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20 Small Ways to Brighten Your Day

Do you ever catch yourself starting to feel like every day is the same? Like you don't have enough to look forward to each day? Or the days start passing quickly before your eyes, and you realize you aren't taking time to enjoy them?

When we fall into established patterns and routines, newness eventually wears off. I find myself ebbing and flowing through these "duller" seasons more often lately. As such, I'm focusing on slowing down and appreciating certain moments and activities throughout my day. And ensuring I always have something to look forward to, no matter how small.

As part of my retrospection, I put together a list of 20 things that help brighten my day. I hope you find something on this list that you can implement that will brighten your day too!

  1. Do a long cat-like stretch in bed upon waking. Your whole body, groaning loudly, lengthen as much as possible, and take a few deep breaths.
  2. Choose an inspirational quote to serve as your mantra for the day or week. Write it on a Post-It note and refer back to it when you need a boost.
  3. Pick up (or order) fresh flowers to set out on the counter. Choose brightly colored flowers, or perhaps your all-time favorite.
  4. Send a handwritten note to a friend, loved one, or colleague. Or, consider joining a pen pal exchange. I'm currently participating in Penpalooza.
  5. Turn on your favorite upbeat song as loud as you can, stand up, and dance! Move your body in a way that feels good to you, no matter how silly you think you may look.
  6. Look different today. Wear that shirt you've been saving for special occasions, part your hair to the opposite side, or add an accessory to your outfit.
  7. Think of the funniest movie scene you've ever seen. Now spend a few minutes rewatching it and laughing out loud. This scene from The Proposal gets me every time!
  8. Play hooky and catch up on rest. Call in sick if you can, or if you're your boss, cancel as many of your responsibilities for the day as possible. Set no expectations for the day ahead and relax.
  9. Bake a sweet treat! Head to the kitchen and bake your favorite cake, cookies, cupcakes, whatever your heart desires.
  10. Plan an at-home movie night complete with your film of choice, microwave popcorn, and other theater snacks—pile on the pillows and blankets for extra comfort.
  11. Engage in a random act of kindness. Do something nice for a loved one or a stranger—your choice. Remember that kindness doesn't always have to be monetary in value.
  12. Ask someone how you can help support them, and then do it. Be it through introducing a connection, giving your time, or sharing your expertise. They may return the favor when you need it most.
  13. Share a great book you recently finished with a friend who might enjoy it. If you have a paperback copy, pass it along directly! I recently read The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans and really enjoyed it.
  14. Go for a walk. It doesn't have to be a speed walk; go at a comfortable pace. Observe your surroundings and try to sneak in as much nature as possible, if you can. Consider listening to an audiobook or podcast.
  15. Ditch all social media channels for a day (or longer, if needed). Use the extra time you would be spending scrolling doing something you've wanted to get around to for a while.
  16. Cuddle with your pets, your spouse, or your kids. Embrace the physical closeness, and hopefully, your stress levels will decrease too.
  17. Read some good news. Check out The Happy News by Emily Coxhead or Good News Network if you don't know where to start.
  18. Call or text a friend you haven't spoken to in ages. Spend the evening catching up and reminiscing about the good ol' days.
  19. Grab a notebook and your favorite colored pens and spend some time journaling. Empty your mind and write down how you're feeling, what's worrying you, how you want your week to look, and what you're going to manifest. Add doodles and drawings too.
  20. Anyone who knows me knows I swear by the power of the Yoga with Adriene YouTube channel. Spend a few minutes or a more extended period practicing yoga and paying attention to your breath. Choose one of Adriene Mishler's specialized practices based on your mood and how you're feeling.

Cheers to brighter days ahead every single day!

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