It’s Friday, so you are probably feelin’ pretty good, but are you feeling that good? Wouldn’t it be nice to get that much enjoyment out of every day? Not even the whole day (let’s not be greedy), but just a few moments that were so good you had to laugh out loud?
Here are a few tips, totally “borrowed” from Real Simple magazine, to help you get a little more relaxed and happy throughout a regular ol’ day.
- Eat the same breakfast every day: according to Susan Kleiner, PH.D and registered dietician, having the same food at the same time each day helps reduce stress and streamline your morning. I definitely agree with this. I eat the same piece of toast with peanut butter every day. Well, not the exact same piece–I don’t think that’s possible–you know what I mean. Sometimes I go crazy and think, “I’ll eat two today,” but I always regret it. One piece, with a little creamy peanut butter is just right. Call me a creature of habit, but it’s nice to be able to count on breakfast. Plus, studies of people who have lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off at least five years, show that limiting the variety of foods you eat is actually helpful in maintaining weight.
- Savor your coffee: don’t just gulp down your morning cup of black gold while you shout at fellow commuters to drive faster. Jennifer Anderson, PH.D, and expert on Japanese tea rituals, says that taking the time to savor your coffee helps you slow down and appreciate a delicious, and often frazzled part of your day. She recommends this routine, adapted from the sometimes four-hour tea ceremony: focus on the drink in front of you. Notice the smell, and relish the flavor.
- Write an “ignore list”: author Peter Bregman recommends making a note of the tasks that aren’t worth your time. Stuff that often clogs your thoughts and takes a toll on your sense of accomplishment, but that you really don’t need to do. So whether it’s admitting you’re really not going to clean the hall closet, or just closing the door on your husband’s dirty laundry pile, let it go. Whew, I’m smiling already.
- Turn off your mind for a few minutes: this may be an unfair generalization, but for men, this doesn’t appear to be a problem. Sorry guys. Women seem to struggle more with this advice, which comes from sports-psychology consultant and former major-league pitcher, Bob Tewksbury. But as Tewksbury says, quieting negative internal dialog can really help you find a little peace. He recommends listening to music, playing cards or watching a t.v. show. I’d add reading to that list; say, maybe your favorite wellness blog?
- Really listen to the answer when you ask, “How are you?”: educator Laurie DeAnglis says this is an easy way to connect with others, and show them you care about what’s going on with them. Lots of studies show that focusing on others helps boost your mood, and allows your troubles to fade into the background.
That’s it. Hopefully one or more of those tips speaks to you, and helps you enjoy your day a little more. If not, well, you can always enjoy an adult beverage. That usually helps too! Happy Friday!