Just another day. Just another day of looking in the mirror and saying: “Hello day” to another day. Basically just preparing mentally and physically for the next 24 hours of your life. What is the big deal? Oh my, if only it wasn’t a big deal! But instead, as many of us know, EVERY day is the FIRST day of the rest of your life… Big deal, yes! We want to jump out of bed and “carpe diem” and sing along to musical tunes in our heads all day long. But WHOOPS before we know it: We have overslept, spilt our mug of coffee over the already half wrinkled work shirt in a rush to get out and sit in traffic for the next 2 hours on the way to our lovely 9 hour-day-jobs filled with pretty useless meetings (for some lucky souls only sometimes, but most times for most of the working class), then traffic all the way home, only to burn dinner slightly and miss your favourite TV show of the week... What a day (actually my limited literature skills want to say: “what a sentence!!!”). To can still shout “carpe diem” on these days, and sing musical tunes all day long, is a choice. A difficult choice. But still, a choice.
But how can we get to the part where our minds see it as a choice? How do we convince our mind to realise these feelings towards the situation can be changed? I will try to help you, through the duration of this blog entry, to find that choice in “just another day”. Try these three, simple tips.
1. Start the day well
We all know ourselves. Some love to wake to the sound of a bullhorn blasting alarm clock. Others prefer a soothing meadow stream alarm clock… Choose to wake in the way your body will easily slip out of sleep mode and into an awoken state.
Rise in time to cruise through your morning routine. Allow yourself enough time so you don't have to rush. So you can easily follow a schedule of drinking a cup of coffee (or tea, if you want to. Listen to your body) then take a shower and choose the outfit of the day after which you enjoy a good, balanced breakfast. Try to include a source of protein and starch: Oatmeal plus milk = excellent. Bread plus eggs = excellent. Even some yoghurt and a fruit can work. Find what works for your body...and taste buds! But avoid skipping breakfast… that is the ultimate no-no.
2. Find the little joys
When you are so busy reciting the long, long list of everything that is wrong, you miss the list of all the things that are RIGHT! The classic old tale of “glass half full, not half empty” is what I'm talking about here.
If your alarm clock goes off, and it is time to wake up, we tend to immediately think this is the most awful moment of your life! I am very guilty of this one. My first thought of the day is utter disbelief: “How is it possible that I have to wake up now? It feels like I should still sleep another 4 hours! Oh, I can't face this day”. Unmotivated. Negativity. That is what those thoughts breed inside your attitude when we think those type of thoughts. Maybe if we wake to think of the new day as a new experience waiting for us, our bodies would be a little more keen on getting out of bed!
Try to think of at least 1 thing you are looking forward to or something you are grateful for on that day. Even if it is just that you can wear your new shirt; or you’re planning to go buy your favourite latté or even the fact that it is another day where the sun can rise! At first, it will feel funny and even quite difficult. But after a few mornings focusing on finding something positive, you will start to see even more positivity around you. And that exercise of finding at least ONE good thing will become a whole list of the great things you actually do have in your life.
3. Feel the way you feel
We are human complexities with a variety of enzymes, muscles, thoughts, feelings, DNA processes and many biological activities going on in the background. How can we then deny the way our bodies are talking to us in this instant? I’m not saying that you should dwell on every emotion or thought or feeling… But acknowledging the specific emotion, and dealing with it correctly, might save you a lot more energy than denying its existence.
My mother always tells me that you have to be a friend to yourself. Treat yourself with that same respect - when you have a bad day, motivate the friend in yourself to relax and have a cuddly sort of day. When you feel irritated, stay out of situations you KNOW irritates you (even on your best day!). Do fun things when you feel bored or stuck in a rut: read, listen to your favourite song while stuck in traffic, buy those earrings you’ve been eyeing, or even simply enjoy the fact that you have nothing that you MUST do. And most important of all: listen. Listen as you would listen to a friend. Listen to your body. Our bodies tell us a whole lot about how it is feeling and what it requires (love, laughter, a punching bag, a treat…).
Happiness is a choice. We can choose to react to bad things with a newly changed heart; a positive attitude. We can choose to focus on the coffee stain on the wrinkled shirt OR see that it is clearly a sign to just choose another blouse for this day. Let us look for the silver lining, and actually CHOOSE to be able to see it. Maybe then, another day won’t seem so bad after all. But rather quite exciting!
Come on, carpe diem!