Monday, February 26, 2018

10 easy ways to start a happy day



Take the anxiety out of what you are wearing by choosing your clothes the night before. You'll save yourself time and you'll know that what you want to wear is clean and problem free (no wrinkles or buttons missing.)


When I worked at Microsoft, I checked my email obsessively. Emails would come in at 10pm and I would feel compelled to answer. That has stuck with me. I also had a habit of checking my social media feeds as the last thing I did before I closed my eyes, in the middle of the night if I couldn't sleep and the first thing I did when I opened my eyes. I realized this wasn't healthy and often caused me anxiety. Now, I leave my phone charging on my desk in my office. I only reach for it again after breakfast.
I am by nature a very organized person. I like things put away at night before I go to sleep. I also like having my bed made every morning. It makes me feel like I at lest accomplished one thing. It also makes me happy that at the end of the day, I have a bed that is inviting to climb into. If you need more encouragement, watch this University of Texas, Austin commencement speech by Navy Seal Admiral McRaven as he explains why it's important to start every day with your bed made.


One of the things that helped me when I was depressed was to think of five things I was grateful for. I did this even before I got out of bed and I said them out loud. Some days I had to dig deep and they were simple. "I am grateful for this sunny day. I am grateful for this little dog who sleeps on my head at night. .  ." Some days were amazing "I am grateful that I at Walt Disney World today working! I am grateful that I have lost 80 pounds! I am grateful that I found my keys! I am grateful that we are having a baby!" However bad your day might seem, there will always be five things to be grateful for, even if it's just as simple as "I am grateful that I slept well." A grateful heart is a good way to start the day off on a positive path.









Typically, I started my day with an enormous mug of coffee with the fake (full fat, chemicals, oil and sugar) coconut flavored creamer. I usually didn't eat anything else. If I did, it was to grab a fast food egg and cheese biscuit and hash browns. No wonder then, that I was always hungry. My body started the day fueled on sugar, fat and chemicals.  I am ashamed to admit this was still a habit as recent as last month. As I started my new fitness program, however, I started my day with a mug of hot water with fresh squeezed lime juice. I am crazy about limes so I add lime juice to pretty  much everything but you can also add lemon juice. Just don't use the lime or lemon juice that comes in a squeezable plastic fruit. I find that I feel "cleaner" if I begin my day with this. Later, I make a coffee to go with no sugar and no chemicals, but with a coconut superfood powder.


If you want to stay full and feel good, start your day with protein. I find that when I have a carb heavy breakfast, I want more carbs and sugar. I just can't have toast or pancakes in the morning, even if they are so-called healthy. If I have time, I'll make an omelet with goat cheese, mushrooms, chopped tomato and fresh basil.  If I'm short on time, I'll make a protein shake with blackberries or grab one of my raw protein bars that I pre-made and store in the freezer.


I am goal-oriented. I like making lists and checking things off. It helps me to feel organized and happy.  If you find yourself waking up with thoughts swirling in your head of all the things that you have to do today, make a list. If you must accomplish all of those things on that day, go ahead and include them all. However, if all of them aren't absolutely necessary, don't overwhelm yourself by making your list too ambitious.  Write down three things that you know you can accomplish. They can be big or small. It's up to you. For example, my list today is 1. ) Prepare our taxes for our accountant 2.) Take a 1 mile walk with Waverly. (Note: great workout for me with all of the hills here and the baby loves being outside) 3.) Pick up ingredients at Trader Joe's for dinners the rest of the week. If I get these three things done, it will make me happy. Anything else is a bonus.

There is someone in your life who needs a pick-me-up today. Normally, I would say call them but sometimes. all someone needs to hear is a positive note. Plus, by texting or emailing, they can refer to  it again and again during the day if they need to. It can be as simple as "I hope you're having a wonderful day! I miss you!" or "Good luck today with your test! You're going to do great!" or "Did I ever tell you how amazing I think you are?! Go be awesome today!" That could be exactly what someone needs to hear to start their day off.  Doing something to make someone else happy is a pretty good way to make someone else happy too.

I used to have a habit of waking up, checking my social media feeds, drinking 260 calorie coffee, showering and hopping in the car for a junk food breakfast. No wonder my body felt sluggish and tight. Now, after I drink my hot water with lime, I make it a point to stretch and do a five minute mini-workout with weights. I have 3, 5 and 8 pound weights and a kettlebell. I do bicep curls, dumbbell rows, lunges and a one-minute plank. Get the blood moving in your body and you'll feel like you did something really good for your body. Need some weights guidance? Try this brief workout from Self Magazine. 

Music is a mood changer and can set the tone for your day. We have music playing all the time, and it makes our home and office spaces happy. Some days it's Coffehouse music from SiruisXM and sometimes it's our own playlists but the music is always a background to whatever is happening in our day. We have a speaker in our bathroom and when I hop in the shower, I turn on my morning playlist which includes all of my happy songs that help put me in the right frame of mind. For me, the one song that will always make me happy is "Summer Wind" by Frank Sinatra. This song always makes me think of warm, happy summer days at the beach with the scent of Coppertone in the air. Hearing this song just resets my mood. Maybe your song is "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson or "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. Whether it's singing along to 'Happy" by Pharrell Williams or belting out "Let it Go" with your kids in the car, you're setting yourself up for one incredible, amazing, happy day!

Do you have a surefire way that helps you have a happy day? I'd love to hear it!







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