. In doing this, I’ve found two things. One, the fun of setting such an abstract goal and seeing how I can focus on it throughout the normal actions of my day, and two, a kind of peace within myself, a feeling of synchronicity and generally, just better days, better relationships, better experiences. It feels like me, myself and every other part of my personal entourage turns up to everything I do.
Sometimes there are parts of us that just need a little extra loving. Listen hard enough and they’ll tell you.
Matter of fact: humans need connection. It doesn’t have to necessarily be human (Wilsoooon!), but we need something exterior to tell us we’re alive. That’s just how we’re built.
So make sure you’re getting enough connection, you can get it from almost anywhere. Smile at people you pass on the street. Close your eyes and really feel nature as you walk through the park. Really taste your food. Talk to a loved one and really listen. In a way, I’m telling you to connect fully with the moment and give your full attention to whatever you’re focussing on, be it your best friend, a tree or a bowl of pasta (what a blessed trio).
Connection and presence help us ground in reality. When you connect to the world around you, you’ll find you’re better able to communicate, to enjoy, to feel alive. And for those reasons, it’s a practice that’s guaranteed to help you enjoy your day, simply by being there.
Following connection is atmosphere. You can cultivate the air around you. Music, colours, memorabilia, lights, food, clothes, people, everything. This is something that affects different people in different ways. I find I’m particularly susceptible to it.
I often get the itch to move my room around in order to breathe some new energy into my space. I get a little happy buzz from having a lock screen that reflects how I’m feeling. It sounds silly, but these little things help me feel more inspired and I have no complaints about that.
For others, this might just be feeling good when they feel like their outfit’s on point, feeling happy when it’s sunny out or needing the right song to get through a workout. We all have our little quirks. Feeding those quirks that help you feel more inspired will help you feel more content, they each make your day a little bit better and that effect can only snowball.
Give yourself a head start
Realistically, we can’t guarantee any day will be a good one, but we can give it the best possible chance. Picking out an outfit, making your lunch and packing your bag the night before might seem like small, trivial actions, but they’ll make your morning a breeze. And should anything go wrong, the dreaded faulty alarm clock, for example, it’ll make all the difference that your day isn’t too shaken. This can even be as simple as getting enough sleep. That alone makes the world of a difference.
Breakfast is by far my favourite meal of the day so I always go to bed excited about waking up to it. It sets the tone I go to sleep and wake up in as positive and excited, so I’m ready to jump out of bed in the morning. You can make this anything. Go to bed excited, that’s my point.
Do one thing at a time
Once you’re making your way through your day, it’s important to keep yourself as light as possible. It keeps you dynamic, opportunistic and less likely to be weighed down by anything that happens in your day.
Our brains aren’t built for multitasking. When you focus in on one thing, you can give it all of your attention, all your energy, your everything. You’ll get it done quicker, to a higher standard and probably enjoy it more. This goes for anything, not just work. When you’re relaxing, throw yourself 100% into relaxing!
Work when you’re working, play when you’re playing and walk one step at a time.
Bad days are bound to happen, but most of them are only bad days if we let them be. Many of them are just challenges and changes, there to help us grow and expand. The best technique for how to have a good day is to treat every situation as a win-win.
Spill coffee on your shirt? That’s a funny story and a great opening line for anyone you meet that day.
Didn’t get the job you wanted? Take a look at all of the opportunities around you and find something better.
Locked yourself out? Time to pop over to mum’s for the spare and you might as well have a cuppa and a catch-up whilst you’re there.
Balance your plate
Like every good buffet, filling your plate can be really exciting and should be really exciting, but I always revert to my mum’s (and I feel like almost every other mum’s) advice – “You can always go back for more, but you can’t put it back”.
Aim to be fulfilled every day. Some days this might be getting 10 things done, others it might be getting only one or two. As long as you tried your best (note: this changes every day too) and enjoyed it as much as possible, you’ve succeeded.
Remember to take breaks too! Relaxing is just as important as working. Your relationships are just as important as your job. Plan and work for your future, but live today too. Make every day exciting.
I recently stumbled across an interesting study that spoke about how it’s not just the time that we spend relaxing every day that contributes to our energy the following day, but the actual quality of the activities we do.
We need relaxation time. It makes us happier, calmer, more interesting and better at everything we do. Taking time off now allows you to do better tomorrow, it’s an investment into yourself, your happiness and your health so grab hold of it with both hands.
Besides relaxation, it’s important to take some you time. Have some personal projects and hobbies. Choose a creative outlet, a physical challenge or follow an interest that will bring you another level of fulfilment.
I know this one’s been said a million times over, but some things are popular for a reason. Be grateful. Having gratitude allows you to not only enjoy a memory whilst it’s happening, but also when you relive it in the future.
At the end of your day reflect back and note what you’re grateful for. This will help your mind concentrate on the positives and over time, you’ll begin to teach your mind to look for the positives automatically.
Regardless of the things that happen throughout your day, the only way to truly enjoy it is to truly be there and to grab it with both hands. Be in the moment and savour everything you can from it.
Live fully. Be positive. Thrive.
I hope this brings a little brightness to your days! Love Ella-Rose xx