Ever had one of those no-good-very-very-bad-just-plain-rotten days? Maybe your boss dropped a report on your desk at 4:45pm, your partner left all the dirty dishes in the sink again or you missed the gym for the 2nd week in a row. With the speed that life moves at and more distractions than ever before it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. But life is not just about rushing from meeting to meeting, getting the bills paid and endlessly hitting the snooze button on your alarm. Give yourself a break and reclaim joy with small things and activities guaranteed to brighten your day.
Treat yourself to a night of painting (with a glass or two of wine) at a guided art class where instructors teach you basic techniques and provide direction on how to paint your own masterpiece that you take home at the end of the night. Many classes include a drink and even food, as well as a chance to meet new people or just keep to yourself and flex your Van Gogh muscles.
Who needs a special occasion or secret admirer? Not you! Treat yourself to a ‘surprise’ delivery of flowers. Choose a bouquet from Bloom Magic and have it delivered to your workplace to give yourself a little boost every time you see it. Take it up a notch by writing an inspirational message in the message card to read when times get tough. You can also add chocolates to your order…
Instead of eating at your desk while you stare blankly at a screen, get out of the office and take a 10-minute stroll at lunchtime. Make up stories about the people that you pass on your walk or find a nice bench and sip a hot drink from as you watch the world go by. The trick here is to stay in the moment and do your best to not let other thoughts creep in. For 10 minutes luxuriate in the feeling of doing nothing but watching the rhythm of the city.
First things first, don’t choose a ridiculously difficult jigsaw of a plate of baked beans! This activity is meant to be a fun exercise that gives you a sense of completion. Choose an interesting image – find lots here – with a manageable amount of pieces to have the best experience. Similar to the trend of adult colouring books, doing a jigsaw can relieve stress and help you focus on yourself rather than on the type of day you have had.
Starting and ending your day with a breathing exercise has been shown to help combat stress, anxiety and depression. Concentrate on your breathing and you may be surprised by how tense you are without even noticing. Deep, controlled breathes can have an immediate effect on your mood and also gives you time to process stressful situations (like if that report your boss dropped on your desk was due yesterday). Headspace is a free app that will lead you through short breathing and meditation exercises to leave you feeling refreshed and centred, the NHS also has some great tools to use.
Whatever life throws at you, dedicate time to small pleasures; the little things that make you smile and ones that get you back on track.